EAA to induct five into Hall of Fame

OSHKOSH, Wis. — The Experimental Aircraft Association will recognize the contributions made to the world of flight by five aviators on Thursday, Nov. 15, as it inducts them into the EAA Hall of Fame during a banquet at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis.

The five aviators represent the spectrum of aviation within the EAA community and have achieved notable successes within their particular realm of flight:

  • EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame: Taras Kiceniuk Jr. of Santa Paula, Calif.
  • International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: Giles Henderson of Charleston, Ill.
  • Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: Clyde Smith Jr. of Lock Haven, Pa.
  • Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: Preston (Pete) Parish of Kalamazoo, Mich.
  • EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: Wes Schmid of Wauwatosa, Wis.

“Each of these five individuals has made a unique contribution to the world of flight that has benefited all of us,” said Chad Jensen, EAA’s communities manager. “These inductees serve as an example for everyone involved in flying and represent the best that recreational aviation has to offer. We recognize their commitment and passion for flying and are honored to welcome them into the EAA Halls of Fame.”

In addition, Tom Shepeck of Oshkosh will receive the Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award for his efforts on behalf of EAA and the local community. Shepeck has long been involved as a volunteer in AirVenture activities, including as a liaison between the region’s government officials and the event.

A limited number of tickets remain for the dinner and program, which begins with a 6 p.m. reception. Tickets are priced at $50 each. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit EAA.org/halloffame or call 800-236-1025.


Wes Schmid

Wes Schmid: Schmid, an EAA member since 1956, used his professional skills in the early EAA Experimenter magazine and the publication’s 1958 redesign and name change to Sport Aviation. He also prepared EAA’s advertising programs, developed specialty and educational materials, and displayed his own writing skills as co-author of the authoritative book “Golden Age of Air Racing.”

In 1959, Paul Poberezny appointed Schmid as chairman of the EAA fly-in’s forums area. He retained that position until 2009, a 50-year period where the forums grew from one tent in Rockford, Illinois, to more than a dozen pavilions at Oshkosh. Schmid also has been a member of the EAA board of directors for 33 years, including as EAA’s board secretary for many of those years.


Clyde Smith

Clyde Smith Jr: Smith began a lengthy career with Piper Aircraft right after his college graduation, beginning as a draftsman in the engineering department. Some 20 years later, as manager of the Cub Kit Program, he created at PA-18 in kit form. He also introduced fabric Piper restoration and maintenance courses that are still popular today.

Smith is known as the “Cub Doctor” for his abilities with Piper Aircraft and other vintage airplanes. He has attended EAA conventions for more than 40 years, hosting forums and how-to seminars for restoring Pipers and other aircraft.


Giles Henderson: Henderson began flying in 1959 and taught himself aerobatic maneuvers

Giles Henderson

from World War II flight manuals as his native Montana had no aerobatic flight schools. He began flying competition aerobatics in 1968 in a stock Piper Cub, later modifying the aircraft to win the International Aerobatic Club’s sportsman category for the first time in 1971.

Henderson is a four-time recipient of the IAC’s Soucy Award, which recognizes the pilot who earns the highest percentage of possible points during a contest season. He was also a long-standing member of the IAC Sequence Committee, which develops aerobatic routines for each season’s competition.


Taras Kiceniuk Jr.

Taras Kiceniuk Jr: Kiceniuk is the founder and owner of Icarus Engineering, which since its creation in 1971 has developed several ultralight gliders that of established world records. In 1975, his Icarus HPA-1 was the first human-power aircraft to make unassisted flights in the United States. He also served as chief engineer for the Gossamer Albatross, which in 1979 became the first human-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel.

Kiceniuk continues to innovate today. He was project director for Reginator on electric- and wind-powered aircraft in 2007-2009, and demonstrated the first atmospheric energy-gathering flight on May 31, 2007.


Preston S. Parish

Preston (Pete) Parish: Parish began is aviation career in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of major. After his military service, he created the flight department at the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo and also became active in the National Business Aircraft Association, serving as NBAA’s chairman of the board in 1985-87.

Parish, who was inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this year, began his Warbirds interest after purchasing an N2S Stearman biplane. He became active within the EAA Warbirds of America and served as the Warbirds president from 1976 until 1980.

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