POLK CITY, FL -- Kermit Weeks, creator and founder of Central Florida's Fantasy of Flight, and a championship aerobatics stunt pilot, has been selected as a member of the Florida Aviation Hall of Fame. Weeks was inducted into the Florida Aviation Hall of Fame Thursday, Dec. 11, at the society's sixth annual induction ceremony, which was held at the Florida Air Museum on the Sun 'n Fun campus in Lakeland, FL.
Weeks was one of three people inducted into the society this year. A pilot and aircraft designer, Weeks has placed among the top three aerobatics champions in the world five times and has won more than 20 medals in World Aerobatics Championships.
The aviation enthusiast began restoring and preserving antique aircraft in the 1970s and today owns more than 140 civilian and military planes which he has been displaying for the enjoyment of the public at his Polk City attraction, Fantasy of Flight, since 1995. The attraction is the only one in the world that offers daily aerial demonstrations featuring rare, vintage aircraft. It also features daily tours of the restoration shops where craftsmen work to restore and rebuild aircraft to flyable condition.
Also inducted this year were Zack Mosely, who was inducted posthumously, and who flew hundreds of missions for the Civil Air Patrol during World War II and created the nationally syndicated aviation feature "Smilin' Jack," as well as Ed Hoffman, designer and builder of all-wood airplanes. Past inductees have included Paul Tibbetts, pilot of the Enola Gay; Bob White, the first pilot to fly Mach 4, 5 and 6; and John Paul Riddle, founder of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
"I am absolutely humbled to be counted among the great men and great pilots who have been inducted into the Florida Aviation Hall of Fame," said Weeks. "I feel incredibly fortunate to be honored for simply doing what I love."
Anyone may make nominations for the Aviation Hall of Fame but inductees are chosen by the 500 members of the Florida Aviation Historical Society. Three inductees are selected each year.
"This is our way of recognizing leadership and accomplishments in the field of aviation," said Neil Cosentino, spokesman for the Society.
For more information visit www.fantasyofflight.com.
The aviators include Frank Beagle, Bill Adams, Susan Dusenbury, Lee Lauderback, and Phillip J. Lockwood.
Inductees include Lance Neibauer (homebuilders); the late Stephen Pitcairn (vintage aircraft); George Baker (warbirds); Roy Pinner (ultralights); and Paul Sanderson (flight instruction).
Scouts Celebrate 100th Anniversary at Fantasy of Flight's Second Annual Aviation Camporee March 5-7, 2010
Throughout the action-packed weekend in March, the boys will practice their primitive camping skills while participating in a variety of educational and immersive aviation-themed activities.
They are Taras Kiceniuk Jr., Giles Henderson, Clyde Smith Jr., Preston (Pete) Parish, and Wes Schmid.