Four distinguished pilots and a famous aviation artist will be inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame today at a banquet in Warner Robins at the Museum of Aviation. The five individuals are Lt. Col. Bert M. Atkinson, a World War I pilot from Newnan; Ed and Connie Bowlin, a husband and wife team from Griffin; Samuel A. Lyons, a renowned aviation artist from Woodstock; and Lt. Col. Earnest A. Shelton, a retired U.S. Army officer known as the “Cornerstone of General Aviation” at the Columbus airport.
Ed and Connie Bowlin have spent more than 30 years together pursuing their love of aviation and inspiring others to fly. Ed Bowlin took his first flying lesson at age 16 and served 15 years as a pilot in the Tennessee Air National Guard.
He then joined Delta Air Lines, where he met his wife Connie who was a Delta flight attendant. Connie Bowlin became a Delta pilot in 1974, the fourth female pilot in Delta’s history.
Tickets to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame banquet can be obtained by calling the Hall of Fame office at the Museum of Aviation at 478-328-0704.
The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame was created by Georgia Gov. Joe Frank Harris in 1989 to honor men and women who made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation or manned space flight.
To date, there have been 79 individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame. Construction has been completed on a second-level mezzanine in the Museum’s Century of Flight Hangar for a new Hall of Fame display area.
An exhibits design group will put up the first new display panels in time for the 2009 banquet. The new exhibit area should reach completion later this year.