Forrest Lovley of Jordan, Minnesota, who has more than a half-century of aircraft restoration and building experience, will be honored by EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association division on November 10 with his induction to the Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame. Lovley is one of five individuals to be honored that evening with various EAA halls of fame inductions.
Lovley has had a lifelong passion for vintage aviation, as he learned to fly as a high school student in Minnesota and at age 18, just after graduation, made a solo flight from Minneapolis to Maine and returned in a Model A-powered Pietenpol Air Camper, which had been built in 1933, some 30 years earlier. After serving in the U.S. Army Airborne Corps, Lovley returned to Minnesota to raise a family while also restoring a large number of antique airplanes.
Among the more than 15 vintage aircraft Lovley has restored are vintage Waco and Pietenpol airplanes. In addition, his award-winning restorations included an original Model A Pietenpol Sky Scout with a Chevrolet Vega auto engine, which received Best Auto-Powered Homebuilt at the 1972 EAA Fly-In Convention at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Five years later, he restored the Kari-Keen Sioux Coupe, one of the only 32 Kari-Keen Sioux Coupes ever built, which won the event’s 1977 Grand Champion Antique award. In 1980, Forrest rebuilt the Wittman Big X, a one-of-a-kind build from 1945 by the legendary air racer and designer Steve Wittman.
Along with his restoration skills, Lovley is renowned throughout the vintage aircraft community for his knowledge of aviation history, as well as aircraft types, engines, and more. That knowledge has served countless aviators who have sought him out for advice and guidance for their own projects.