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.
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 Air Force
Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association and NAFI.
In 2010 he received the A Scott Crossfield Aerospace Science Teacher of the Year Award 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.