Four aviation pioneers have been named to the Arizona Aerospace Foundation’s Hall of Fame: Cheryl A. Stearns, Fred J. Cone, Roger K. Parrish and Elgin Roy Newell.
Stearns, a pilot for US Airways, was the first woman member of the Army’s “Golden Knights” parachute team. Cone, a Marine pilot since 1958, flew 21 different types of aircraft over 8,600 flight hours, including 1,000 hours of combat flying. In 1986, he created the Navy ROTC program at the University of Arizona. He’s now a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus. Parrish led the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team in 1973 and 1974, worked as a demonstration and test pilot and vice president of operations for Lear Jet and was a pilot and director of training for America West. Newell was a flight instructor for Southwest Airways in the early 1940s at Thunderbird Field near Phoenix. He helped train approximately 46,000 American, British and Chinese aviation cadets during World War II. He also served as chief pilot for the State of Arizona. He passed away in 1985.
The Aviation Hall of Fame is housed at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson.
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