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West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, located at NCWV Airport, announces honorees for Class of 2023

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Release from NRGRDA / Connect Bridgeport

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The West Virginia Airport Managers Association has announced the selection of two new inductees into the West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.

Thomas R. Cochran, Director of Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, WV, and Perry E. Dillon formerly of Elkins, WV, were selected. 

Cochran began his aviation career as an aircraft mechanic for Trans World Airlines in Washington DC before returning to West Virginia in 1971. It was here Tom’s true influence took shape as he guided Raleigh County Memorial Airport’s path forward. With his foresight and collaborative approach, Tom not only ensured the airport flourished, but that the region did as well. His commitment to economic diversification led to corporate hangar and industrial park developments, partnerships with higher education institutions providing a pathway for training for those seeking positions in aerospace technology, and passenger experience upgrades. His influence on aviation in southern West Virginia is unmatched to date. 

Dillon was a dedicated commercial airline pilot, launching his career at Lake Central Airlines in 1964 after overcoming many obstacles in his pursuit of his dream. His successful career as a pilot spanned 38 years. His legacy continues today as Perry was a founding member of the Elkins Pilots Club as well as the club’s first instructor; allowing others to earn their wings and experience the joy of aviation. Mr. Dillion will be inducted posthumously, having passed away in 2021 at the age of 84.

Tom and Perry will be formally inducted during a ceremony on July 31, 2023, at the Canaan Valley Resort in Davis, West Virginia, beginning at 5:30 pm. Tickets to the event can be purchased for $60 by contacting: [email protected]

NRGRDA’s Executive Director Jina Belcher and Thomas R. Cochran, Director of Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, WV

See more at NRGRDA – Full article by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on June 15, 2023

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