The Experimental Aircraft Association recently honored five people for their contributions to sport aviation with induction into the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame during a ceremony at its aviation center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The inductees for 2023 include: the late Neal Loving, EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame; Lew Shattuck of Yelm, Washington, International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame; the late Charles “Chuck” Greenhill, Warbirds of America Hall of Fame; John Parish Sr. of Tullahoma, Tennessee, Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame; and Paul Mather of St. Elmo, Alabama, EAA Ultralights Hall of Fame.
Loving was born in Detroit in 1916 and took his first flight at age 14. He began learning to fly in 1938 despite difficulties finding flight schools that accepted Black students. He later designed the S-1 glider and lost both legs in an aircraft accident but continued to pursue aviation. He went on to design his most well-known aircraft, the WR-1, which won the Most Outstanding Design Award at the 1954 EAA Fly-In Convention. Loving died in December 1998.
Parish is known for his interest in the Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing. After years of flying, he was able to buy his own Staggerwing in 1970 and became increasingly involved with the International Staggerwing Club. In 1973 he and his wife, Charlotte, helped establish the Staggerwing Museum Foundation, known today as the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Parish’s involvement with EAA has included serving on its board for more than 30 years, and working as director and vice president of the EAA Aviation Foundation.
Shattuck enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1952, where he flew many different fighter aircraft. In 1966, Shattuck was captured after his F-105 was shot down in North Vietnam and was held as a prisoner for more than six years. He retired from the Air Force in 1976 as a colonel. He soon bought a Pitts Special and began practicing aerobatics. In 1978 he won the Pitts Cup trophy in the IAC National Championships. He continued flying in competition until 2018, when he was 85. Shattuck also spent many years mentoring aerobatic pilots and judges.
Greenhill became involved with restoring warbirds soon after he served in the U.S. Army. Greenhill used his skills as a tool and die maker to restore warbirds to their original condition working with his wife, Bev. One standout among his many projects is the only surviving Grumman J2F-4 Duck from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Greenhill’s restorations often appeared at EAA AirVenture and earned him the 2007 World War II Grand Champion, 2003 and 2005 Reserve Grand Champion, and 2014 Preservation awards. Greenhill died in April 2022.
Mather began flying in 1974 at age 18 and has flown a range of ultralights, including hang gliders and Quicksilver foot-launch models. In 1980 Mather began working at Quicksilver in sales and marketing. Among his notable feats was his 1984 nonstop flight in an MXL II ultralight from Annaba, Algeria, to Monaco over the Mediterranean Sea, setting numerous FAI records. Mather left Quicksilver in 1995 to start his own venture, M-Squared Aircraft, which produces a variety of aircraft, including the part 102 ultralight Breese-XL.
In addition to the inductions, Jim Casper received the Henry Kimberly Leadership Award, which recognizes Oshkosh-area residents for volunteer service to the EAA. Casper is a longtime EAA Aviation Museum docent volunteer.