Max Loyd Burnette

Max Loyd Burnette

Inducted: November 5, 2016

Max Burnette received one of the FAA’s highest awards in 2014 as “National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year” culminating a fifty nine year career in aircraft maintenance. He also received The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.

Mr. Burnette joined the North Carolina Air National Guard in 1954 at the age of seventeen and completed Air Force mechanics training in 1956. He worked on a variety of aircraft including the F-86 Sabre Jet, F-104, F-102, T-33, U-3A, KC-97 and KC-135 at Air Guard units in Charlotte, NC, Knoxville and Nashville, TN. He logged 4,000 hours as a KC-97 Flight Engineer while assigned to the Knoxville Unit and as a Crew Chief and Flight Line Supervisor for a section of C-130 aircraft at Nashville. Max retired from the military in 1991.

in 1986 Burnette obtained his civilian Airframe and Powerplant Certificate and he and his wife Jean started M&J Aero at Gibson Field in Rockvale, TN providing repair and inspection services and taildragger restorations. While he has worked on light twins and high performance singles, his favorites are the old tube airframes and wood, dope and fabric airplanes. He owns a PA-22 Piper Colt that he converted to a taildragger. Max and Jean earned an enviable reputation based upon their impeccable work ethic, honesty and attention to detail. Friends and customers have described Max as a “walking technical manual”.

Max has been an active member of EAA and AOPA since the mid-eighties and participates in his local EAA chapter as a volunteer pilot for the Young Eagles program. He writes for the monthly EAA Newsletter and provides hands-on demonstrations at maintenance clinics. In 2011 Max decided to work part-time at M&J Aero so he could be the full-time Music Director at his church.

Major General William Russell Cotney, USAF Ret.

Major General William Russell Cotney, USAF Ret.

Inducted: November 5, 2016

Major General Russ Cotney retired following 40 years of faithful and honorable service in the United States Air Force on February 6, 2011. His retirement culminated eight years of distinguished service as Commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for Exceptionally Meritorious Service in a duty of great responsibility, approved by The President of the United States, at his retirement ceremony.

A native of Alabama, Cotney earned his commission at Lackland AFB in 1971 and his wings at Laughlin AFB. He graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Science in Personnel Management and received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Auburn University in 1976.

As Commander of the TN Air Guard, Maj. Gen. Cotney was responsible for command and mission readiness of three flying wings and four support wings with more than 3,600 Airmen and $3.5 billion in equipment and infrastructure. He spearheaded efforts to modernize each base, resulting in more than $360,000,000 for new planes, new missions, increased funding for operations, and construction of new facilities including the new Airlift Wing in Memphis. His exceptional vision and leadership will impact the Air Guard for years to come.

Russ Cotney is a Command Pilot deployed during Vietnam, Operation Joint Guard, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operations Northern and Southern Watch, etc. Among his numerous awards and decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and NATO Medal. Other accomplishments include Commanding the Regional Air Center in Italy, serving as Advisor to the Air Guard Director, suggesting new avionics for military aircraft later adopted by civilian airlines, etc. Maj. Gen. Cotney chaired the Committee which designed the Terminal Control Area for aircraft at Memphis International Airport. In recognition of leadership in aviation he received the President’s Award from Carnival Memphis.

Thomas C. Grubbs, Jr.

Thomas C. Grubbs, Jr.

Inducted: November 5, 2016

When Tom Grubbs retired from Vanderbilt LIfeFlight in December 2015, as its longest serving flight nurse, he had flown what is believed to be a record, nearly 6,000 patient flights since joining the airborne emergency medical team 31 years earlier.

Grubbs joined the LIfeFlight program soon after it began in July 1984 when flight nursing was a new field for civilian nurses. He earned his Tennessee Certified Paramedic in 1975 at UT Nashville, an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing from Belmont University in 1980, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Alabama/Huntsville in 1990 and a Masters in Nursing from Norwich in 2015. Tom has Certifications as a Certified Flight Registered Nurse, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation Program Provider. He is a licensed Registered Nurse in Tennessee and Alabama, a licensed Paramedic in Tennessee, and a National EMT. He has authored many articles in professional publications: the Journal of Air Medical Transport, the Air Medical Journal, JEMS and past Vanderbilt LIfeFlight Quarterly Newsletters.

When Tom joined Vandy’s LIfeFlight operation in 1984 there were five other flight nurses and a single helicopter. Today there are more than 60 flight nurses, six helicopters, a fixed-wing air ambulance and four ground ambulances. Vanderbilt serves Middle and West Tennessee as the regions only Level One trauma center and there are an estimated thirty-two airborne EMT units in Tennessee.

Grubbs career has been one of constant emergencies, never knowing what was ahead at every flight. He spends time with people during their worst moments in life. His professional expertise and calm human touch have saved countless lives. Tom is a whatever it takes kind of care-giver who says, “I never lift off the ground unless I am praying for that patient I am going to get”.

Garland W. Pack (1912-1986)

Garland W. Pack (1912-1986)

Inducted: November 5, 2016

Garland Pack was born in Dickson, Tennessee November 26, 1912. He was educated in Dickson public schools and graduated from Dickson Central High School as an honor student in 1931. His father wanted him to go to college or to auto mechanics school but he dreamt of becoming an aviator. He earned his pilot and mechanic licenses at an airport in Muncie, Indiana where he slept in a hangar, paid $3.00 a week for meals at a local farmhouse and traded work for flight lessons… seven days of work for a half-hour flight. His extraordinary aptitude allowed him to solo in just four and one-half hours. Both his pilot and mechanics licenses were signed by Orville Wright.

Garland Pack meticulously restored his first airplane while still in his 20’s. It was a badly damaged Waco Nine and he rebuilt both the airframe and engine. It took many hours of crafting parts of wood and metal. Afterward, his barnstorming around Dickson County helped make residents of Middle Tennessee much more aware of aviation.

Pack served during World War II as a flight instructor and flew for the Air Transport Command. He flew 16 trips across the Atlantic, later serving in the China-Burma-India Theater where he flew “The Hump” into China 56 times and earned The Distinguished Flying Cross. Flights over the Himalayas were extremely dangerous. He said, “If you couldn’t see the wreckage of several airplanes on a clear day, you were flying off course”.

He returned home after the war and designed and built five midget racing airplanes that only weighed about 500 pounds a piece but could reach airspeeds of nearly 200 mph. He flew commercial charter for Capitol Airways and in 1961 he established a sailplane operation at Murfreesboro AIrport. After later moving it to Lewisburg he finally settled it down at Puckett Field near Eagleville.

The Dickson County Municipal Airport is named “Pack Field” to honor this aviation pioneer.