Powley to Join Ranks of Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

The honor highlights flight instructors who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction.

Lieutenant. Colonel Herbert W. “Bill” Powley [Courtesy NAFI]

Lieutenant. Colonel Herbert W. “Bill” Powley, retired U.S. Air Force,, will be inducted this year into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

The hall of fame is sponsored by the National Association of Flight Instructors, but the organization does not participate in the judging. The induction ceremony will be during the NAFI membership breakfast at EAA AirVenture on July 27 at 8 a.m.

NAFI is dedicated to providing support and recognition for flight instructors, and providing them ways to increase their professionalism and creating paths for instructors to work together to promote aviation safety and education. The Flight Instructor Hall of Fame was established to honor flight instructors who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction. The accolade highlights the important role flight instructors play as part of the foundation for the safety of the entire national air transportation system.

"We are honored to induct Lieutenant. Colonel Powley into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame," said NAFI chairperson Karen Kalishek. "His lifelong dedication to flight instruction and aviation safety has touched thousands of lives and serves as an inspiration to flight instructors everywhere."

Powley, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, served more than 23 years as a flight instructor, fighter pilot, and test pilot. His service included two tours in Vietnam flying 347 missions in the F-4 Phantom and A-7 Corsair II.

Powley retired from the Air Force in 1991 but continued to train pilots by volunteering his skills.

According to NAFI, Powley founded FLIGHT Foundation (Flight Lesson Instructional Grants Helping Teens) and personally raised more than $1.9 million to help teens achieve the dream of flight. He has flown approximately 4,000 discovery flights, most of which were free.

Powley, a resident of Tennessee, also has been a leader and active member in many aviation organizations in addition to NAFI, including the Soaring Society of America and the Experimental Aircraft Association

In 2010, he received the A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Science Teacher of the Year Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame. That same year, the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame (TAHOF) created the Tennessee Aviation Person of the Year award for Powley, and in 2011 he received Tennessee's highest aviation recognition—the Career Contributions to Aviation Award. 

In 2013, he was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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