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Norris To Receive EAA's Tony Bingelis Award

Norris' career filled with notable contributions to aviation safety, homebuilt projects

Joe Norris

Joe Norris

June 28, 2012 - EAA announced today that Joe Norris, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the 2012 recipient of EAA's Tony Bingelis Award, recognizing his involvement as an active volunteer technical counselor and aircraft builder. Norris has been involved in the aviation community since his first trip to EAA Fly-In Convention in 1970.

Joining EAA in 1976 and earning his private pilot certificate in 1978, Norris was a founding member of EAA Chapter 706 (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin), where he served as president, vice president, newsletter editor, and director and technical counselor over the years.

Norris, a founding member of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council, has dedicated much of his life to ensuring aircraft safety in the homebuilder community, serving as an EAA technical counselor for more than two decades, as well as an EAA flight advisor, an airplane and helicopter instructor, and an FAA designated airworthiness representative. In 2001, he was hired as a senior aviation specialist in EAA's aviation services department before becoming EAA's homebuilders community manager, a role from which he retired in April 2011.

In addition to helping others ensure safety, Norris acquired and worked on several aircraft throughout his life, including a 1955 Piper Tri-Pacer that he converted to a PA-20 Pacer (tailwheel) configuration. Also included in his "fleet": a Sonerai II, a 1940 Piper J-5A Cub Cruiser, Pitts Special S-1C, Cessna 180, 1957 Piper PA-18 Super Cub, and Waco UPF-7.

Today, Norris is a member of Oshkosh's EAA Chapter 252 as well as Chapter 640 in Wausau, as well as the Vintage Aircraft Association. Though he has sold most of his airplanes, he continues to fly regularly and is an active member of the aviation community.

Norris will receive the Bingelis Award on Thursday, July 26, at the annual Homebuilders Dinner held at the Nature Center. Tickets for the dinner will be available during AirVenture at Homebuilders Headquarters on the EAA grounds.

The Tony Bingelis Award was created in 2002 to recognize a member from the aviation community who has contributed to homebuilt projects and safety promotion while maintaining EAA values. The award honors the late Tony Bingelis, who was noted as a homebuilding authority and EAA Sport Aviation columnist.

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