The Kitty Hawk Air Academy Living Legends of Aviation Gala being held kJanuary 22, 2016 will honor the following aviation professionals:
Mr. Ray Conner, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, will be awarded the Living Legends of Aviation’s “Lifetime Industry Leader Award,” with Mr. Steven Udvar-Hazy and Mr. Herb Kelleher presenting. Boeing Commercial aircraft account for the majority of Boeing’s total revenues and with nearly 12,000 jetliners in service worldwide, this is roughly 75 percent of the world fleet.
John Travolta, the “Official Ambassador of Aviation,” hosts the annual event. The 13th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” will be held at the Beverly Hilton January 22, 2016. The awards program starts with the “Flown West Tribute” to those Legends lost during the current year. The “Flown West Tribute” for Legend Dr. Forrest Bird will be followed by the induction of four new Legends.
The new inductees include Mr. Michimasa Fujino, the innovative President/CEO and founder of Honda Jet, Daniel Wolfe, Chief Pilot and manager of Nationwide’s flight department and an active volunteer and contributor to children’s flying programs, Greg Feith, former NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator and safety and flight commentator for NBC news, and 100-year-old Richard “Dick” Cole, the last remaining pilot of the “Doolittle Raiders.”
Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman of Vista Jet, will receive the “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year Award.” Growing his Austrian-based company in 2004 with three aircraft to a fleet of 55 Global and Challenger jets that represent the industry’s fastest growing aviation company and the world’s largest fleet of privately owned Bombardier aircraft.
The Living Legends of Aviation will also honor William “Bill” Chiles, recently retired President and CEO of Bristow Group, a leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry, operating 500 helicopters flying in 22 countries with 5,000 employees. Mr. Chiles will receive the “Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award,” presented by Bell Helicopter.
Miles O’Brien, pilot and independent American broadcast news journalist specializing in science, technology, and aerospace, will receive the “Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award”.
The Legends will recognize Col. Gail Halvorsen. Hailed as the “Candy Bomber,” Col. Halvorsen dropped candy bars on final approach to Tempelhof Airport while flying the Berlin Airlift. He ignited an expanded effort supported by the Hershey Company that dropped a million chocolate bars to the German children.
The 13th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” are being dedicated to Bob Hoover. Bob’s experience and example has elevated every pilot’s safety and continues to enhance every aspect of aviation.
Join the 13th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” and meet the Legends, honorees, inductees and fellow aviators. . The Awards are produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization whose mission it is to educate and spark children’s interest in aviation.