Ed and Connie Bowlin of Griffin, Georgia, have spent over 30 years together pursuing their aviation interests. Both were fascinated with flight at an early age. Ed took his first flying lesson at age 16 and joined the Tennessee Air National Guard (ANG) when he finished high school. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant, he received his Air Force pilot wings and flew a variety of aircraft during 15 years of service. Ed then joined Delta Airlines as a pilot initially flying DC-3s. Connie joined Delta as a flight attendant after graduating from college. The two met in 1972 in Little Rock, Arkansas. They were married in 1974 and moved to a fly-in community in Griffin where Connie earned her pilot license. She became a Delta pilot in 1978, the fourth female pilot in Delta's history.
Connie flew the 727, DC-9, MD-88, B-767 and B-757. Ed spent 34 years with Delta, and retired as a 767 captain in 1990, while Connie retired as a 767 captain in 2003 after 33 years of service.
As owners of an aircraft sales and consulting business, the Bowlins owned over 250 airplanes, including classic warplanes such as the T-6, T-33 and P-51. They are well known in the aviation community whether flying a pair of P-51s or as the only husband and wife team qualified to fly B-17s. Since 1956, when Ed performed his first flight demonstration, the Bowlins have displayed their flying skills in air shows flying historic aircraft to educate, inspire and honor others. As members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and its Warbirds of America division, Ed and Connie were instrumental in establishing the "Warbirds in Review." Through this program, prominent aviators reunite with the aircraft they flew in a setting that allows public interaction with the pilots. The Bowlins have also been very active in the EAA's "Young Eagles Program" designed to introduce future generations to flying.
Over the years, the Bowlins have published numerous articles on aviation and worked on various committees including the Federal Aviation Administration's General Aviation Advisory Board emphasizing pilot training and safety issues. The Bowlins participated in the initial structuring of several national programs including the National Designated Pilot Examiner, Formation and Safety Training and the Fighter Formation program. Their most recent endeavors include participating in the development of a fly-in community in the north Georgia mountains and partnering with a retired Air Force Colonel in raising funds for charity to bring impoverished Eastern European children to the U.S. for education. In 1999 Connie was inducted into the American Fighter Aces Association as an Honorary Ace.
In recognition of their distinguished contributions to the field of aviation, Ed and Connie Bowlin were enshrined into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on February 14, 2009.