EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — The Experimental Aircraft Association recognized the contributions made to the world of flight by five aviators as it inducted them into the EAA Halls of Fame during a banquet Nov. 17 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: Lowell Farrand of Ligonier, Indiana
- International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame: Sammy Mason (posthumous)
- Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame: Timothy Talen of Springfield, Oregon
- Warbirds of America Hall of Fame: Jay Wisler of Tampa, Florida
- EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame: George Pereira of Sacramento, California
“Each of these five individuals has made a unique contribution to the world of flight that has benefited all of us,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs. “These inductees are examples 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, Bob Havens of Appleton, Wisconsin, received the Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award for his efforts on behalf of EAA and the local community. Havens has long been involved as a volunteer docent leader and tour guide at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.
HOMEBUILDERS HALL OF FAME
George Pereira has been involved in designing and building aircraft for more than 40 years. After military service where he piloted both B-17s and B-29s, Pereira returned to California and combined his knowledge of aircraft and boats to create the Osprey I seaplane. The design caught the attention of the U.S. Navy, which constructed the aircraft as the X-28.
In 1984, Pereira’s GP-4 high-performance airplane design was honored with the Grand Champion Custom Built award and the Outstanding New Design award.
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
Timothy Talen is an aircraft restoration master who has fully restored at least 20 aircraft, including those from such legendary aircraft factories as Piper, Cessna, Fairchild, and Interstate. Talen is also founder of the Oregon Antique & Classic Aircraft Club and a founding director of the Oregon Aviation Historical Society.
Talen served as an air traffic controller in Vietnam and has been a pilot for more than 40 years.
INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME
Sammy Mason was a pilot instructor during World War II and later became an engineering test pilot for Lockheed. In 1967, he is acknowledged as the first pilot to demonstrate a full complement of aerobatic maneuvers in a helicopter.
Mason, who died in 2001, purchased a war surplus Stearman after World War II and flew it on the airshow circuit. He was also a founding member of the Hollywood Hawks with other notable aerobatic performers. He also wrote two books, Stalls, Spins, and Safety, and his autobiography, Faith & Flight.
ULTRALIGHT HALL OF FAME
Lowell Farrand emerged as an ultralight pioneer in 1968 when he partnered with the Notre Dame University Department of Aerospace to design and fly the first powered parachute in the United States. He has flown everything from ultralights to World War II fighters over six decades of flying.
Farrand also received EAA’s Tony Bingelis Award in 2013, recognizing his contributions to aircraft building. He worked with Bingelis and EAA Founder Paul Poberezny to create the EAA Technical Counselor program, which advises aircraft builders on proper techniques and maintaining high standards in aircraft construction.
WARBIRDS HALL OF FAME
Jay Wisler is a man whose passion is to help “keep ‘em flying” when it comes to finding rare warbird aircraft parts. He has traveled to many continents to purchase inventory for his business, Warbird Parts and Memorabilia, which began more than 30 years ago as a part-time business.
Wisler has become a supplier to those who maintain World War II-era aircraft as those airplanes are now reaching 75 years old. Using a motto of, “If I don’t have it, I’ll help you find it,” he has helped make restorations possible for numerous EAA Warbirds Grand Champions and other Lindy award recipients.