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Sun, Apr 24, 2005

Georgia Aviation Hall Of Fame Inducts New Members

Ceremony Saturday Evening

The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame inducted four new members Saturday evening at the Museum of Aviation's Century of Flight hangar. Aldine "Al" Patton, Thomas "Pre" Ball, Hollis Harris and Robert Sprayberry are the new members inducted to the Hall of Fame in this year's banquet.

The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame promotes and encourages "the growth and public support of aviation within the state of Georgia." They honor aviation leaders to preserve their memories and to record their contributions and achievements. The Macon Telegraph reported that local news anchor, Wes Sarginson, was scheduled to emcee the event beginning at 6 p.m.

Patton is a Marine Lieutenant Colonel who has designed, restored or built more than a dozen aircraft. He's also conducted the initial test flight for over 30 experimental aircraft. He was the founder of the EAA chapter in Augusta. He was also named Boshears Fly-In aviator of the year in 1993.

Ball is a retired Air Force Colonel and a Delta Airlines executive. He started with Delta in 1936, and retired in 1971 as the Vice President of flight operations. He joined the Army Air Corps after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and was promoted to Colonel in Three years. After the war, he became Delta's chief pilot. During his career, he set several national speed records in commercial aircraft.

Harris served with the Army during the Korean War and later worked in executive positions with four airlines He became the president of Delta, before joining Continental as chairman, president, and CEO. He joined Air Canada in 1990, and became chairman, president, and CEO of World Airways in 1999.

Sprayberry, a retired Army Colonel, spent 33 years with the military and then 12 years as a pilot for Fulton County. He had been the personal pilot of two Georgia Governors and for a Texas Senator who later became the President (Lyndon Johnson). Sprayberry served on the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame board starting in 1991. He filled a variety of positions, including chairman before his death in 2003.

FMI: www.museumofaviation.org

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