Stafford pilot joins spy plane figure, former astronaut in 2021 Aviation Hall of Fame class
STAFF REPORT Sep 25, 2021
The Free Lance-Star
Randall Burdette of Stafford County, a former Army helicopter pilot who went on to head the Virginia Department of Aviation, will be inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame at Shannon Airport on Nov. 13.
Burdette is one of three people who will be added to the Hall of Fame this year, joining retired astronaut Leland Melvin of Lynchburg and the late Francis Gary Powers of Wise, the American spy-plane pilot shot down in 1960 by the Soviet Union.
Burdette retired from the Army in 2004 after a 26-year career, during which he served as a helicopter pilot, commanding officer and military administrator assigned to a wide variety of supervisory posts. He then served the next 14 years as director of the state Department of Aviation.
Burdette is credited with enacting a number of safety improvements to airports in the state and made Virginia the first state in the nation to have instrument approaches to all its public airports, and the first state to have weather reporting at all of its public-owned, public-use airports.
Story credit: The Free Lance-Star, https://fredericksburg.com/news/local/stafford-pilot-joins-spy-plane-figure-former-astronaut-in-2021-aviation-hall-of-fame-class/article_b0376ba5-8de0-50cd-b94c-be149161e333.html