Aviation News

Living Legends of Aviation 2011

by on Jan.22, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General

Beverly Hills, 21st January 2011 Friends of Aviation Press Release:

Last night on January 21st many Hollywood and aviation celebrities gathered for the 8th annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This event, which by many is considered “the Oscars of Aviation” is all about recognizing and honoring individuals with great and significant contributions to the field of aviation.

With the challenges for the aviation industry of recent years, this event plays an important role, not only to recognize individuals with great achievements as aviators and entrepreneurs, but also to highlight everything that is made possible through the work of aviation. This includes humanitarian efforts, rescue operations and the role of aviation in enabling commerce to take place.

Rather than just being a “star studded” event, many Hollywood and Aviation celebrities are passionate about aviation and attend this gathering to help pushing the message of keeping the dream of flight alive and to make it real to people that aviation is not just something for a few select individuals but plays an important role in today’s society.

The current 70 people who are now part of the Living Legends of Aviation are people of remarkable accomplishments, in aviation. Members include entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record breakers, astronauts, pilots who are now celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots.

John Travolta – Photo Credit: Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

John Travolta, the Ambassador of Aviation is himself a Legend of Aviation and started flying at the age of 17. He presented the newest Inductee Mr M Laurent Beaudion, the CEO of Bombardier with his award. His accomplishments to bring aviation forward are nothing short of remarkable.

Sean Tucker, the award emcee, always has an enthusiasm for aviation that is contagious to anyone he gets in contact with. From a reliable source, and from what I have seen with my own eyes, he is probably the greatest aerobatics pilots currently flying at air shows – a true professional in his field.

Actors and Pilots Harrison Ford and Kurt Russell gave out several recognitions at the event. Harrison Ford has done a remarkable job to introduce people and our youth to flying and is a great proponent and spokesman for aviation. Awards included the “Legacy Award” given to Pat Epps, Atlanta, Georgia.

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger awarded Captain James Lovell, Apollo 13 Commander, the “Captain Cool Award”. Sully mentioned that the only thing he really had in common with Mr. Lovell was that they both landed in water, but on the other hand, Mr. Lovell was supposed to!  Buzz Aldrin was in attendance as well, the second person to put a foot on the moon.

Lynn Tilton

Delford M. Smith who founded Evergreen International Airlines was given the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year Award”. Clay Jones, the “Aviation Industry Leader of the Year” and Lynn Tilton, the first woman to achieve the “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Frank Robinson, founder of Robinson Helicopters, was acknowledged for his role in creating what ended up becoming the most popular helicopter in the world.

Bob Hoover, a true Legend of Aviation in his own right presented the Freedom of Flight Award to his fellow aviator and congressman and national hero, Sam Johnson.

After the event many celebrities gathered on the 8th floor of the hotel, mingled with guests and and shared stories about aviation with those who attended.

Harrison Ford with Captain Sully and other guests

Harrison Ford with Nick Rahkonen, President Friends of Aviation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall a great and very memorable event . We at Friends of Aviation are already looking forward to next years event.

The spirit of the event and aviation overall can appropriately be summed up with what Del Smith quoted in his acceptance speech; “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

I believe that this is something that all great dreamers and achievers do know and have in common as a reality!

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