For more than half a century, EAA members have pushed the limits of aviation’s potential. From vintage to ultralights, homebuilts to warbirds, aerobatics to light-sport aircraft, these visionary aviators have diligently pursued their passion for flight. In the process they have preserved the spirit of aviation that began more than 100 years ago. To recognize their contributions to the world of recreational flying, each year EAA inducts a group of the most innovative and influential individuals into the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame.
EAA Warbirds of America proudly announces its 2007 Hall of Fame inductee, Wilson “Connie” Edwards of Garden City, Texas. Connie was born April 25, 1934, in Big Springs, Texas. He earned his private pilot certificate in 1951 and later added a commercial ticket as well as instrument, single-engine land, multi-engine land, and seaplane ratings. He has accumulated approximately 20,000 hours of flight time. In 1968 and 1969 he worked for United Artists as chief stunt pilot during the filming of the movie Battle of Britain. His other movie credentials include flying the TBM in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Bermuda Triangle.
Edwards has served as an accident prevention counselor for the FAA in the southwest region.
Connie has owned or flown an impressive array of warbird aircraft, including the B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26, AT-11, JU-52, C-46, C-47, C-54, Spitfire, Mosquito, P-38, P-40, P-51, P-63, F4U-4, FM-2, F-6, F-7, TBM, AT-6, F-104, F-18, Albatross, PBY, and Sunderland Flying Boats. He completed the Navy F-18 familiarization course along with ejection seat and survival training courses.
Edwards has a long list of awards and commendations. In 1986, he received the FAA Special Recognition Award, presented by former Administrator Donald Engen. In 1992 he was awarded the first set of honorary U.S. Coast Guard wings, presented by then Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner. He also received the Meritorious Service Medal in 1992, the highest civilian award given by the Navy, presented by Adm. F.B. Selso, II, chief of naval operations. Connie is a recipient of the Seaplane Pilot of the Year Award by the Seaplane Pilots Association. He was awarded the John Henry Towers Award from the Naval Aviation Commandery.
Connie Edwards has been a longtime supporter of EAA and the entire warbird community. He is a Lifetime Member of EAA and first attended the EAA convention in 1972, missing only a handful of events in all those years. His aircraft won the EAA People’s Choice Award in 1986. His generous contributions can be seen today in the EAA Eagle Hangar. Connie donated the Lockheed P-38, the Messerschmitt ME-109, and the Chance Vought F4U-4 to EAA in 1978.
The EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame ceremony was held on Friday, November 9, 2007, at the EAA AirVenture Museum Eagle Hangar.
EAA Warbirds of America and the entire EAA community congratulate Wilson “Connie” Edwards on his induction into the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame.
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