2015 Inductees  

Beverlee "Bev" Greenhill

Bevelee Greenhill (1935 - 2014) started flying in the 1970’s to stay connected with her husband, Chuck Greenhill. Through her activities as a pilot, she built a legacy of her own, working as a volunteer with a variety of aviation organizations.

Bev is probably best known for her tireless efforts in support of Palwaukee (now Chicago Executive) Airport in the northern Chicago suburbs. She was a founding member of the Palwaukee Pilots Association (PAPA). In 1987, PAPA was formed to protect the rights of general aviation pilots as Palwaukee moved from being a privately owned airport to a publicly owned facility. Bev took charge of the airport tour program which introduced members of the local community to the airport. The tours emphasized airport safety and the value of the airport to the local communities. For over 15 years, she acted as tour guide, conducted tours weekly for civic groups, school groups and scouts.

An active member of the Chicago Area Chapter 99s, Bev served on the ways and means, safety seminar, air bear and hostess committees. For many years she was the Chairman of the Chicago Aviation Expo IFR/VFR Seminar Committee, organizing and arranging seminar speakers, keynote speakers and vendor areas for a program that served 500-700 pilots. She was instrumental in establishing the partnership with IDOT Division of Aeronautics to support this program that continues to this day.

Bev will be remembered as a friend and mentor by many in the Palwaukee Pilots Association and the Chicago Area Chapter 99s. Bev passed away in July of 2014 after a long illness.


Edward Baynard Heath

Edward Baynard Heath (1888 – 1931) is one of Illinois’ unsung aviation pioneers. He is credited with creating the first kitplane. Born in Brooklyn, Heath moved to Chicago as a youth where he attended Lane Tech. Heath then moved to upstate New York, where he built his first plane based on the Bleriot XI. After several successful flights in 1909 and 1910, it crashed on takeoff and was damaged beyond repair. Heath moved back to Chicago and founded the E.B. Heath Aerial Vehicle Company, one of the first aviation parts stores in the country.

The following year, Heath acquired the Chicago based Bates Aeroplane Company which sold several different biplanes and monoplanes along with an engine of Carl Bates design. The company was renamed the Heath Aircraft Company. In addition to selling aircraft and parts, this company also offered a three month flying course and a class for mechanics.

Heath is probably best known for the Parasol, a low cost aircraft introduced in 1927 as the “Model-T of airplanes”. It sold for $575. To make it even more appealing, Heath offered customers the opportunity to by plans and parts, so that customer could assemble it himself with ordinary hand tools.

In February of 1931, Heath was killed in a test flight of the Parasol Model V. Following his death, the company went into bankruptcy, and the assets were acquired by Howard Anthony. The Civilian Pilot Training Program in World War II revitalized the company. Howard continued the parts business, and expanded into electronics kits – the Heathkit products that many of us assembled in our youth.

Colonel Robert L. “Bob” McDaniel (Retired)

Bob McDaniel was the director of the St. Louis Downtown Airport and an adjunct instructor for St. Louis University Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. He has been an active pilot for more than 45 years.

A $5.00 Cessna Discover Flying coupon and money earned from mowing lawns enabled Bob to take his first flying lesson at age 14. At age 16 he made his first solo flight and began working as a line service technician that same day. After earning his commercial pilots license and receiving his degree from Parks College, he continued his flying career in the Air Force. Retiring from the Air Force as a Colonel after a 25 year career, Bob returned to the birthplace of his aviation career as director of St. Louis Downtown Airport.

An active supporter of general aviation, Bob organizes and oversees large Young Eagles rallies for EAA East Side Chapter 64, providing more than 2000 youth with their first flight experience. He has personally flown over 350 Young Eagles flights. He serves as an aviation advisor for a number of schools and is a frequent speaker at aviation seminars and civic meetings.

When Bob became director of St. Louis Downtown Airport in 2000, it had no rental aircraft or commercial flight schools. In 2014, four commercial flight schools thrived along with several new tenant businesses and the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum. The airport became the third busiest airport in Illinois, the second busiest in the St. Louis region and was named Airport of the Year in 2002 and 2009.

We salute Bob McDaniel for his efforts on behalf of general aviation, and congratulate him on his induction into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame.


Edward B. "Ed" Shafer

In 1951, the Korean War prompted Ed Shafer to join the U.S. Air Force. During training he met Lois, and they were married in 1952. While in the Air Force, Ed soloed while flying with the aero club, but had to defer further flying for financial reasons. After serving for four years, he completed a degree in Agricultural Engineering at Ohio State University and then worked for John Deere as a field engineer.

In 1964, Ed and Lois moved back to Illinois and Ed completed his flight training, obtaining his private, commercial, instrument and flight instructor certificates. Lois also earned her certificates. Ed flew charter in the St. Louis Metro East area while Lois became a corporate pilot. In 1969, they purchased a dairy farm and built a restricted landing area in their backyard. In 1975, the airport was upgraded to a public-use airport and the dairy farm was replaced by hangars and airport buildings. Shafer Field has trained more than 500 pilots. Ed became a Designated Pilot Examiner and has given more than 350 check rides.

Ed serves as an advocate for general aviation, providing airport tours for school group, participating in career fairs and speaking to civic organizations.

Many years ago, Dr. Louis Obernuefmann, then a new science teacher at Belle Valley School, attended Shafer’s aviation ground school. Obernuefmann wanted to use aviation to spark student’s interest in science. One result of this partnership between the airport and high school was the Belle Valley Young Astronauts Club. Student members meet during lunch to study aviation, and at the end of the school year, Shafer provides each member with their first flight lesson.

We salute Ed Shafer for his efforts on behalf of general aviation, and congratulate him on his induction into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame.


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