EAA to honor 2020 and 2021 Halls of Fame inductees on Nov. 11

Twelve aviation notables recognized for contributions

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (September 30, 2021) — Twelve individuals who contributed greatly to recreational aviation will be honored on November 11 as they are inducted into the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame during a ceremony and dinner at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh. The large group of individuals represent the Hall of Fame classes of 2020 and 2021, as the 2020 induction ceremony was canceled due to the COVID pandemic.

  • EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: Flo and Bob Irwin (posthumous)
  • International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: Kirby Chambliss of Chandler, Arizona
  • Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: Carl Scholl of Chino, California, and Tony Ritzman of Ontario, California
  • Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: Steve Nesse of Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • EAA Ultralights Hall of Fame: Roy Beisswenger of Greenville, Illinois

The November 11 event will also recognize the 2020 inductees:

  • EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: Frank Christensen of St. George, Utah
  • International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: Verne Jobst of McHenry, Illinois
  • Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: Mark Clark of Rockford, Illinois
  • Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: Steve Dyer of Brighton, Colorado
  • EAA Ultralights Hall of Fame: Dan Johnson of Port Orange, Florida

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 halls of fame are selected by their peers for myriad contributions made to their respective areas of aviation.

EAA HALLS OF FAME 2021 INDUCTEES

HOMEBUILDERS HALL OF FAME

Flo and Bob Irwin (posthumous): In 1965, the couple began a business named Aircraft Spruce that sold timber to those who were building their own airplanes. The company quickly grew into a one-stop shop for aviation builders and restorers, as well as all aircraft owners, and became known by its current name of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. The company’s annual catalog, in both print and online versions, has become the “wish book” for aviation enthusiasts.

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME

Steve Nesse (EAA 27037): Nesse has been actively involved in EAA since the late 1960s and with the Vintage Aircraft Association since its inception in 1971 as the EAA Antique-Classic Division. He was instrumental in the creation of the Contemporary Aircraft judging category at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in the early 1990s, which allowed thousands of aircraft to be restored, maintained and judged to the high standards that are the hallmarks of the esteemed Lindy awards. Nesse is also a longtime member of the VAA board of directors, chairs the Tall Pines Café area, and involved in restoration workshops and other areas that serve AirVenture attendees.

INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME

Kirby Chambliss (EAA 261512): Chambliss has lived an aviation life, beginning with his first flight lesons at age 13, a corporate pilot at age 21, and a Southwest Airlines pilot by age 24. His most notable fame, however, came as an aerobatic competitor and air show performer. Chambliss is a five-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, a member of the U.S. National Aerobatic Team from 1997-2005 as well as its captain on three occasions. He has earned 13 medals in world aerobatics competition.

WARBIRDS OF AMERICA HALL OF FAME

Carl Scholl (EAA 184061) and Tony Ritzman (EAA 393289): This duo both began their interest in aviation in the 1970s and, after meeting at Scholl’s transmission shop, they began started Aero Traders, an aircraft restoration business that has become renowned for its painstaking attention to detail and “doing it right.” For more than 40 years they have restored dozens of warbirds and there are few airworthy B-25 Mitchell bombers from the World War II era flying today that have not been under their care.

ULTRALIGHTS HALL OF FAME

Roy Beisswenger (EAA 537298): Beisswenger has made significant contributions to ultralight flight as an instructor, event organizer, and media supporter. He is the only FAA Gold Seal flight instructor to have earned the recognition through training powered parachute pilots, and has served on international committees that created competition and record-setting sdtandards for the sport. He organized the World Powered Parachute championships in 2000, drawing competitors from four continents. He created the UltraFlight Radio Show and took over publishing UltraFlight Magazine, now known as Powered Sport Flying Magazine.

EAA HALLS OF FAME 2020 INDUCTEES

HOMEBUILDERS HALL OF FAME

Frank Christensen (EAA 36663): Christensen is one of only a few individuals honored in two of the EAA Halls of Fame, as he was also inducted into the International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame in 2017. Christensen changed both the aerobatic and kit aircraft communities in 1977 with the introduction of the Christen Eagle, a fully aerobatic biplane that also set the gold standard for homebuilt aircraft kits. Christensen was also an outstanding aerobatic competition pilot, winning the Advanced category title at the 1969 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME

Steve Dyer (EAA 40682): Dyer has been an avid supporter of the vintage aircraft movement throughout his life and has been instrumental in developing replacement parts to keep those historic aircraft flying. His family business, Univair Aircraft Corporation, has been a go-to resource for owners of vintage aircraft including for types that have been “orphaned” after their manufacturers went out of business. Dyer’s foresight and abilities have allowed thousands of aircraft throughout the country to remain airworthy and serve as examples of the varied designs and capabilities of vintage aircraft.

INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME

Verne Jobst (EAA 37653): Jobst was one of the first members of IAC when it was founded in 1971, serving as the first editor of Sport Aerobatics magazine and beginning in 1973, a five-term as president of the organization. During that time, IAC’s local chapter network and competition schedule expanded, along with the creation of the IAC Achievement Awards program. Jobst also served on the EAA board of directors for nearly 30 years and headed air show operations at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for 33 years. He was also well known for his piloting skills of EAA’s Spirit of St. Louis replicas, including flying the aircraft in 1987 at LeBourget Airport in Paris on the 60th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s epic trans-Atlantic flight.

WARBIRDS OF AMERICA HALL OF FAME

Mark Clark (EAA 42114): Clark turned his passion for flying, military aircraft, and history into a career as his family business, Courtesy Aircraft, helped thousands of aviators achieve their dreams of owning and operating historic military and other aircraft. His company is especially known as one of the leading brokers in the world of warbird aircraft. Clark’s own aviation career began in his teens, including a T-6 restoration while he was in college. He holds the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and is a longtime organizer of the National Warbird Operators Conference.

ULTRALIGHTS HALL OF FAME

Dan Johnson (EAA 368861): Johnson has a lifelong dedication to promoting and preserving light recreational aviation, beginning with his start as a hang glider pilot in Tennessee. He promoted the sport through his own magazine, Whole Air, and through his writing for numerous other aviation publications. Johnson worked with Ballistic Recovery Systems to help develop and promote ballstic recovery chutes for ultralights that improved the safety of the sport. He is also currently president and chairman of the board for the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, which advocates to the FAA on behalf of the ultralight and light aircraft communities.

View Past Inductees

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