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EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame Ceremony
EAA is proud to honor new inductees into our Sport Aviation Halls of Fame at a dinner ceremony on November 10, 2022, in the Eagle Hangar of the EAA Aviation Museum. These inductees, representing ultralights, the International Aerobatic Club, the Vintage Aircraft Association, Warbirds of America, and homebuilding, have dedicated their lives to their respective areas of aviation and join an esteemed group of individuals who represent the spirit of EAA in the highest form.
The EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame were established to honor the outstanding achievements of men and women in aviation who share the spirit of EAA and its community. Those inducted into the hall of fame are selected by their peers for the myriad of contributions made to their respective areas of aviation.
Bringing together EAA's boards of directors, divisions, affiliates, and councils, the hall of fame is a tribute to the pioneering spirit and innovation that has marked the evolution of flight, a spirit that is nurtured and promoted throughout EAA's membership. The event also reunites past honorees to celebrate their collected achievements.
2022 Inductee Information
EAA is proud to honor five new inductees into our Sport Aviation Halls of Fame. The five inductees, representing homebuilders, ultralights, the International Aerobatic Club, the Vintage Aircraft Association, and Warbirds of America, have dedicated their lives to their respective areas of aviation and join an esteemed group of individuals who represent the spirit of EAA in the highest form.
- EAA Homebuilders — Budd Davisson (EAA 22483)
- International Aerobatic Club — Pappy Spinks [deceased]
- EAA Ultralights — Eugene “Bever” Borne (EAA 155256)
- Vintage Aircraft Association — Forrest Lovley (EAA 19414)
- Warbirds of America — Tom Reilly (EAA 802376)
Homebuilders: Budd Davisson, EAA 22483
Budd Davisson, a native of Seward, Nebraska, received a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Oklahoma where he used the Thorp T-18 as the class subject in structural analysis. That was in 1965. John Thorp then recommended him for a job in California where he experienced his first homebuilt flight. It was in Bill Warwick’s 180-hp T-18, the first Thorp flying.
In 1966, while in college, he attended his first of 53 EAA conventions by hitchhiking from Oklahoma to Rockford. In a quirk of fate, homebuilt designer Leeon Davis picked him up and had him fly 15 hours in five-minute DA-2A demo flights around the airport.
While finishing his master’s degree, he instructed more than 1,000 hours for OU, graduated, and then instructed at an aerobatic school in New Jersey and formed a group to buy the sixth factory-built Pitts Special. Today, nearly 7,500 of his 10,500 hours are landing instruction in Pitts, which he still does in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a CFII/MEL and is type rated in the B-25 and the P-38.
His 1969 monthly column for Air Progress magazine, which went on to run for 46 years in three newsstand aviation magazines, was the first of nearly 4,000 magazine articles. About half of his nearly 300 pilot reports have been on experimental amateur-built aircraft. EAA magazines have run close to 400 of his articles beginning in the late ’60s. They range from welding to picking out designs, and he still does the monthly homebuilt Shop Talk column. Additionally, he has averaged giving a forum a day at AirVenture, most covering homebuilt subjects, since the early ’90s.
For Curtis Pitts’ 75th birthday party, Budd organized and led the building of a replica of the original Pitts Special. After flying and writing a story on the Bearhawk, Budd licensed the design rights and helped start the factory in Mexico for the Bearhawk kit, teaching the workers welding and other skills.
International Aerobatic Club: Maurice Hunter “Pappy” Spinks
The late Maurice Hunter “Pappy” Spinks has been selected by the IAC Hall of Fame committee and approved by the IAC board of directors to be posthumously inducted into the International Aerobatic Hall of Fame for 2022.
Pappy was the president of the Aerobatic Club of America, an active competitor, and the sponsor of the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships from 1967 to 1971 at the Oak Grove Airport in Texas. Moving the championship from Reno, where it was sandwiched in between air races, to Oak Grove helped increase the participation. The location change brought out skilled aerobatic personalities such as Pancho Barnes, Allen Bean, Charlie Hillard, and Harold Krier. He also helped in drafting some of the first rules for aerobatic contests before the IAC was formed and was a major supporter of the 1970 U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team.
