Fred Womack is a native of McMinn County, born in Riceville. He graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1963 and began became two successful and extraordinary careers with both the airlines and the military. During Fred's distinguished military career he earned numerous positions of leadership. Following completion of U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training in 1966 he returned home to the 134th Fighter Interceptor Group at McGee Tyson Airport where he served as Safety Officer, Instructor Pilot, Group Operations Officer, Chief of Command Control and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He graduated from the Air War College in 1984 and later became the Commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard. A Command Pilot with more than 20,000 hours in the T-37, T-38, KC-97, KC-135, Martin 404, YS-11 and Boeing 737, 757 and 767, Womack has received many awards and commendations during his career including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the coveted Tactical Air Command Aircrew Achievement Award.
Fred's airline career began in 1967 when he became a first officer with Piedmont Airlines where he attained the rank of Captain in 1974. In 1979, he was selected to be Piedmont Airline's Director of Operations followed by designation as Director of Flight Operations & Flying Safety in 1985, a position held until he retired in 1989. During his airline career, he served as Chairman of the prestigious Airline Transport Association's Flight Systems Integration Committee working closely with the FAA on complex issues involving cockpit design, human factors and developing technologies. He was named Project Manager for the development and implementation of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an advanced technological safety system now found in today's airline cockpits around the world.
In retirement Fred Womack has remained active in aviation, serving as a Senior Consultant to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Board of Directors of EAA Warbirds of America, the T-34 Association, QB's, AOPA and as C.O of Tennessee First Squadron - EAA Warbirds of America.
Biography courtesy of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. The Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, Inc. is a non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to preserving Tennessee¹s aviation history, advancing aviation education, and to honoring those who have made extraordinary contributions to aviation and aerospace.
Teresa and Fred Womack pose with Fred’s enshrinement plaque, November 15, 2008 after the ceremony.
Left to right: Capt. Gene Sharp, Capt. Glenn Harr, and Capt. Fred Womack all formerly of Piedmont Airlines, with Fred’s enshrinement plaque.