Women in Aviation, Int’l to receive “Spirit of Flight” Award

  • Mar 5, 2014 9:38am GMT
  • 51 views

2013 honor announced last year at Oshkosh; formal award presentation takes place this Friday, March 7, 2014 at WAI’s 25th annual conference in Orlando

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) annually presents the Milton Caniff “Spirit of Flight” Award to a group or organization in recognition for its exceptional contributions to the advancement of flight. Last August, at the EAA AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the NAHF announced Women in Aviation, International (WAI) as the 2013 “Spirit of Flight” Award recipient, but that a formal presentation would wait until WAI’s 25th Annual Conference, March 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.

This Friday, March 7, WAI founder and President Peggy Chabrian will formally accept her organization’s honor from the National Aviation Hall of Fame as part of a WAI conference luncheon that also features NAHF enshrinee and former astronaut, Eileen Collins, as the keynote speaker. NAHF officials on hand to present the 2013 Milton Caniff “Spirit of Flight” Award will be Enshrinement Director Ron Kaplan accompanied by NAHF Chairman of the Board, William R. Harris, and NAHF Trustee Betty Darst.

WAI is a non-profit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Headquartered in West Alexandria, Ohio, WAI began in 1990 and was formally established in 1994. Its 9,000+ members include astronauts, air traffic controllers, business owners, airport managers, corporate and commercial pilots, journalists, students, and more. The “Spirit of Flight” Award recognizes WAI in part for its role in providing resources to assist women in aviation and to encourage young women to consider aviation as a career. WAI additionally promotes public understanding of the accomplishments and contributions of women in aviation, including historic notables and NAHF enshrinees such as Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Cochran, Patty Wagstaff, and Eileen Collins, along with many others.

The NAHF “Spirit of Flight” Award was established in 1981 and renamed for famed artist, aviation advocate, and NAHF supporter, Milton Caniff, soon after his passing in 1988. Among recipients of the prestigious annual honor are the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, Tuskegee Airmen, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Ninety-Nines, EAA, and Apollo Astronaut Crews.

The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964 with a mission of honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the NAHF operates a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, its annual enshrinement and other award ceremonies, as well as a variety of public outreach programs. Visit www.nationalaviation.org for more information.