Joseph C. Hawkins

Joseph C. Hawkins

 Enshrined November 15, 2008

Born February 1, 1955 in Gary, Indiana, Joe Hawkins was introduced to aviation by his grandfather, a World War II Navy pilot. A U.S. Army veteran, Hawkins served as a CH-47 Chinook helicopter Flight Engineer with the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. He earned awards for Meritorious Service , Army Air Crewman Wings, the Army Good Conduct Medal and Army Commendation Medal. Hawkins began his civilian career in aviation at Stevens Aviation in Greer, SC where he was responsible for the inspection and repair of general aviation/corporate class helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and moved to the new Stevens Aviation Beechcraft/Raytheon corporate aviation service center at Nashville in 1981. In 1991, Joe was named the Chief Aviation Maintenance Technician for the State of Tennessee’s Dept. of Transportation, responsible for the safety and airworthiness of a state owned fleet of piston and turbine engine aircraft. Hawkins earned a BS degree in Aviation Maintenance Management from MTSU in 1999 and in 2003, a Masters of Education in Aerospace. In 2005, Joseph C. Hawkins was chosen Tennessee’s Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year followed by selection as the FAA’s Southeast Region AMT of the Year. He then made aviation history in Tennessee in 2006, when he became the first Tennessean to earn the coveted National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year award. He has received numerous awards and recognition as an aviation maintenance professional and serves on many influential industry committees and counsels. His most significant contribution to aviation will likely be as an Educator influencing young lives and careers as a Professor of Aerospace at his Alma Mater.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Charles Reece Howell III

Charles Reece Howell III

Enshrined November 15, 2008

Lincoln County native Reece Howell, III was born November 27, 1936. A ride in his uncle’s Stinson in the early 50’s ignited what became a lifelong passion for aviation. He soloed a Piper Tri-Pacer at Wilkes Airport in Fayetteville in 1954 and has amassed over 33,600 hours as a pilot, flying more than fifty different types of aircraft since that time. Reece Howell’s career in aviation has been devoted to teaching. In 1970 he joined CFW Construction Company as Chief Pilot where he first flew the Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft and to date, more than half of his total hours as a pilot have been in type, much of it as a flight instructor. He has trained pilots in the MU-2 aircraft in North America, South America, Europe and Africa. His pilot training work in Africa has been in support of African Inland Mission Air of Nairobi Kenya, a non-denominational organization that supports mission workers and humanitarian relief in East Africa. Reece also trains pilots for the internationally renowned Samaritans Purse, a Christian organization that operates around the world. He works personally with Reverend Franklin Graham, its Founder and President. Mr. Howell’s flight and ground schools, based in Smyrna, have trained more Mitsubishi MU-2 pilots than anyone in the world. Howell is an aviation entrepreneur. He co-founded Corporate Flight Management, Inc. in 1982. CFM has become one of Tennessee’s most successful aviation organizations providing air charter service, aircraft maintenance and modification, training, aircraft sales and FBO services. He formed Howell Enterprises, Inc. in 1986 specializing in FAA Approved Part 141 initial and recurrent flight and ground training programs for the Mitsubishi MU-2 and the BAE Jetstream 3101 and 3201 aircraft. He and his partners began Wings of Eagles, LLC in 1998, which has become one of the largest FAA Part 141 primary flight training schools in Tennessee. Reece Howell, III has devoted his life and passion for flight and for aviation to helping others. His skill, expertise, kindness, stewardship, mentoring and friendship have launched many careers in aviation and through his work, he has touched lives around the world.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie

Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie

(1902-1975) Enshrined November 15, 2008

Phoebe Fairgrave was born November 21, 1902 in Des Moines, Iowa. Before graduating from high school in St. Paul, Minnesota, she saw her first air show and immediately fell in love with aviation. She got her first airplane ride at Curtiss Field and soon bought a war surplus Jenny with borrowed money and signed a contract to do stunts for the movies. Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie became an aviation pioneer. She hired Capt. Vernon Omlie to be her pilot as she performed daredevil stunts. They traveled the Midwest with the Phoebe Fairgrave Flying Circus. She married Vernon in 1922 and they settled in Memphis where they established the region’s first airport. The Air Traffic Control Tower at Memphis International Airport bears their name today, honoring their achievements. Phoebe set a woman’s world record parachute jump from 15,200 feet in July 1922; in 1927, she became the first licensed female Air Transport Pilot and the first woman to be awarded an Airplane Mechanics license. Omlie was the first woman to fly across the Rockies in a light aircraft in 1928 and in 1929 she set an altitude record for women by reaching 25,400 feet over Iowa City. She was a charter member of the Ninety Nines international organization of female aviators and a renowned air race pilot. Omlie flew over 20,000 miles in support of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s campaign for President and afterward was appointed Special Advisor for Air Intelligence to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA. She was the first woman to hold an official aviation post in the U.S. Federal Government and among her achievements was the NACA Air Marking Navigational Aid Program. In 1935, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt named her as one of the twelve greatest women in the United States. Following Vernon’s death aboard a commercial airliner in 1936, Phoebe returned to Tennessee where she co-authored the 1937 Aviation Act which dedicated aviation fuel taxes to fund aviation education in the schools. She returned to Washington during the war and remained in the federal government until 1952. “Her place in the pages of aviation history is unchallenged. A woman of daring, courage, intelligence and devotion to the ‘air age,’ she ranks as one of the greatest participants in American progress.”

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Maj. Gen. Fred Dennis Womack, USAF (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Fred Dennis Womack, USAF (Ret.)

Enshrined November 15, 2008

Fred Womack is a native of McMinn County, born in Riceville. He graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1963 and began became two successful and extraordinary careers with both the airlines and the military. During Fred’s distinguished military career he earned numerous positions of leadership. Following completion of U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training in 1966 he returned home to the 134th Fighter Interceptor Group at McGee Tyson Airport where he served as Safety Officer, Instructor Pilot, Group Operations Officer, Chief of Command Control and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He graduated from the Air War College in 1984 and later became the Commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard. A Command Pilot with more than 20,000 hours in the T-37, T-38, KC-97, KC-135, Martin 404, YS-11 and Boeing 737, 757 and 767, Womack has received many awards and commendations during his career including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the coveted Tactical Air Command Aircrew Achievement Award. Fred’s airline career began in 1967 when he became a first officer with Piedmont Airlines where he attained the rank of Captain in 1974. In 1979, he was selected to be Piedmont Airline’s Director of Operations followed by designation as Director of Flight Operations & Flying Safety in 1985, a position held until he retired in 1989. During his airline career, he served as Chairman of the prestigious Airline Transport Association’s Flight Systems Integration Committee working closely with the FAA on complex issues involving cockpit design, human factors and developing technologies. He was named Project manager for the development and implementation of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an advanced technological safety system now found in today’s airline cockpits around the world. In retirement Fred Womack has remained active in aviation, serving as a Senior Consultant to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Board of Directors of EAA’s Warbirds of America, the T-34 Association, QB’s, AOPA and as C.O of Tennessee First Squadron/WBA.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com