He built his own airplane at age 15 and taught himself to fly. Later in life he produced two aerobatic aircraft: the Spinks Akromaster and a Model 10. The Spinks Aircraft Industries building was built in 1968 at Oak Grove for the construction of the Akromaster. The project lasted from 1967 to 1970. That plane would place third in the 1970 World Aerobatic Championships flown by Charlie Hillard, who would later win the World Aerobatic Championships in 1972 in his 200-hp Pitts Special.
Ultralights: Gene Borne, EAA 155256
Gene “Bever” Borne’s ultralight journey started in late 1976 with a foot-launched Quicksilver with an 8-hp engine. The motorized hang glider was love at first flight. He soon became a premiere dealer for the Eipper-Formance Co., which is when ultralight aviation became his passion. After acquiring most of the U.S. Hang Gliding Association pilot and instructor ratings, Bever became an instructor, eventually developing a solo training system. He was active in the formation of Part 103 and the light-sport aircraft process.
To date he has logged more than 5,000 hours as an instructor in ultralight-type aircraft and is a current GA pilot rated for single engine land and sea. He’s active on numerous aviation boards and committees promoting aviation safety and ultralight sport preservation. In 2008 the FAA appointed him the privilege of being a designated airworthiness representative. Bever is grateful for the help and support of his wife and partner of 46 years, Kim. Together they operate Air-Tech Inc., an ultralight/lightplane manufacturing company dedicated to supporting the people participating in the sport of ultralight aviation. Their facility is located on the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS) in Reserve, Louisiana.
Vintage Aircraft Association: Forrest Lovley, EAA Lifetime 19414, VAA 3136
Forrest Lovley has had a lifelong passion for vintage aviation. He learned to fly in Minnesota during high school, and “at age 18, just after graduation, made a solo flight from Minneapolis to Maine and returned in a Model A-powered Pietenpol Air Camper, which had been built in 1933, some 30 years earlier,” according to Forrest’s lifelong friend James E. Ladwig, EAA 24879. Forrest was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served in the Army Airborne. In 1976, he married his wife, Linda, and went on to raise two sons, Vaughn and Matthew. Alongside raising a family, Forrest managed to restore a large number of antique airplanes.
Forrest has restored more than 15 vintage aircraft. Alongside a couple of Wacos and a handful of Pietenpols, he also managed to restore a variety of notable aircraft. In 1972, Forrest restored an original Model A Pietenpol Sky Scout with a Chevrolet Vega auto engine, N12942, winning Best Auto-Powered Homebuilt at Oshkosh ’72. Five years later, he restored the Kari-Keen Sioux Coupe, NC10721, one of the only 32 Kari-Keen Sioux Coupes ever built, which won Grand Champion Antique at Oshkosh ’77. In 1980, Forrest rebuilt the Wittman Big X, a one-of-a-kind build by Steve Wittman from 1945.
Image by Connor Madison
Warbirds of America: Tom Reilly, EAA 802376, Warbirds 552913
EAA Warbirds of America is pleased to announce its 2022 inductee into the Sport Aviation Halls of Fame, Tom Reilly of Douglas Georgia.
Tom Reilly is a natural pilot — he soloed after 4.5 hours of instruction and received his private pilot certificate 16 days later. He has single- and multi-engine land and sea ratings, plus type ratings in the B-17, B-25, and C-47. He also has an FAA A&P mechanic certificate with an inspection authorization. He has 5,500-plus total flight hours mostly in warbirds, with more than 2,600 of those hours in the B-25. He has also instructed 23 pilots through their B-25 type ratings.
Tom owns and flies a B-25 Mitchell bomber, nicknamed Killer B, and has completed restorations of more than 30 vintage and warbird aircraft. His specialty is taking on jobs that most other restorers say can’t be done. This was the case with the B-24 Liberator All American (now Witchcraft), the B-17 Flying Fortress Liberty Belle, and the extremely rare and complex XP-82 Twin Mustang.
Tom won the prestigious Grand Champion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 1990 for the restoration of the B-24. He also won Grand Champion at SUN ’n FUN and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2019 for the restoration of the XP-82 Twin Mustang. In addition, he was awarded both the Phoenix and Golden Wrench awards for the XP-82 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
He has accumulated 50 years in the warbird restoration business without a maintenance accident. His passion for preserving our nation’s aviation heritage, teaching a new generation the dying art of warbird restoration, and acting as a “goodwill ambassador” for general aviation continues today and into the foreseeable future.