2009 Inductees  

 Thomas E. Lowe  
Lowe flew for United Airlines for 33  years, retiring in 2001 as a B-747-400 Captain.

Lowe also flew part time as a corporate pilot for Miller Manufacturing and  Northern Illinois Air Charter. After retirement from United he worked for Emery Air Charter in Rockford, Illinois.
Lowe and his friend Jim Leahy (now deceased) of Galesburg co-founded  the Stearman Fly-In which started in 1972. It was so successful it has continued to this day and next September will mark its 35th anniversary. The first Fly-In attracted 19 aircraft and now regularly draws 120 to 149 Stearman's each year from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The national Stearman Fly-In is a major annual event in Galesburg and as such, is a significant financial contributor to the economies of Galesburg and surrounding communities. The first ten years Lowe and Leahy organized, advertised, conducted and financed the event themselves  and with the assistance of a small group of enthusiasts in Galesburg. During those years the Fly-In was financed in part with the proceeds from a public air show held on the weekend. When there was a financial shortfall, every year, Lowe and Leahy personally covered the deficit.  After ten years, the Stearman Fly-In became a non-profit organization with a Board of Directors.

Lowe has served on their Board since its inception and also variously as Executive Vice-President and Vice-President. He has declined to serve as  President, believing  that position should be held by a Galesburg resident. During Fly-In week Lowe is Director of  Flight Operations  and is responsible for all flight activities. Lowe is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Stearmen Foundation, parent  organization  of the Fly-In. The Foundation, a 501(c) (3) not for profit corporation, is  planning for a Stearman Museum to be located in Galesburg.

Lowe also assumed the presidency of the Stearman Restorers Association in  1972. and today it numbers more than 1500 members from all over the world. Lowe also serves as one of four Directors of the AAA in the USA. He is also a Flight Instructor, specializing in  tail wheel aircraft, especially in antique, classic and warbirds. He has flown 88 different Stearman aircraft and is one of the most experienced Stearman instructors in the USA. He owns two Stearman biplanes which he and his wife restored. Lowe has authored numerous articles on aviation history and technical information which have been published throughout the USA.
He served in Vietnam in combat operations with the 481st  Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1965. He separated from the Air Force with the rank of Captain.

Howard Levinson

Mr. Levinson has been flying for over 64 years. A B-24 pilot at age 21 during World War II,  he has been actively involved in aviation in Illinois  most of his life.  He is a Medinah Shriner Aviator and as a volunteer, flies  young burn victims and their parents, for treatment to many hospital facilities at no charge.

The Shriner Aviators  fly both single and multi-engine aircraft. They also fly children that are victims of other problems such as Orthopedic problems of the spine and a multitude of other injuries and diseases. He is actively involved in the PAPA  at Chicago Executive Association and a FAA Aviation Safety Counselor. Howard is also a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Air Force Reserve, EAA Young Eagles and the Chicago Flight Instructors Association. He has also received the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. His aviation volunteer efforts in Illinois  have been outstanding.

At 84 years old  Howard recently passed his ATP written and ATP flight test., a remarkable feat. He has supported the A.G. Bell Montessori School for the Hearing Impaired with flights for the children around the Chicagoland area.  He has given two hour tours for children at the Chicago Executive Airport which includes history of the airport, tours of the tower and maintenance facilities. He has received many awards and testimonials too numerous to list here.


Eldon Gene Hammond  
Gene has been a Delegate to the IAHOF since 1983, serving on the Selection Committee and as President for two years.

He began flying in 1960 earning private, commercial, flight instructor, instrument and multiengine land ratings in power and commenced teaching at old Howell airport in 1962, adding glider Commercial and flight instructor ratings in 1969 and single and multi-engine sea ratings in 1967 and 2003.

He was hired as a pilot/flight engineer by United in 1963. He has some 25,000 hours in 62 different aircraft, including 35 different gliders. He was a pilot for United for 31 years.  Prior to flying, he was a performing musician, music librarian for a local radio station and a Chicago policeman.s Gene has been active in glider competition since 1970.
He has been a member of the Chicago Glider Club and officer since 1969, flight instructor in power and gliders, since 1962.
Developed a "Charity Ride " program for the CGC to promote community awareness of gliding and provide additional financing for a deserving local citizen. Assisted in developing the Northern Illinois Soaring Contest, a competition for all competition oriented glider pilots.

