JB, Nancy and Janet Marshall wanted to pay tribute to their friend, Dr Bill Black, who passed away earlier this year.
The Marshall family established the Dr. Bill Black Flight Scholarship Fund which will continue Black’s legacy and love for aviation.
Morristown Chapter 1494 of the Experimental Aircraft Association hosted a luncheon on Saturday in honor of the first recipient of this scholarship, Neva Poling.
“With Bill’s love for aviation, all the students he has flown with and cheering everyone on, we just wanted to express our appreciation for him to be right here to support all of our students in the air,” said Nancy Marshall. “It was in our hearts to do something for her memory.”
“He was here whenever he could be,” said EAA 1494 president Karen Hughes Collins. “His old plane is here at our flight school. He drove Young Eagles, Eagles, he was such a fan. We really miss him.
Nancy Marshall said Black also flew instructors.
“Some of them wanted to get more multi-engine hours and just more instrument time,” Nancy said. “He always wanted to fly somewhere. He didn’t care who or what it was, he just loved to fly.
Through the award and by telling and retelling the stories of Black’s journey in aviation and his love of sharing aviation with others, Poling and future students will come to know and appreciate his passion for aviation, the flight training and his desire to have a positive impact on those around him.
Current Ray Scholar Fellows Adam Gillespie, Poling and Samuel Posth were also honored at the lunch. Those who obtained their private pilot license in 2020-21 were also greeted over lunch.
Black died on February 22 at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Black was an obstetrician / gynecologist at the Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System, an EOA member, an instructor at Lincoln Memorial University, a SWAT reserve physician, and enjoyed working in his backyard.
Hughes-Collins’ next project is to establish a fund for those working towards obtaining their pilot’s license so that they can take their training without worrying about finances.
“Most of our new pilots are students, and they work part-time and don’t have a lot of money,” she said. “They need to stay on top of their theft. We would love to see them take someone with them to fly, be it another pilot (or) their neighbor and just share their love of flying.
Three of the young people, Ben Green, Nick Campolo and Poling, are responsible for jointly developing a program for this purpose.
“We expect them to pitch it,” said Hughes-Collins. “We have a lot of people who I think would help fund something like that.”
Hughes-Collins said the club were fortunate enough to be able to come together face to face this year after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“It was amazing,” she said. “We have been blessed. People funded specific scholarships right away. We had three Ray scholarships funded by the Ray Foundation through the EAA. We find a local candidate. We were funded for a second Ray scholarship, which is our third. It really helped.
“We have young people here, so they’re starting to get involved and volunteer,” she said. “This is what we love to see.”
Hughes-Collins said the EAA section has nine fellows in 2020 and 2021 to obtain their pilot licenses.
“I’m just amazed at what’s going on,” she said.
Ray scholarships are valued at $ 10,000 per student.
For more information on EAA Chapter 1494, contact Hughes-Collins at 865-274-2788.