LOCAL aerobatics LEGEND, DEBBY RIHN-HARVEY, TAKES TO THE SKIES at wings over houston airshow in 2023
World Aerobatic Champion
Debby Rihn-Harvey is the longest standing member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Team, qualifying to represent the U.S. sixteen times in World Aerobatic Championships in North America and Europe. In world competition, Rihn-Harvey has been a two-time Gold Medalist as well as holding many regional titles and three National Championships. As a tribute to her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003, the EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame in 2015. She received the Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, the International Ninety Nine’s Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation in 2012, and in 2016 the FAI International Tissandier Diploma for outstanding contributions to aeronautics and astronautics.
This native Nebraskan is the third generation of aviators in her family. Her grandfather, Roy Furstenberg, manufactured the Overland Sport Aircraft in Omaha in the 1920’s, while her father, Jack Furstenberg, began teaching her to fly in her teens.
“Skydancers” (2014) Documentary Featuring Debby Rihn-Harvey:
In 2014, Netflix released a documentary featuring the eight females competing in the World Aerobatic Championships that took place in Texas in 2013. Debby Rihn-Harvey took center stage in the documentary and was a wonderful spokeswoman of aviation, especially women in aviation. Check out this trailer for “Skydancers”, and watch the documentary for free on Plex.com.
Rihn-Harvey is a retired Captain for Southwest Airlines. Besides the many hours of practice it took for competition and airshow flying, she has managed a flight school and fixed-base operation at La Porte Municipal Airport, known as Harvey & Rihn Aviation for 40+ years. The aerobatics school attracts pilots from around the world. Rihn-Harvey is also an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator (ACE) for the International Council of Airshows and an FAA Designated Flight Examiner who administers flight exams for Private Pilot through Airline Transport Pilot certificates.
Don’t Miss Debby in October!
In addition to the phenomenal military pilots and demonstration teams, we’re very fortunate to have some of the best civilian pilots in the world flying at the 2023 CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow on October 14th & 15th. In today’s Insider feature we’ll take a closer look at Debby Rihn-Harvey. She is one of the highest ranked aerobatic competitors in the United States. Even better, Debby teaches people how to fly aerobatics at her flight school in La Porte Municipal Airport, Texas.
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