News Archives 2006-2008

May 14, 2008
Paul Poberezny, Wisconsin History Maker
Wisconsin Historical Society
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Paul H. Poberezny is a member of the 2008 class of Wisconsin History Makers. This is the third award gala conducted by the Wisconsin Historical Society. The historical society annually recognizes individuals for their accomplishments and celebrates their contributions to Wisconsin history.

Admired for his leadership, Poberezny has served on the board of directors of many organizations, large and small. He is, without question, one of the foremost visionaries and innovators in the world of aviation. Paul was recognized with the Seymour Cray Award for Distinction in Technology.

In accepting the award, Poberezny told the audience that his passion for aviation hasn't been so much about airplanes, but rather to help others fulfill their hopes and dreams, and to realize their full potential. "I've enjoyed flying so much that I like to see others enjoy this wonderful, untapped ocean of air above us."

Paul H. Poberezny, Wisconsin History Maker
Paul H. Poberezny, Wisconsin History Maker
(photo courtesy EAA)
May 7, 2008
Gary Dikkers receives WAMA Blue Light Award
Wisconsin Aviation Conference
Appleton, Wisconsin
Gary Dikkers, WAHF member/supporter and Forward in Flight contributor, is the recipient of the 2008 Blue Light Award. The Wisconsin Airport Management Association (WAMA) presents the award for "excellence in reporting Wisconsin aviation news and information." Gary also writes articles for the DOT's employee bulletin, Midwest Flyer, several Air Force publications.

Dikkers, a USAF Academy graduate, served as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Southeast Asia. He also flew the T-38 as an air force instructor and the F-4. He has more than 4000 hours in both military and GA aircraft. Today, he is the Airspace Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Aeronautics.

Gary's articles reflect his in-depth research and attention to detail. He admits considering majoring in military history while at the academy. He would have done well in the role of historian. His writing is one way to address that long ago dream.

Gary Dikkers, Blue Light Award recipient
Gary Dikkers, 2008 WAMA Blue Light Journalism Award
(Tom Thomas photo)
May 19, 2007
Tom Poberezny, 2007 Wisconsin Distinguished Aviator
Deke Slayton Airfest
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Tom Poberezny joined an elite group when he was honored as a Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator at the Deke Slayton Airfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator has, through words and deeds, provided leadership and inspiration to his peers and future generations of aviators. The award recognizes his accomplishments in furthering interest in aviation, to the young and old people alike that make up our aviation system.

"I am very pleased to receive this award in joining outstanding past recipients," Poberezny said. "I accept it with great pride."

The award was presented by 2000 recipient, Astronaut Mark Lee. WAHF inductees James Lovell and Daniel Brandenstein received the same award in 1998 and 2001, respectively.

(l to r) Ron Schmal, air show director; Gen. Al Wilkening (WIANG); Astronaut Mark Lee; Tom Poberezny; and Hamid Quraishi, award chairman for the Deke Slayton Airfest
(photo courtesy EAA)
May 2, 2006
Rose Dorcey receives award
Wisconsin Aviation Conference
Green Bay, Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Airport Management Association presented its 2006 Blue Light Award to WAHF President Rose Dorcey. The annual award recognizes persons in the media who have distinguished themselves by their excellence in reporting on Wisconsin aviation. Dave Jensen, WAMA Board Member, said during the presentation, "WAMA has never received the number of nominations for any award as we did for Rose."

WAHF members are familiar with her work through our quarterly membership magazine, Forward in Aviation. Rose is a contributing editor for Midwest Flyer magazine, Aero News Network, and writes articles for the Middleton Times Tribune and Midwest Aviation & Business Journal. She also edited the recently published WAHF book, Blue Sky Moments.

The award presentation was made during the 2006 Wisconsin Aviation Conference held in Green Bay. WAHF participated in the conference as an exhibitor.

Rose Dorcey 2006 Blue Light Award recipient
Rose Dorcey, 2006 Blue Light Award recipient
(WAHF photo by Tom Thomas)
May 19, 2006
Wisconsin legislature passes bill
Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin

Rick Wolf, son of Fritz Wolf, has convinced Madison area legislators to consider naming a state aviation facility in Madison the Fritz E. Wolf Aviation Center.

Authors of the bill included Senators Mark Miller and Jon Erpenbach along with Representatives Gary Hebl, Terese Berceau, and Brett Davis. Miller is a retired Wisconsin Air National Guard pilot. Hebl is an active general aviation pilot. 

