“We had a number of nominations for the award, which reflects the strength and depth of contributions being made today by many people in the aviation and aerospace world,” said Aero Club of Northern California President Max Trescott. “Alan’s innovative approach to setting his world record stood out, and we congratulate him on ... winning the award.”
The award will be presented Nov. 14 during the annual Crystal Eagle Dinner at the Hiller Aviation Museum at the San Carlos Airport in San Carlos, California. The Aero Club of Northern California is “devoted to recognizing and honoring people for outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation and space flight. It also awards scholarships to students studying aviation in Northern California college programs.”
Alan Eustace, the Google senior vice president who set a world record for the highest-altitude free-fall jump in October 2014, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Aero Club of Northern California’s Crystal Eagle Award.
The Crystal Eagle Award is bestowed annually on “an individual(s) whose lifetime achievements have significantly contributed to the advancement of aviation or aerospace technology,” the nonprofit club said in an announcement. Eustace joins “a list of aviation legends” who have received the honor including Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, Burt Rutan, and Steve Fossett.
Eustace, who retired from Google in March, worked with Paragon Space Development Corp. to create the self-contained pressure suit and life support system he wore during his record jump. The record bid began on Oct. 24, 2014, when he began his balloon-powered ascent from Roswell, New Mexico. Eustace ascended to 135,889 feet before his free fall to Earth. During the 15-minute free fall, Eustace reached a speed of more than 821 mph, the club said.
Eustace is a pilot who holds airplane, multiengine, instrument, seaplane, and balloon ratings, and a Cessna 500-series jet rating.