The National Aeronautic Association and the Air Care Alliance have announced the recipients of the 2014 Public Benefit Flying Awards. J.J. Quinn was named Distinguished Volunteer Pilot, and the Experimental Aircraft Association and its Young Eagles program was named Champion of Public Benefit Flying.
Quinn, a retired airline pilot who has logged 32,000 flight hours, has devoted more than 20 years as a volunteer pilot on behalf of organizations including Patient Airlift Services, Pilots N Paws, Wounded Warriors, and Angel Flight. He serves as a mentor for future aviators by organizing numerous flights for the Boy Scouts and the Young Eagles. He is also the lead flight instructor at Whitehawk Aviation in Culpeper, Virginia, and is the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer at Culpeper Regional Airport.
Since 1990, thousands of EAA volunteer pilots in the Young Eagles Program have given flights to nearly two million young people, creating the spark that lead them on a journey to become a pilot, aircraft mechanic, air traffic controller, or a participant in many other aviation-related career possibilities.
The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work. The awards will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Dinner on Nov. 5 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
Members of this year’s awards selection committee were aviation consultant Robert Blouin; Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Lindy Kirkland, executive vice president of the Air Care Alliance; and Jonathan Gaffney, president of NAA, who also served as chairman of the selection committee.
“Volunteers in aviation and those who support them are the heart and soul of charitable aviation, and the work they perform is invaluable. They fly needy patients for care, inspire youth by providing the unique perspective of their world from above, swiftly transport relief supplies and personnel following disasters, support environmental preservation work, relocate animals to new environments, and perform a myriad of other tasks,” said Rol Murrow, president of the Air Care Alliance, in a press release. “They all deserve to be honored with national recognition and these awards support that goal. When we honor one we honor all.”
Nominate someone for the 2015 Public Benefit Flying Award.