Bob Kunkel, former Bureau of Aeronautics Director in Wisconsin, is one of five aviation notables to be inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010, joining nearly 100 men and women who have been honored since 1986. The October 25th event will be held at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"I’m honored to be inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame," said Kunkel. He will be joining such notables as Paul and Tom Poberezney, Steve Wittman, Jim Lovell, Richard Bong, Billy Mitchell and Fritz Wolf. "Wisconsin has a rich history in Aviation," said Kunkel. "I was very fortunate to work for, work with or know very well, many of the inductees in the Hall of Fame. Every last one of them worked towards the betterment of Wisconsin Aviation."
Born in Anaconda, Montana, in 1942, Bob Kunkel began flying in 1965. He served two tours in Vietnam as a Seabee, working on airport and road construction projects. Bob came to Wisconsin in 1970 as an airport planning engineer with the Wisconsin Division of Aeronautics. He earned commercial, instrument, flight instructor, multi-engine, and seaplane certificates and ratings, and worked as a part time flight instructor.
As Director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics, Kunkel oversaw all state and federal airport aid projects in the state, and served as national chair for NASAO. He retired in 2000, and then worked as a senior aviation consultant for Mead & Hunt Engineering.
"I worked 31 years for the State of Wisconsin Aeronautics and now almost 10 years for an Airport Consulting firm," said Kunkel. "It’s been a great career." Kunkel also combined his career with his avocation. "My flying club activities, including flight instruction, made aviation the center of my life focus, said Kunkel.
The mission of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame is to collect and preserve the history of aviation in Wisconsin, recognize those who made that history, inform others of it, and promote aviation education to future generations.