Lt. Col. Robert Phillips - USAF (Retired) - Winter Park, FLe

Robert Patrick Phillips is deserving of this award because he generously gives of his time and talents to individuals and organizations throughout the Central FL area. He believes in service before self. He truly puts himself in each person’s situation as he works in the aviation field.

He is actively involved in the Orlando Rotary Club where is has been presented with 3 Paul Harris Fellow Awards. Pat serves on the membership committee and has convinced his club that everyone is on that committee. Everyone should be recruiting new members so they can continue all the projects the club does to support the local Orlando community. He thoroughly enjoyed organizing the downtown Orlando Christmas Parade and has already begun working on next year’s parade.

Pat continues to promote World War II veterans by driving them in local parades in his antique cars. These veterans have become great friends. He has also arranged for them to speak at local events and the people love hearing them. This is educational for the audience and exciting for the veterans. He is a veteran himself and loves encouraging and promoting other veterans.

He has enjoyed serving on the selection committee for the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has been impressed by the students he has interviewed and looks forward to continuing to serve. He volunteers to do legal work for the Orlando Youth Aviation Center and the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 74 in Orlando. He has served for many years on EAA’s legal advisory counsel where he gives advice to those in the aviation field. Though he is very busy, he always finds time to listen, give advice and support to all who ask. Pat is passionate about his daily work as well as his volunteer work and serving others in the community.


  • Winter Park Elementary School
  • Glenridge Middle School
  • Winter Park High School, 1961
  • University of Florida, BS Economics, 1966
  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, JD, 1975


  • Lt. Col., United States Air Force Reserve – Retired Commissioned 2nd Lt., 1966
  • Graduate USAF Pilot Training, 1967
  • C-7A Caribou, Aircraft Commander
  • Flew 850 Combat hours in Vietnam, 1968 -1969
  • C-141 Starlifter, Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot, 1969 -1973
  • Flew into almost every Nation in the Free World
  • Flew numerous Special missions
  • Twenty First Air Force High Time Flying Award, 1971
  • U. S. Air Force Reserve Duty, Reserve Assistance Officer for U.S. Air Force Liaison Officer to Florida Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP), 1975 – 1993


  • Soloed Orlando Executive Airport at age 16,1959 Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)
  • Type Ratings: DeHavilland DHC-4, Lockheed 300
  • FAA Flight and Ground Instructor Certificate Single and Multi-Engine Airplanes and Instrument- 1965 to 2019
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificate
  • Level 1 Unrestricted Low Level Aerobatic Waiver for Stearman Aircraft 1988 to 2006 The Federal Aviation Administration, Wright Brothers’ “Master Pilot” Award 2013


  • Private law practice Orlando, Florida, 1975- Present
  • Self-Employed: Practices law in Commercial Transactions, Real Estate, Civil Airman Medical Certificate issues and Criminal litigation in State and Federal Courts, including defense of Airman and Mechanic FAA
  • Certificate Enforcement Actions
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV rated attorney (Highest Rating)
  • Florida Bar Board Certified in Aviation Law 1997 – Present


  • Unwary Pilots Beware: FAR Violations = Criminal Penalties, Sport Aviation, November 1993, Vol. 42, No. 11.
  • Pilots: Beware of Your Logbook Entries@, Sport Aviation, March 1996, Vol. 45, No. 3.
  • What We Should Know About Ultralights, Sport Aviation, May 1977, Vol. 46, No. 5. May
  • I Work on My Own Airplane?, Sport Aviation, May 1998, Vol. 47, No.5.
  • Oh No! Not Another Tower!, Sport Aviation, May 1999, Vol. 48, No. 5.
  • Waiver & Releases, Sport Aviation, February 2000, Vol. 49, No. 2.
  • Homebuilders Beware when you have someone build your amateur-built aircraft, Sport Aviation, July 2001, Vol. 50, No. 7.