Gene served as SSA State Governor for Illinois overseeing state soaring and gliding records and developing soaring sights throughout the state. Active life member and officer of the Soaring Society of America since 1969. In 1981 he co-founded the Soaring Safety Foundation to over see safety in gliding and soaring. He wrote articles for quarterly SSF publication for 10 years. Served as Chairman until 2004 representing the USA for the International Training and Safety Panel. SSF hosted the International group in the US in both 1983 and 2003.

Since 1981, he was Chief Flight Instructor and oversaw  development and approval from FAA for SSF recognized clinic for Flight Instructors renewal as well as  presenting safety seminars.
He served as Government Liaison Officer for SSA and rewrote Part 61 for glider certification and protection of air space. Also served on the SSA Executive Committee for 15 years and as President/Chairman of SSA for 3 years (1992-93).Served on board of US Soaring Museum, Elmira NY and for 25 years has spoken at sites around the state promoting safer operations.
Gene has been a member of EAA for 15 years and 9 years as volunteer at the EAA seaplane base, 29 year member of AOPA, 10 year member Seaplane Pilots Assoc. and 31 year member of  Airline Pilots Assoc. and a Director of Chicago Flight Instructors Assoc. He is also a member of the local Moose and Elks, Morris Country Club, National QB, Civil War Preservation Trust, the Smithsonian Institute and American Air Museum. Gene has received many awards, too numerous to mention here. He was born January 6, 1935 in Macomb, Illinois and graduated from Macomb  high school in 1952, Valparaiso Technical Institute in 1954 and after two years in the army attended University of Illinois for two years.Gene is married ( Mary Lou) for 50 years and they have two children, and 6 grandchildren. 



E. Allan Englehardt
Mr. Englehardt has trained thousands of pilots and  is responsible for creation of the SIU Aerobatic Team that has won over five national championships. His primary employment was with United Airlines. Allan has over 18,909 hours and retired February 1, 2007.
He is ATP rated, Flight Instructor (Gold Seal), Ground Instructor, Instrument Instructor and Airframe and Powerplant. FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, Private, Commercial Flight Examiner, Instrument Rating Examiner, Multi-Engine Examiner, Airline Transport Pilot Examiner, Flight Instructor Examiner, Airplane Single and Multi- Engine Airplane Examiner. Course Sponsor and Chief Instructor-FAA Approved Flight Instructor Renewal Clinic (FIRC) College attended: Southern Illinois University.

Honors and Awards:
FAA National Flight instructor of the Year - 1976.
FAA Regional Flight Instructor of the Year. - 1976.
FAA District (Du Page) Flight Instructor of the Year 1976.
NATA National Flight Instructor of the Year. - 1977.
Awarded Lifetime membership  EAA.
FAA Regional Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year.- 1990 & 1993.
FAA District Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year. - 1990 & 1993.
FAA Ambassador Award. - 1991.
United Airlines Flight Operations Special Achievement Award. - 1992.
Multiple FAA awards of recognition for participation in annual safety programs.

Chicago Pilot Examiner Assoc. Past President.(served as president 8 years).
Experimental Aircraft Association.
International Aerobatic Club.
National Assoc. of Flight Instructors.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Most Satisfying Personal Accomplishments:
Taught all of his three children to fly.( and his son-in-law).
Founder: Collegiate Aerobatic Program as a part of the International Aerobatic Club.
Established Rantoul Flight Instructor Standardization Conference, (Annual
1 day FIRC for CFI's in Illinois).

Aviation Activities:
Created curriculum for training approx. 10,000 students for private, commercial and instrument written exams throughout USA.  from 1974 to 1989.
Worked with FAA and Congress in a successful effort to maintain certification standards on FAA written exams.
Volunteers as  Aviation Safety speaker at EAA Convention.
Volunteered to serve as Chairman of  IAC University Program Committee.
Volunteered to be responsible for the creation of and FAA approval for, the Annual Flight Instructor Standardization Program.

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