Edward Beegles - Honored 1988
Ed Beegles was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado in 1922. His first flight was from the frozen surface of Lake Loveland when he was sixteen. He left the farm to attend Spartan School of Aeronautics on a work-study program. He soloed in July 1938 in a Taylorcraft A-40.
Ed attended schools at Pratt and Whitney, Beech and Curtis-Wright Technical Institutes. During WWII, "Slim" and was a certified Aviation Machinists Mate in the Navy. He served on light-escort-carriers that gave him lots of experience with round engines, experience that helps him to this day as he serves the agricultural applicators and owners of antique aircraft in the Greeley area and the remainder of the state.
After WWII, Ed purchased surplus Stearmans and N-3Ns, for about $300-$400, and converting them to spraying planes. He then helped keep them in the air, despite heavy service. Some days he would find as many a ten planes in front of his Greeley hangar, all needing to be ready for an early morning flight.
Any number of Colorado pilots may have landed more damaged planes than Ed, but Ed may hold the record for more damaged plane takeoffs! He became a master applicator of 100-mph duct tape, coat hanger and angle iron fixes that put together damaged planes so they might be ferried to his repair depot.
At the time of his induction into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame he had accumulated over 6000 flying hours, flying all kinds of aircraft. He held private and commercial licenses, and A&E, Maintenance Inspector (DAMI) and Aviation Authority (IA) certifications.
Ed retired in the mid-1980s a few but still offered help to many pilots and plane owners who have a need for expertise on their antiques and homebuilts. There is always time in Ed's day to share information on old planes and their parts. Ed is an expert restorer and has put many planes back in the air after their life was seemingly over.
Ed has a lifetime of encouragement to young people and has seen many of his young friends enter this field as pilots, mechanics, and in other jobs in the aviation industry. Ed has been active in the Antique Airplane Association, and flies his nationally known Luscombe Observer to activities where he can share his talents and know-how with others.
Ed passed away December 24, 2011.