The bill was referred to the senate Transportation and Natural Resources Committee, which heard testimony on Wednesday, February 1, 2006. Four members of the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame attended the hearing. WAHF President Rose Dorcey and member Tom Thomas provided testimony in favor of Senate Bill SB 306.

The Assembly's Transportation Committee took testimony on March 23. Again WAHF was represented by Rose Dorcey and Tom Thomas. Finally, a major push to the Assembly was made by numerous WAHF members as they called for the bill to be voted on prior to recess. The bill passed the Assembly on Thursday, May 4, 2006.

Governor Jim Doyle signed SB306 into law on Friday, May 19, 2006. Thanks to everyone who supported and worked on this bill. It is a fitting tribute to an outstanding individual and aviator.

Senator Mark Miller and Assembltman Gary Hebl flank Rick Wolf
Wisconsin Senator Mark Miller, Rick Wolf, and Wisconsin Assemblyman Gary Hebl
(WAHF photo by Tom Thomas)

Governor Jim Doyle signs SB306 into law May 19 2006
Governor Jim Doyle signs SB306 into law.
(photo courtesy of Wisconsin state senate)


April 14, 2006
John Chmiel named Master CFI
Wausau Downtown Airport
Wausau, Wisconsin
Longtime WAHF member, Wausau airport manager, and flight instructor, John Chmiel, has again been named a "Master CFI" by the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI). John is in rare air with this designation. There are more than 87,000 flight instructors in the country; fewer than 500 are Master CFIs, and just eight of those in Wisconsin.

In addition to his flying duties at Wausau Flying Service, John serves as an Accident Prevention Counselor for the FAA's Milwaukee FSDO.

John Chmiel, Wausau Flying Service and Master CFI
John Chmiel, Master CFI,
Wausau Flying Service
(WAHF photo by Rose Dorcey)

January 2006
WAHF members active in Young Eagles

EAA Young Eagles Program
Madison, Wisconsin

The Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA's) Young Eagles Program provided the 2005 update to its 12-year effort in a recent edition of Sport Aviation. Listed were pilots who provided at least 10 rides during 2005. The list for 2005 includes 12 WAHF members.

A detailed review of EAA records indicates that even more WAHF members have been involved in the program over the years. As of April 2006, 67 WAHF members have flown 5,188 Young Eagle missions. To date, more than 1.2 million young people have received an airplane ride through the program.

WAHF members who have flown Young Eagles missions include: Diane Ballweg, 132; William Bancroft 7; George Bindl, 21; John Chmiel, 184; Tom Chudy, 115; Sydney Cohen, 664; Jack Culley, 9; Mike Demulling, 5; Gary Dikkers, 3;  John Dorcey, 60; Charles Elson, 5; Robert Eskuche, 13;  Duane Esse, 40; Risch Fischler, 1; Dennis Gaulden, 3; Bob Gillette, 180; David Hedgecock, 1; Jim Hein, 38; Glenn Ingram, 35; Bud Jensen, 1; Len Knitter, 25; Sharon Krog, 17, Steve Krog, 152; Bob Kunkel, 55; Bryan Kust, 6; Bernie Laird, 6; Daryl Lenz, 40; Dean London, 66; Dale Machalleck, 13; Mike McArdle, 35; Tom McKenna, 219; Steven McNicoll, 5; William Menzel, 30; Richard Merkley, 7; Rich Morey, 49; Sharon Morey, 3; Don Mosher, 72; Richard Murray, 2; Joe Norris, 18; LJ Obiala, 26; Dan Pawlak, 113; Paul Poberezny, 40; Tom Poberezny, 116; Chuck Pollard, 64; Howard Rand, 3; Quentin Rench, 7; Bill Rewey, 432; Ed Riddick, 155; Donald Ripp, 128; Robert Sather, 14; Jeffery Scherer, 2;  Ron Scott, 3; Jim Sonnleitner, 118; John Stack, 10; Charles Stephenson, 7; Jeffery Taylor, 3; Tomas Thomas, 213; Doug Thomas, 1; Don Voland, 2; Gunter Voltz, 5; Bill Wambach, 552; Robert Ward, 229; David Weiman, 10; Al Whitaker, 37; Ken Whyte, 293; Don Winkler, 30; Robert Wylie, 54.

On behalf of those 5,188 young people that have now experienced the joy and thrill of flight, WAHF is proud to say a sincere thank you.

Tom Thomas (right) with two Young Eagles
Tom Thomas (right) with two Young Eagles
note the big smiles and thumbs up
(submitted photo)


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