Former Albany resident going into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame


    Photo: MGN Online & Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame

    ALBANY, Ga. - A former Albany resident is being inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame this year.

    Captain Norman Topshe will be inducted along with two other Georgians on April 27.

    The GAHoF released the following synopsis of Topshe's achievements:

    Captain Norman Topshe officially soloed July 5, 1936 in Albany, Georgia. He received his private license on June 14, 1938. He accepted a position as pilot with Delta Air Lines, where he quickly became a captain and remained in the position until 1974. He served as a liaison between the pilots and top management for an additional 17 years. In early 1940’s he was elected chairman of the Airline Pilots Union for Delta, then chairman of the negotiating committee for the pilot’s contract. In mid-1945 he was elected as chairman of the Master Executive Council (MEC). During this time he co-founded and promoted the Pilot’s Mutual Aid Association, which today is a multi-million dollar organization that protects pilots during illness or disability. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s Captain Topshe was appointed chairman of the Retirement and Insurance Committee of Delta pilots. In the mid 1950’s he was appointed chairman of the Pilots Grievance Committee and Contract Administrations. Captain Topshe was also a chief negotiator of most pilot contracts. In the summer of 1993 when he was 79 years old, Captain Topshe located and flew Delta’s first DC-3 from San Juan Puerto Rico to Ft. Lauderdale Fl. and then onto Atlanta. This is the aircraft currently on display at Delta's Flight Museum near its worldwide headquarters adjacent to the Atlanta airport. Captain Topshe’s career with Delta Airlines spanned 52 years, and during this period he accumulated 33,000 hours flight time.

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