Stephen Pope, the Editor-in-Chief of Flying magazine and a longtime aviation journalist and pilot, has been announced as an inductee into the 2019 class of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame.
An “airport kid” who grew up around aviation in New Jersey, Pope began taking flying lessons at the age of 15 in a Piper J-3 Cub at Trinca Airport, a grass strip in Green Township, New Jersey. He would often ride his bicycle the five miles from his home in Byram Township to Trinca, where he would fly the Cub solo once he’d turned 16 but before he had a driver’s license.
Pope earned his private pilot certificate at 17 and his instrument rating soon after. During this time he worked as a lineboy at Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey and the East 60th Street Heliport in New York City before temporarily leaving his home state to attend college at the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in journalism and completed an internship with AOPA Pilot magazine.
Pope has spent the last 23 years as an aviation journalist living in New Jersey, covering a wide variety of topics that have included articles on everything from tailwheel flying technique to advanced cockpit technologies. Pope was named Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2007 by the Royal Aeronautical Society at the Paris Airshow. He has also won seven Aerospace Journalist of the Year category awards and three Gold Wing Awards for journalism excellence from the National Business Aviation Association, including for a story that involved him traveling to Haiti aboard a Honeywell business jet to deliver a load of doctors, nurses and medical supplies immediately after the devastating 2010 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince.
Pope joined Flying in 2010, becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 2015. Before coming to Flying he served as editor of Business Jet Traveler magazine, editor of the Convention News aviation show daily publications produced at the NBAA Convention, Heli-Expo and EBACE in Geneva, Switzerland, and a senior editor at Aviation International News based in Midland Park, New Jersey, directing the publication’s avionics and technology coverage. He holds commercial multi-engine and seaplane pilot certificates and regularly flies from Morristown Airport in northern New Jersey.
“As someone with such close ties to aviation in the state,” Pope said, “it is a true honor to be enshrined in the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame alongside so many inductees whom I greatly admire, particularly my mentor in aviation journalism, Jim Hollahan, the founding editor of Aviation International News and a 1994 enshrinee.”
Pope gives his time to the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro Airport as a member of the organization’s executive committee. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, and serves on a steering committee to help select the annual recipient of the Harrison Ford Legacy in Aviation Award at the Living Legends of Aviation Awards in Beverly Hills, California. He lives in Tewksbury, New Jersey, with his wife Kate and sons Andrew and Alex.
Pope was born into a notable aviation family. His father Bill Pope retired in December at age 82 after a 57-year career as a professional helicopter pilot, the last 33 of them flying medevac in the New York City area. At the time of his retirement he was the oldest medevac helicopter pilot in the world. Relative James Gallagher served as the commander of Lucky Lady II, a Boeing B-50 Superfortress, on its 1949 mission to become the first airplane to circumnavigate the globe nonstop, thanks to the then relatively new concept of aerial refueling. Another relative, Raymond Gallagher, was flight engineer on the B-29 Bockscar on its mission over Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945 that brought an end to World War II.
Pope joins three other inductees in the 2019 class of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame, including Webster B. Todd, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and brother of former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Peter Zaccagnino, a noted race pilot who has won Jet Gold trophies at the Reno Air Races and recorded the fastest-ever qualifying lap time at 529 mph; and Chuck Howard, a former Vietnam helicopter pilot who served as Marine One Presidential Helicopter Unit Advisor and was instrumental in creating helicopter arrival/departure paths for FAA charts.
Other noteworthy aviation journalists who have been inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame include Jack Olcott, former editor and publisher of Business and Commercial Aviation magazine and a technical editor at Flying, as well as past president of the National Business Aviation Association; and Jack Elliott, who wrote a column on general aviation for many years for the Newark Star-Ledger. The list of other well-known enshrinees includes Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Juan Trippe, Arthur Godfrey, Buzz Aldrin and Robert J. Collier.
The 2019 induction ceremony will be held this fall.