Hill was born, raised and
lived in the heartland of Illinois all
of his life. He has barnstormed,
towed banners, made aerial
photography flights, and conducted
air ambulance services and search
and rescue missions. He served as
chief pilot, test pilot, ferry pilot,
safety pilot, trimotor and airline
pilot. During his 55-year aviation
career, Hill has been a flight
instructor for nearly 50 of those years. He currently
holds ATP, CFI-II
in ASEL, AMEL, seaplane and helicopter.
a flight instructor, Dick specialized in a unique type
of vintage and military aircraft. He is well known
for his checkouts in military
singles, Twin Beeches and Bamboo Bombers. If there
is anything he
hasn't flown, he certainly could, if given the chance.
Dick is best known for his "barnstorming" and
buddy rides, giving
thousands of free flights to anyone showing an
interest in aviation. He
also conducts flight instructions for young people
who can't afford
lessons. Hill especially enjoys giving rides to persons
and elderly individuals.
Hill has contributed in all facets of aviation
to the preservation of
our rich aviation heritage through his lifelong
efforts as an historian,
pilot and restorer. He has done so in an intense,
Ken Medley is a native of Carbondale
attended grade school, high school and Southern
Illinois University. He learned to fly and earned his
private pilot certificate in 1940 while a college
student. He continued flight training, earning his
commercial pilot certificate and, a week later, his
flight instructor rating. He taught in the Civil Pilot
Training Program at the Marion Airport, which led
to his instructing WWII Army Aviation students.
His stature and reputation as a flight instructor
grew steadily, and he was selected to train a
special squadron of pilots who needed extra help.
Every "washed out" student assigned to this
part of the program graduated, a career
achievement that reflects upon his flight training
knowledge and skill.
aviation service in World War II, Ken returned to Carbondale
to earn his college degree.
At the same time, he joined three others in creating
a flight school and the Carbondale airport.
For the next several years he taught flying, flew
charter planes and performed aerial
demonstrations. He also designed and developed an
aviation safety newsletter about accident
prevention and airport good-neighbor activities.
His writing and teaching style produced such
a significant and important message that many of
his articles became a part of FAA
communications to the aviation community.
eventually moved from the state when a publishing business
took him to Washington, D.C. After retiring from the
business, he devoted his energies to promoting aviation
and aviation safety. In 1947, Ken was named a designated
flight test examiner at Carbondale and
is currently an examiner at Dulles International
Airport. He is also a long-time FAA Aviation
Safety Counselor. As a representative of the AOP
A Air Safety Foundation, he has conducted
more than 800 safety courses throughout the country.
He also teaches at AOPA Air Safety
Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics and
has made presentations at more than 200 of
these weekend courses.
Ken is willing to go anywhere but prefers Illinois.
He has taught at Super Safety Seminars in
Jacksonville, Champaign and Peoria. Ken also helped
in developing a joint effort of aviation
education sponsored by the FAA and State of Illinois.
Now in its eighth year, this successor
program, WINGS, continues to have Ken Medley as a
1993, he was chosen as FAA National Flight Instructor
of the Year. Recognition of Ken's
efforts has been received from FAA, EAA, Illinois
Department of Transportation, Division of
Aeronautics, AOPA, Commonwealth of Virginia, North
Carolina, Pennsylvania, and the Civil
Air Patrol. He is also an inductee in the Virginia
Aviation Hall of Fame.
Sedgwick devoted his entire life to
teaching others the mystery and joys of
flight. A lifetime resident of Illinois,
began his career with Schumacher Flying
Service at Harlem Airport in the 1930s.
Later, he became an FAA pilot examiner,
flying more than 13,000 flight tests in
categories over a 50-year period. He
served in wartime as a Navy instructor,
specializing in glider training. His
numerous kudos include several "Instructor
of the Year" awards,
and EAA safety awards. Achieving more
than 35,000 flying hours, he taught thousands
of new pilots who went on to
professional flying careers. He had a deep
and lasting commitment to general
aviation and flight safety and was named
Accident Prevention and Safety
Counselor by the FAA in 1972.
quotes from others about Wally:
the history of Illinois aviation, there
are many people who contributed much to
aviation. However, one has to acknowledge
that the pilot who, for many years, faithfully
plugged along, day in and day out, to encourage
the aviators of
tomorrow should have the recognition he
so rightly deserves."
Sedgwick was one of the first enterprising
pioneers of aviation, first taking
wing when aviation was just dawning.
Walter devoted his WHOLE life to
aviation. His excellent record, superior
performance, loyalty and dedication
to aviation has proven to be instrumental
in all areas of aviation's horizons
during this century and into the next."
Rue "Pete" Taylor
served in the field of
aviation and learned to fly in the early
1930s. Because he loved aviation, he
eventually became actively involved in
promoting it to the DeKalb community.
1946, he rented a portion of farmland on which he started
a flying operation and
erected a small building. His flight
program was based on a Piper J-3 Cub
in which rides and instruction were given.
late 1947, the airfield was moved to
another farm location. Sod runways and
tied-down spaces for 12 aircraft were
provided. Pete was able to provide charter
flights, sell airplane parts, and pursue
promotional programs for flying and very
early crop dusting.
was always on the move to improve flight programs.
When Interstate Aircraft dissolved in 1948, the runway
and facilities were purchased by the
DeKalb, and Taylor became part of a lease
agreement. His leadership contributed
to the community's progress in flying.
Even without funding, boundary lights
and a beacon were installed, making night flights
possible. Executive flying found its
niche at the airport; freight hauling became
a reality and special events flourished.
He gave unlimited energy and time and carried
DeKalb into the age of jets. Pete I
also worked with the farm community, Northern
Illinois University, industry,
business and residents.
enjoyed working with children, including the Boy Scouts
and Girl Scouts, and gave them free airplane rides.
He belonged to the Illinois Flying Farmers and
AOPA and supported EAA and the 99s. He
was a former DeKalb alderman and
member of several city committees.
was also a successful Piper Aircraft Dealer and received
numerous awards. Leaving airport management, he developed
a widely know aircraft parts business.
In 1993, the airport was renamed in
his honor - DeKalb Taylor Airport.