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

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.

Lt. Col. Herbert W. (Bill) Powley, USAF (Ret.)

“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.