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Peter H. "Pete" Burgher

Pete Burgher


Pete Burgher was born July 18, 1932, in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Later becoming a pilot, world traveler, author, and aviation record holder, Pete's love of aviation started at age six when he rode shotgun for his uncle delivering new Luscombe aircraft to customers in the eastern states. He received his private pilot's license in 1960, and holds additional ratings of commercial pilot with instruments and multi-engine land and sea. He has a total of 7,000 accident-free hours.

Pete's professional career started at Santa Barbara College in 1950, where he majored in political science. He went on to earn a Master's Degree from Columbia University in 1956, and from there began work at the international accounting firm of Arthur Young and Company, where he was made partner in charge of Michigan offices in 1972. He retired from Young and Company in 1979.

In 1980, Pete purchased Marelco Power Systems in Howell, Michigan. During the ensuing years, Pete's interest in aviation continued to develop, eventually leading him to become the Acting Chairman of the Rhode Island Governors Air Transportation Development Committee, chairman of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission from 1975-76, and the AOPA's regional representative from 1985-1994. Pete also founded the Flight Freedom Foundation Inc., to preserve and protect the general aviation system in 1994.

Pete has set 56 world class and U.S. National records flying his MX-1 Ultralite from Detroit to St. Petersburg, Florida during the week of July 25-31, 1982. He also set a world record flying his twin Comanche from Fort Myers to New Orleans in October, 1991.
Peter H. "Pete" Burgher was enshrined on October 14, 1995 for his lifelong dedication to general aviation, the community, and education.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program