Born on February 9, 1940 in Keyser, West Virginia, C. William “Bill” Pancake Jr. discovered early in his life that he possessed a great mechanical inclination. His love for aviation began as a child when he would often ride his bike to the Keyser Airport where he would help out in exchange for spending money. It was on his 16th birthday that Pancake piloted his first aircraft alone.
Since receiving his private pilot’s license in 1957, he has gone on to additional ratings including: commercial, instrument, Multi-engine, Airframe and PowerPlant (A&P) with Inspection Authorization (IA) and is a Certified Flight Instructor. He began his work restoring and repairing small aircraft in the late 1950’s with Aeronca Sales and Service in Burlington, West Virginia.
After leaving the aviation industry for several years, he decided to open his own restoration shop known as Pancake Aviation in 1973. What began as a sideline business turned into a successful endeavor as his work is known worldwide; from the United States to Russia and Brazil. Pancake’s work received numerous awards at some of the largest aviation events including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Pancake has been a technical advisor for the National Air and Space Museum as well as a Classic Judge at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. His expertise on restoration and repairing of classic aircraft, specifically the Aeronca, is unsurpassed. The State of West Virginia honors his quest to further aviation by painstakingly and whole-heartedly restoring classic aircraft and promoting aviation across the globe.