  • Chairman of F-4 Phantom Project at Col. Joe Kittinger Park in Orlando, FL-2014
  • Pat was chairman of the committee who brought an F-4 Phantom to Col. Joe Kittinger Park in Orlando. He organized many volunteers who each donated their time and talents to restoring and then erecting the F-4 on a pedestal in the park located at the southwest corner of Orlando Executive Airport. This was a huge project and required many hours of volunteer time on his part to contact the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH and arrange for the plane to be on loan to us. He contacted the Orlando Mayor’s office to get their support and then began holding weekly meetings. He hired a moving company to transport the plane from Texas to Florida and then arranged for volunteers to restore it to its original paint scheme.
  • He organized two fundraisers to raise the funds for this project which was to honor all Viet Nam veterans. One was held at La Cantina Steak House, a local restaurant and the other at Orlando Executive Airport in the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s building. Both included a dinner and live and silent auctions. Pat’s hard work and dedication to this project enabled the Kittinger F-4 project to become a reality and now everyone enjoys seeing it from the 408 East-West Expressway or stopping by the Col. Joe Kittinger Park and enjoying lunch while looking at the beautiful F-4 on display.
  • Drives World War II veterans in annual Orlando Veterans’ Parade with the Central FL Chapter of the Air Force Association-2010 to present
  • For many years, Pat has taken World War II veterans in his Model Ts and Model A. He has three cars so he invites two friends to join him and help drive the veterans. He has purchased magnetic signs with the veterans’ names on them and they are placed on both sides of the cars. Spectators enjoy waving and saluting the veterans as they proceed along the parade route. This is a special day each year and he looks forward to driving the veterans.
  • Pat also drives these same World War II veterans in the Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year. The day begins with a brunch on the sidewalk at the north end of Park Avenue where the pubic is invited to stop by and visit with the veterans. The antique cars are lined up with the veterans’ signs on each side telling their names, rank and a little about their service. A color guard from the University of Central Florida always walks in front of the veterans as we drive down Park Avenue. It’s always an exciting and fun day for everyone. The goal is to make the World War II veterans feel special and appreciated. Pat feels it is an honor to do this each year.
  • Attends annual Armed Forces Day Gathering-2014-present
  • Pat attended this for several years and was very happy when he got the Air Force Association to join the other branches of the military for this annual event.
  • Attends annual July 4th Program at Orlando International Airport-2014-present
  • Pat was honored with the GOAA/Col. Joe Kittinger Award in 2014 for all his support of the veterans’ projects; especially the Kittinger F-4 Phantom located in Col. Joe Kittinger Park in Orlando which honors all Viet Nam veterans.
  • Attends and supports the annual Memorial Day program at Glen Haven Memorial Park-2014- present.


  • Rotary Club of Orlando, largest Rotary Club in Central Florida, 1996 to Present, Director 2002 to 2006, 2014 to present,
  • President Elect 2017-2018 and current President 2018-2019
  • Pat is president of The Rotary Club of Orlando. His greatest contribution this year was organizing a Christmas Parade in downtown Orlando. This was a huge project and required months of planning, attending meetings, recruiting volunteers and staging the parade. It was a special gift to the local community as the Rotary Club raised all the funds to cover the cost of the parade.
  • The parade committee worked with the Marine Corps and supported their Toys for Tots program. A huge truck joined the parade and people came out and placed their toys in the back as it traveled through the parade route.
  • The Rotary Club supports many local, national and international projects. They volunteer at Ivey Lane Elementary School and assist the students with reading. They volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army during Christmas season. They provide financial aid to children in Africa.
  • Appointed to U.S. Air Force Academy Selection Committee by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy-Florida Congressional District 7-2018 and 2019.
  • Orlando – Orange County Airport Zoning Board of Adjustments, 1997 to 2005
  • EAA Young Eagles Program – Flown over 180 Young Eagles-free airplane rides for children between the ages of 8 and 17.
  • Orlando Air Fair 1998 – Airshow Co-Chairman/Performer
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Presenter, Flight Instructor Refresher Course,1989 to 2002
  • National Congress on Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) Presenter and participant, 1992 to 2002
  • Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Legal Advisory Council-Part of Pilot Advocacy Program-Follows proposed legislation and government regulations of aircrafts and pilots. Provides free legal advice to members and the association. 1991-Present
  • Sun’n Fun Fly-In, Lakeland, Florida, Director 2002 to Present, Secretary 2011 to 2018
  • Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In Airshow Chairman 1999 to 2011
  • Pat organized and recruited all the performers for the airshow each year. He traveled to the International Council of Airshows Convention in Las Vegas, NV each year, met with performers and arranged the shows. He even flew as a performer in his PT-17 Stearman for many years. He created the idea of night airshows at Sun ‘n Fun.
  • Director Orlando Youth Aviation Center 1999 to Present
  • Board Member West Orange County Airport Authority-2005 to Present
  • Great Orlando Rotary Airshow Organizer and Director-2004 to 2005
  • Florida Air Museum Director and Secretary-2011 to Present
  • Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee Member-1976-Present Chairman 2016
  • Florida Bar Aviation Law Certification Committee-2013- Present Chairman 2017


  • Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award-2013
  • Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, Inc. Chairman’s Award 2014 (volunteer award)
  • Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Joseph W. Kittinger Community Service Award-2014 Paul Harris Fellow Award-2015, 2016 and 2017 (Service to Community and Club) Florida Super Lawyers Rated Attorney-2019