The Experimental Aircraft Association will recognize the contributions made to the world of flight by five aviators on Thursday, Oct. 27, 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, according to EAA officials.
- EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame: Jack McCornack of Cave Junction, Ore.
- International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: The late Tony LeVier of La Canada, Calif.
- Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: John W. Underwood of Glendale, Calif.
- Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: The late David B. Lindsay Jr. of Sarasota, Fla.
- EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: Ed Fisher of Gilbert, S.C.
“Each of these five individuals has made a unique contribution to the world of flight that has benefited all of us,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president and CEO. “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, Fond du Lac attorney Louie Andrew will receive the Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award for his efforts on behalf of EAA and the local community.
A limited number of tickets remain for the dinner and program, which begins with a 6 p.m. reception, EAA officials said. Tickets are priced at $50 each. To purchase tickets or for more information: EAA.org or call 800-236-1025.
HOMEBUILDERS HALL OF FAME
Ed Fisher: Fisher, an EAA member since the late 1960s, grew up in an EAA family, and by age 12 he was helping his mom and dad build airplanes at Birdland, the family airstrip in Thompson, Ohio. Ed’s first completed homebuilt was Sonerai 1 Blueberry, which he started in high school, and was to be the first of 18 homebuilts he completed. His first “original” design was the Zippy Sport, which placed third in the 1983 Western Flyer/EAA ARV design contest. His company, Raceair Designs, was formed in 1990, and designs such as the Skylite, Micro Mong, Flitplane, Zipster, and Lil Bitts, have all come from Ed’s hands and mind. Five of his designs have been made available as plans, and two of these designs, the Skylite and Zipster prototypes, have been Oshkosh grand champion award winners and regional winners in the Ultralight category.
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
John W. Underwood: An author of 10 aviation books and numerous articles on aviation history, Underwood has had a fascination with airplanes since he was 7 years old. Later, as an aviation technical writer and illustrator, he earned a living in the industry, while also amassing a vast collection of photographs and aeronautical materials. His work in the center of one of aviation’s most active locations, the Los Angeles basin, gave him access to a number of aviation luminaries, including Lockheed’s Kelly Johnson, test pilot Tony LeVier (with whom John assisted in restoring a Monocoupe), air racing and test pilot Gordon Israel, designer of the Brown racer Alden Brown, and even Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan. John’s dedication to “getting history right” often sees him lending materials and photos to other authors so more people can be made aware of exactly what happened when.
INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME
Anthony W. (Tony) LeVier: LeVier, who chalked up more than 10,000 flying hours in 260 different airplanes, was a flight instructor, charter pilot, barnstormer, airline pilot, air racer, and premier test pilot. He described the turning point in his professional life as when he joined Lockheed in 1941. In 1942 he flew production test flights in the P-38 Lightning and toured fighter bases in Britain, demonstrating flying techniques for U.S. pilots. He continued engineering flight testing until 1955. He made first flights in 11 Lockheed aircraft including the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance airplane. In 1955 he was named the director of flying operations at Lockheed Martin.
Tony’s air racing career began in 1932 flying a Wallace Touroplane; he continued racing until 1947, winning the Greve Trophy Race at the Cleveland National Air Races in 1938, flying the Schoenfeldt Firecracker. He also wrote many articles for aviation publications and had numerous aviation inventions. He passed away in 1998.
ULTRALIGHT HALL OF FAME
Jack McCornack: McCornack designed and flew his first “powered hang glider” (as ultralights were called back in the day) in 1976. In 1979, Jack and his friend Keith Nicely astounded EAA convention attendees by flying two Pterodactyl Pfledge ultralights from California to Oshkosh — the first ultralights to fly into Oshkosh from anywhere — and from Oshkosh on to Kitty Hawk. Jack’s designs include the Cuyuna 430 ultralight engine (the industry standard in the early ’80s, which he now describes as “a market survey for Rotax”), the Pterodactyl Ascender, and the original Buckeye and Six Chuter powered parachutes. In the 1990s he was America’s top rated microlight competition pilot, winning two U.S. National Championships and representing the United States in four FAI World Microlight Championships.
WARBIRDS HALL OF FAME
David B. Lindsay Jr.: Lindsay was known to some as “Mr. Mustang.” In 1957, he purchased his first P-51D from a Royal Canadian Air Force disposal sale for approximately $2,000. Soon after, he founded Trans-Florida Aviation, later Cavalier Aircraft Corporation, to build custom “Executive Mustangs,” called Cavaliers. He was directly responsible for saving a large portion of the surviving North American P-51 Mustang fleet as well as engines and parts. His company held the P-51 FAA type certificate and developed eight STCs for the Mustang: tip tanks, tall vertical stabilizer, baggage door, and ammo and gun bay fuel tanks, to name a few.
Throughout the 1960s, David bought Mustang airframe and engine parts at sales and auctions whenever he could find them, often by the rail carload. In 1966, David’s company was made the sole franchised distributor for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, spare parts, and allied equipment in the Western Hemisphere by Rolls-Royce.
David served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1942 to 1949 as a field artillery officer, and served in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II. He passed away in 2009.