U.S. National Aerobatic Champion – 2006
Top-Ranked U.S. Women’s Aerobatics Competitor 1985, 1998-2004, 2006
Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee – 2003
Debby Rihn-Harvey is the highest ranked aerobatics competitor in the United States. In 2006, she won the Betty Skelton ‘First Lady of Aerobatics’ Trophy making her the highest scoring female competitor for the eighth year.
Rihn-Harvey also is the longest standing member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Team, qualifying to represent the U.S. thirteen times in World Aerobatic Championships in North America and Europe. In world competition, Rihn-Harvey has been a Gold Medalist and she holds many regional titles. As a tribute to her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003.
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.
Rihn-Harvey is a captain for Southwest Airlines. Besides the many hours of practice it takes for competition and airshow flying, she also manages a flight school and fixed-base operation at La Porte Municipal Airport, Harvey & Rihn Aviation. The aerobatics school attracts pilots from around the world. Rihn- Harvey also is 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.