Keeping Pilots Safe.
Safeguarding the future of GA.

Hat in the Ring Society Members

AOPA Foundation Hat in the Ring Society


Harrison Ford, Co-Chairman

Harrison Ford, Co-Chair

With instrument and fixed-wing single- and multiengine ratings and a helicopter certificate, Harrison Ford is an experienced pilot who values the utility and joys of aviation. Channeling his passion for the industry, Ford touts its benefits to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Morgan Freeman, Co-Chairman

Morgan Freeman, Co-Chair

Morgan Freeman joined AOPA soon after passing his check ride, and is proud to call himself a Hat in the Ring Society member. Morgan began flying only 10 years ago and like many pilots he wishes he’d started sooner. The more he flies the more he realizes that America’s general aviation system is truly a national treasure, and that as pilots we have a significant duty to protect that treasure.

Hat in the Ring Society

Hear Hat in the Ring Society Member Paul Diette talk about the program. Find out why you should join this group of leaders who take enormous pride in shaping and strengthening our freedom to fly.

Hat in the Ring Member of the Month

William DuboisWilliam E. Dubois—a multi award-winning author, writer, and columnist—has been an AOPA member since 1983. Over the last decade he’s written extensively in the healthcare sphere, with four books and more than 275 articles published, and his work translated into German, Russian, and Spanish. But in the last year, Dubois’ pen really took wing. Recent “FlyWriting” by Dubois includes pieces for AOPA Pilot, Smithsonian Air & Space, Coupe Capers, and numerous upcoming articles for Flight Training Magazine.

Dubois has a passion for education, and in addition to using his pen as a teaching tool, he loves to introduce young people to aviation with creative in-person presentations and field trips. (See “How to fly an airplane” in the November issue of Pilot.) He also volunteers his time and talents as a pilot for “SciFly Missions,” assisting local research scientists. His most recent adventure was flying search patterns to locate, of all things, radio-tagged snapping turtles.

Dubois holds a degree in Aviation Technology from Aims College in Colorado, a commercial ticket with an instrument rating, a ground instructor certificate with advanced and instrument ratings, and a National Aeronautic Association Sporting License. His logbook shows 22 types of aircraft, from light sport to light twins. Oh, and one hour in a helicopter, too.

In the summer of 2013 Dubois and his family became first-time airplane owners, purchasing and renovating N3976H, a 1947 Ercoupe 415-CD. The plane’s Ercoupe memorabilia-filled hangar at the Route 66 Airport in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, was showcased in the “Pilot Caves” column in Sport Aviation.

Dubois is an active supporter of AOPA’s legislative advocacy, and a huge fan of the proactive missions of the Hat in the Ring Society to preserve community airports, grow the pilot population, and develop and deliver safety education. Dubois says, “Just like one article can touch thousands of people I’ll never meet, donating the cost of one hour of flight time a month to Hat in the Ring Society can help thousands of pilots I’ll never get to fly with. Talk about paying it forward!”

Dubois chronicles his personal flying adventures at

Thank you to all of our 2015 Hat in the Ring Members!

  • Robert Agnew
  • Ronald Baade
  • James Barrett
  • James Baum
  • Stephen Bell
  • James Bersig
  • Jim Black
  • William Borchert
  • Joe Bouley
  • Robert Brahm
  • Peter Chmelir
  • Dave Coulier
  • John Cummings
  • Doc D'Errico
  • Tony DuBose
  • Ray Ebner III
  • Harrison Ford
  • Tim Fortune
  • Morgan Freeman
  • John Gaither Jr.
  • James Gorman
  • Michael Goulian
  • Mike Gourley
  • Kenneth Guthrie
  • Rodney Harbin
  • David Hawkins
  • Calvin Hunziker Jr.
  • Rich Iott
  • Scott Johnson
  • Spring Johnson
  • Samantha Johnson
  • Kenneth Jones
  • Steven Kaplan
  • Neil Kaye
  • Todd Kimmes
  • Richard Kissinger
  • Morrie Krasner
  • John Krystyniak
  • Arthur Kudner III
  • Skip Lehman
  • Mark Leise
  • Ken Lux
  • Rory McMinn
  • Chris Meloni
  • Robert Miller
  • Michael Miller
  • John Mullins
  • Michael Overholzer
  • Vincent Panvini Jr.
  • John Parker
  • Susan Parson
  • Jeffrey Poplin
  • Christopher Quincannon
  • Craig Raabe
  • Herbert Rosenthal
  • Donald Scattergood
  • Gary Schaffer
  • Jack Schulte
  • Neil Sherman
  • Jeffrey Siegal
  • Old Bob Siegfried
  • Thelma Jean Siegfried
  • Alicia Sikes
  • Kirby Smith III
  • Robert Thompson
  • Ivan Truyaert Jr.
  • Pete Turecek
  • Joseph Usibelli
  • James Van Hook
  • Karl Voigt
  • Gregory Walker
  • Claus Weisemann
  • Stuart Woods

Hat in the Ring:

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Hat in the Ring Society Events

AOPA President Mark Baker presents to Hat in the Ring Society members at the Chino Fly-In.

Meet and mingle with fellow society members at these upcoming events:

AOPA President Mark Baker speaks to Hat in the Ring Society members at the Chino Fly-In.

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