WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- Four Georgia aviators will be inducted next month into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame at the Georgia Aviation Museum.
Set for induction at the April 9 ceremony are Julius J. Alexander Jr., Patrick "Pat' Epps, Albert H. "Goldie" Glenn and James Howard "Jim" Rhyne. The event will open with an hourlong reception at the museum's Century of Flight Hangar, followed by a gourmet dinner and presentations to each of the honorees.
Each is being recognized for his contributions to Georgia aviation:
-- Alexander: A pioneer in aviation education in Atlanta, Alexander used aviation classes and flying as tools for academic improvement and self-esteem for inner city students. The first civilian African-American flight instructor to train students at Atlanta's Fulton County Airport (Brown Field), Alexander led a team that designed Aviation Career Education that is widely used today in ACE camps. In 1980, he founded the Aviation Career Enrichment Weekend Flight Academy, a flying school dedicated to molding young proteges into professionals in aerospace.
-- Epps: Involved in flying his entire adult life, Epps was a flight test engineer for Boeing and an Air Force pilot before establishing Epps Air Service at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. Epps Aviation is among the Top 10 independent fixed-base operations in the U.S. He was co-leader of the Greenland Expedition Society from 1981-92 that recovered a Lockheed P-38 Lightning that had been buried under 265 feet of ice since 1942.
-- Glenn: During his 60 years in aviation, he introduced many industry-changing concepts to aircraft manufacturing (e.g., consolidated training/operating manuals, interchangeable parts, warranties, pre-production maintenance reviews, and direct support for aircraft produced) that now are taken for granted. Glenn was president/COO of Gulfstream twice, leading the company to become a world premier aerospace company that has been a boost to Georgia's economy.
-- Rhyne: Beginning in a Piper Cub in Lafayette, he turned his love of flying into a career spanning more than 50 years. He flew F-84s and F-100s with the Air Force from 1954-58, and while managing Gardens Aviation in Pine Mountain also served with the Georgia Air National Guard flying the F-86L and the AC-97. In 1962, Rhyne joined Air America Inc., serving in Southeast Asia for 12 years flying survey, escort, relief, instruction and SAR missions, eventually becoming manager of fight crews. Rhyne's skills continued providing critical aviation services as he began his own private charter company that served customers worldwide.
Seating for the annual Enshrinement Banquet is limited and advance reservations are required. Seats are $75 each ($35 is tax deductible), and attire is black tie (dark suit optional). Contact Nicole Bissette at the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame at (478) 328-0704 or visit www.GAHOF.org.