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AOPA named to prestigious museum's Hall of FameAOPA named to prestigious museum's Hall of Fame

AOPA will be enshrined in the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s International Air and Space Hall of Fame along with an “exemplary” group of pilots, aeronautical pioneers, and aviation organizations in a Nov. 17 induction ceremony.

“Initiative, teamwork, service, integrity and excellence are the simple but important values AOPA represents,” the museum said in a news release.

“We are honored to be among this year’s Hall of Fame inductees,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “AOPA has been helping to make flying safer, more affordable, and more fun since 1939, and that’s still our mission today. As the world’s largest pilot community, we’re working to build a strong future for GA so more people can enjoy the extraordinary freedom to fly.”

Also announced as 2016 International Air and Space Hall of Fame Gala honorees were astronaut Al Worden, Command Module pilot for Apollo 15 and the first man to conduct a spacewalk in deep space; The Boeing Co., now celebrating 100 years as one of the world’s elite aircraft and aerospace pioneers; Coast Guard Aviation, for 100 years as a vital element of Coast Guard service; Dale Myers, for a remarkable career extending from developmental work at North American Aviation through the successful moon landing of Apollo 11 to the space shuttle program; the “Non-Skeds,” airlines established with surplus World War II transport aircraft by former military pilots who wanted to continue flying; ORBIS International, a nonprofit dedicated to saving eyesight worldwide, and its DC-10 Flying Eye Hospital; and America’s Aviation Family of Excellence for the Planes of Fame Air Museum, the oldest aviation museum west of the Rockies founded in 1957 by Edward Maloney, who amassed a collection of over 150 aircraft and warbirds and passed his passion for preservation to his children John and Karen, his son-in-law, air racer Steve Hinton, and his grandson Steven Hinton, who currently serve on the museum’s board of directors.

“We’re especially pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2016 because these pioneers have not only made significant contributions in air and space exploration, they’ve also become strong positive role models for today’s youth,” said Jim Kidrick, president and CEO of the California institution, in a news release. “Aviation and space exploration, as embodied by the honorees in the International Air and Space Hall of Fame, directly represents the human pioneering spirit.”

AOPA and the other honorees were recognized “for their qualitative achievements and historic contributions to aviation, space and aerospace innovation or expanding the public’s aviation and space awareness to the world. Their contributions are prime examples of endurance and the adventurous exploring spirit in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific advancement,” the announcement said.

The museum’s Pavilion of Flight will be the setting for the induction ceremony that will include “an experiential peek into the lives of these air and space legends” for the hundreds expected to attend the event.

The 2016 honorees will join the ranks of “more than 200 of the world’s most significant pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers” the museum has recognized since opening its doors in February 1963.

Tickets for the 2016 International Air and Space Hall of Fame celebration may be purchased online. Proceeds benefit the museum’s youth education programs.

“Inspiring kids to undertake tough science and engineering challenges is a critical first step for our future,” Kidrick said. “We must also give them the resources and impetus they need to pursue science education degrees.”

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, AOPA, Events

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