The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame is proud to announce its Class of 2019 Inductees. These extraordinary individuals will be enshrined on November 2nd, 2018 at the Annual TAHF Gala and Inductions Ceremony at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Murfreesboro.


Deborah Baugh is a Founding Member and President of the Music City Chapter of Women In Aviation International. She has introduced over 900 children to aviation through the EAA Young Eagle flight program and received EAA’s Major Achievement Award in 2000. Deborah has served on the Lebanon Airport Commission and is a member of the 99’s International Organization of Women Pilots. She holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Instrument, Multi Engine, and Tail Wheel Ratings and is Formation Qualified.

JAMES STEPHEN FOSSETT (1944-2007) of Jackson

Entrepreneur & adventurer, Steve Fossett was born in Jackson, Tennessee. He is best known for circumnavigating the world in a hot air balloon in 2002. Fossett put his wealth into more than 116 adventure setting records in five different sports. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in July 2007. He vanished in September 2007 while flying an airplane over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

SCOTT M. NISWONGER of Greeneville

Scott Niswonger learned to fly as a teenager, soloing at age sixteen. After graduating from Purdue University he was employed as a corporate pilot for the President of The Magnavox Company in Greeneville, Tennessee. Scott has flown many airplanes from a Piper J-3 Cub to the Boeing 747. He enjoys flying his Gulfstream IV- SP, his Gulfstream G-150, and Cessna 172. Mr. Niswonger is a distinguished and successful businessman, aviator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is a staunch and powerful advocate and supporter for aviation.

COL. BEN J. “BENJO” WELCH, JR. of Crossville

Ben Welch took his first $2.00 flight at age 13 in an Aeronca Champ at Crossville. Afterward his only ambition was to become a pilot. He graduated from White County High School in 1953 and attended Tennessee Tech. He joined the USAF in 1956, earning his wings in 1957 and served in the USAF and Tennessee Air National Guard for 38 years. His worldwide assignments and a variety of leadership positions earned numerous awards and decorations. Colonel Welch retired in 1994 as the oldest active duty USAF officer on flying status.

For further information contact:

Bob Minter
(615) 452-3696