Department of Transportation

WV Aviation Hall of Fame


The West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame honors pioneers and leaders in the aviation industry who have made significant contributions to the development, advancement or promotion of aviation and have close ties to the State of West Virginia.

Nominations may be made by any firm, organization or individual familiar with the nominee’s achievements. Nominees must meet certain criteria as established by the WV Airport Managers Association (WVAMA). The selection committee is composed of the President of the WVAMA, the Chairman of the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission, the Director of the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission, a WVAMA Corporate Board Member, and three appointed WVAMA Members.

The West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame is located in the terminal building of the North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg, WV. Each inductee is honored by having a descriptive plaque praising their contributions to West Virginia aviation.

 

    Year Inducted: 2019

    Completed first solo flight on his 16th birthday
    Lifelong committment to aviation in WV
    Made aviation history ordering first six Embraer 120 Brasilia aircraft in the world
    Operated AeroMech, an independent airline
    Established KCI Aviation; FAA-certified aircraft repair station, aircraft charter, flight school, and refueling service
    Helped facilitate the Bombardier West Virginia Air Center

 
                                                                                                 
Year Inducted: 2017

    First African-American woman to desegregate the graduate program at West Virginia State (University) at the age of 18
    Applied mathematical skills after graduate school and became a “computer” for the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NASA today) in the furtherance of the progression of flight
    Became a valued member of the Langley Space Task Group, credited with calculating the trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths for Project Mercury’s 1961 launch and the 1962 first American-manned orbit of the earth
    Awarded the distinguished Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015
    Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility opened at NASA’s Langley Research Center in 2016
    
Year Inducted: 2017

    Completed training with the first class of Tuskegee Airmen at the Tuskegee Institute before defending our great nation in the skies
    Successfully finished the first class and was later commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1942 before becoming commander of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, making him the first African-American commander; one of three times in total he would hold this title during his career
    Flew approximately 100 combat missions during World War II before resuming command of the 332nd Fighter Group in 1945
    In 1950, was the first African-American Commander of a racially-integrated Air Force unit and became a jet qualified pilot before assisting in the Korean War
    Awards and accolades include the Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal, seven commendation medals, and two Presidential unit citations

 
                                                                                                                                                       
Year Inducted: 2016

    Soloed in a Curtiss JN-4D (Jenny) after just four and one half hours of flight instruction
    Instructor for the US Army Signal Corps
    Formed the Hinton Aero Club, barnstorming across the state, carrying passengers and thrill seekers
    Captain of a group of five other aircraft pilots hired to do aerial surveillance on the miners at Blair Mountain
    Established a bus line and automobile dealership in Hinton, WV
    Believed to be the first registered pilot in the State of West Virginia

 

Year Inducted: 2016 

    Certified as a private in 1978
    Long-time member of the WV Aeronautics Commission, established the practice of rotating Commission meetings at different airports throughout the state
    Chaired a committee to procure a Fire Fighter Training Simulator for WV's commercial service airports, insuring funding for annual maintenance
    Strong supporter of maintaining Commission funding for the WV Civil Air Patrol's tweleve squadrons
    2014 Ritchie County DAR award for Community service, 2003 Jefferson Award for community service
    Honorary graduate of the University of Hard Knocks-Alderson Broaddus University

                                                                                                                                         
Year Inducted: 2015

    Internationally Known Aviation Record Breaker
    Completed First Solo Flight at Age 26
    Set Altitude Record for Aeronca C-2 at Age 27 with only 40 Solo Hours at the time
    World War II Army Test Pilot
    Women’s Air Force Service Pilots “WASPS”
    Flight Instructor in Brazil for US Government
    Flight Instructor in Jacksonville, FL

 

Year Inducted: 2015

    P47 Fighter Mechanic, Army Air Corps
    FAA Designated Aircraft Maintenance Inspector
    Founded AeroMech, Inc. (first FAA radio repair station in WV)   250 employees 1951
    Founded AeroMech Airlines – passenger airline serving 23 cities in 7 states 1980
    Founding Member & Treasurer of the Regional Airlines Association of America
    Served as Airport Manager of Benedum Airport (CKB) for 22 years

 
                                                                                                                              
Year Inducted: 2014

    Love for Aviation at Age Five in Bonanza Aircraft
    Certified Flight Instructor
    Holds Airframe and Powerplant  (A&P) Certificate with Inspection Authority (IA)
    Restored Ten Complete Rebuilt Aircraft
    Talented in the Art of Recovering Fabric Aircraft
    Recipient of 2010 Wilbur Wright Award​

 
                                                                                                                                
Year Inducted: 2014

    US Navy Fighter Pilot – 64 Combat Missions
    Became NASA Astronaut in 1979
    Lead Chase Pilot - Maiden Voyage of Columbia
    Piloted 1984 Mission Aboard Orbiter Challenger
    Served as NASA Administrator – Dep. Director
    Retired with 8,800+ Hours in Over 40 Different Types of Military and Civilian Aircraft

 
                                                                                                                                
Year Inducted: 2014

    World War II Hero – 39 Combat Missions
    B-17 Pilot – 92nd Heavy Bombardment Group of Eighth Air Force
    Participated in “Black Thursday” Against Germany, Norway, and Battle of the Bulge
    Helped Found First WV Air National Guard Squadron
    Served 30 Years as First Commander
    130th Airlift Wing – Charleston Named “McLaughlin Air National Guard Base”

    
                                                                                                                    
Year Inducted: 2014

    ​Piloted First Aircraft Alone at Age 16
    Holds Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certificate with Inspection Authority (IA)
    World Renowned Restorer of Classic Aircraft
    Recognized in Prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database
    First West Virginian to receive both Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award

  
                                                                                                      
Year Inducted: 2014

    Staunch Supporter of Aviation as Former WV Governor and US Senator
    Authored Small Community Air Service Development Program Benefiting WV Airports
    Leader of Essential Air Service Program Enabling Air Service at Smaller WV Airports
    Author of Aviation & Transportation Security Act Leading to Creation of TSA
    Chair of Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation​