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WACO Pilot Bob Wagner Honored

The 2023 Ivonette Wright Miller Award presented by the National Aviation Heritage Area

The Ivonette Wright Miller Award recognizes a lifetime volunteer in the service of aviation heritage. It is named for the niece of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Bob Wagner was nominated for the award by WACO Air Museum. The presentation was made on Tuesday, August 8 at the National Aviation Heritage Area Annual meeting at the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives in Dunbar Library.

Above: Pat & Bob Wagner, both life members of Aviation Trail

Bob Wagner bio:

Bob is a rated commercial pilot in SEL, SES, MEL, glider and instrument airplane. He has been a certified flight instructor since 1959 in airplane single and multiengine and instrument airplane. He got his aircraft and powerplant mechanic license in 1973 and his FAA inspection authorization in 1976. He served as an FAA designated flight examiner for single engine land and sea and multiengine land aircraft. He has also served as chief pilot for FAA 135 air taxi operation, chief instructor for a FAA 141 flight school and director of maintenance for FAA 135 air taxi operation.

He met his wife - Pat Wagner - at the airport in the mid 60’s when Pat began flying lessons, married her in 1968 and began their wing riding routine in 1971 - although that was not in the marriage contract. They have continued to fly this act for over thirty years. They have had their Stearman in all contiguous 48 states except Rhode Island, all Canadian provinces from Quebec westward to British Columbia, and even through the Caribbean islands to Venezuela. Their Stearman now is on display at the WAAAM Museum in Hood River, Oregon.

Fast forward to 2001 and Bob was flying air shows in a new WACO YMF-5 for WACO Classic Corporation in Battlecreek, Michigan and demonstrating the 1928 Linco WACO Taperwing for Goodrich Corporation at airshows around the country in addition to the wing act, and his comedy antics as “Zeke Devers” a hog farmer, who is attempting his first solo flight in a Citabria.

Bob has served as a consultant with WACO Aircraft providing pilot services, instruction and maintenance on the new production WACO. He has also met and helped assemble their aircraft around the world in Hawaii, England, Germany, Switzerland and Kenya, Africa and checked out their pilots.

Bob and Pat’s love of aviation continues to their “home” life. In 1982 they purchased their own airport in Troy, Ohio- now known as “Wagner International Airport” a grass strip 1900+ feet long from the center of the road to the far fence line with a house and 2 large hangars. Pat’s clipped wing Cub, a Citabria and a joint-owned Aeronca Champ are based there.

Bob and Pat are members of numerous aviation and museum organizations and enjoy volunteering in their spare time. You can often find Bob flying “Sunny” around the blue skies of Troy, Ohio.

Photo below - Bob with WACO personnel and supporters at the award presentation.

Left to right - Betty Darst, Nancy Royer (Executive Director of WACO Airfield & Museum), Rachel Currie, Patty Wagner, Bob Wagner, Dawn Currie, John Schilling, and Reta Wagner.

WACO Air Museum & Learning Center • 1865 S. County Rd. 25A • Troy, OH 45373 • 937-335-9226


WACO Air Museum & Learning Center is Site #11 on the Aviation Trail


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