Legendary Flight Instructor Herbert W. (Bill) Powley to be Inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame


Kalamazoo, MI, July 17, 2023 – The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has recognized Lt. Col. Herbert W. (Bill) Powley, USAF (Ret.), as the 2023 inductee into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. Powley joins an elite group of individuals who have been recognized for their significant contributions to flight instruction.

“We are honored to induct Lt. Col Powley into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame,” said NAFI Chairperson, Karen Kalishek. “His lifelong dedication to flight instruction and aviation safety has touched thousands of lives and serves as an inspiration to flight instructors everywhere.”

The induction ceremony will be held during the NAFI membership breakfast at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 8:00 am. NAFI sponsors and administrators of the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame, but does not participate in the judging, which is done by a selection committee.

Powley graduated from the Air Force Academy and served more than 23 years as a fighter pilot, flight instructor, and test pilot, including two tours in Vietnam flying 347 missions in the F-4 and A-7. After his retirement from the Air Force in 1991, Powley continued to share his passion for aviation by volunteering his time to train pilots. He founded FLIGHT Foundation (Flight Lesson Instructional Grants Helping Teens) and has personally raised over $1.9 million. He has flown almost 12,000 students on more than 4,000 discovery flights, most of which were free.

Powley has been an active member and leader in many aviation organizations, including the Soaring Society of America, and the Experimental Aircraft Association and NAFI.  In 2010 he received the A Scott Crossfield Aerospace Science Teacher of the Year Award for the from the National Aviation Hall of Fame. The Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame (TAHOF) created a special award to recognize him that same year (Tennessee Aviation Person of the Year). In 2011 he received Tennessee’s highest aviation recognition -the Career Contributions to Aviation Award and, in 2013, was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall-of-Fame.

About the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

The Flight Instructor Hall of Fame was established to honor flight instructors who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction. The honor highlights the important role flight instructors play as a foundation for the safety of the entire national air transportation system.

About NAFI

NAFI is the administrator of the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. NAFI is dedicated to providing support and recognition for flight instructors, increasing their professionalism, and strengthening their voice in the aviation industry. NAFI’s membership is open to flight instructors, student pilots, and others in the aviation community. NAFI programs and membership provide a way for instructors to work together to promote aviation safety and education.