Backstage Pass to The 13th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards
It's the Who's Who of the aviation industry. The 13th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards Banquet at the Beverly Hilton had an amazing turn out. Every year celebrities who share the love of aviation such as John Travolta, Harrison Ford, and many others attend the event each year to support the Living Legends of Aviation and Kiddie Hawk Air Academy.
Before the awards ceremony a party always begins with an event hosted by Clay Lacy in his hangar at the Van Nuys Airport. It's a night where everyone comes out to get a taste of the Awards Banquet. This year a Bombardier Global 6000 and Honda Jet were the main attraction on the tarmac where attendees could climb aboard the aircraft and get a glimpse of the corporate jet lifestyle. With great food and aviation legends such as Bob Hoover and Harrison Ford in the hangar it was a great night to celebrate aviation.
The Living Legends of Aviation (LLOA) is like the Oscars for the aviation industry. From CEOs of the world's largest aviation companies to astronauts who walked on the moon, this was the place to be on January 22. Michimasa Fujino, Founder, President/CEO of Honda Jet Aircraft Company, Greg Feith, former NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator and safety analyst for NBC news and aviation safety programs, Daniel Wolff, Chief Pilot, Flight Director of Nationwide Insurance Company were this year's inductees as Living Legends.
There were some great moments throughout the night and a couple of them came from the veterans. Dick Cole and David Thatcher, the last two remaining crew of The Doolittle Raiders drew a captive audience as they came on stage. The room went silent as they began to talk. Col. Gail Halvorsen known as the Candy Bomber for dropping candy bars while flying the Berlin Airlift drew some laughs as he talked about his lively experience. The recognition for their service to our country did not go unnoticed as everyone in the crowd gave them a standing ovation with tears in their eyes.
It's a great experience to shake hands with celebrities and people who have made a difference in the aviation industry. In years past I have met Buzz Aldrin and real heroes we only see on tv or in newspapers. If you love aviation and get a chance to go trust me it is well worth it.