Inducted: October 28, 2917
Sumner County native Jerry Kirby received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2016 commemorating 50 years of professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise. He soloed at Palm Beach International Airport on October 13, 1962 where he became an agent for Eastern Airlines. He later served with the US Army’s 75th Field Hospital, with the USAF on the C-141 and as a crew member on the C-124 with the 118th Aero-Med, Tennessee Air Guard.
Kirby holds a Commercial Certificate, with Instrument privileges, single-engine land & sea, multi-engine, and glider ratings. He is FAA FAAST program recognized and Low-Level Aerobatic and Formation Lead and Wingman qualified. Jerry’s more than 9,000 hours of flight time were logged in part as an owner or co-owner of over 35 aircraft. He once flew a Legend Cub from his private airfield (38TN) near Westmoreland, Tennessee to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Mr. Kirby has performed at air shows as a former member of Williams Aerobatic Shows; at EAA’s Oshkosh AirVenture, Lakeland’s Sun N Fun, at Tennessee Aviation Days and this year he flew a Swift at La Bourget, France in The Paris Air Show. He’s a former member of the International Council of Air Shows.
Jerry Kirby is a staunch and tireless advocate for aviation. He began a life of exemplary service and achievement as Student Body President at Westmoreland High School and earned the prestigious Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout designation. He is a Lifetime Member of EAA and The Wright Brothers Museum. Jerry serves on the Board of Directors and is a Lifetime Member of The Swift Museum Foundation. He is a 50-year member of AOPA, a member of Warbirds of America, Past President of Nashville EAA Chapter 162 and member of EAA Chapters 863 and 1363. Jerry Kirby has introduced more than 425 youngsters to flying through EAA’s Young Eagles Program.
In addition to his many aviation activities, Jerry continues a lifetime of leadership and service to his local community. The Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce recognized him as their “Citizen of the Year” in 2014.