Wings Club to present award to Patty Wagstaff

NEW YORK — The Wings Club will honor Patty Wagstaff, champion aerobatic pilot, with the fourth annual Outstanding Aviator Award.

The Outstanding Aviator Award was created by the Wings Club in partnership with the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA). The mission of the award is to recognize pilots whose actions have made major contributions to aviation and/or security and serve as leadership role models.

The presentation of this year’s award will take place at The Wings Club’s Annual Meeting, to be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 27, at The Yale Club in New York City. Ken Gazzola, past president and chairman of the Historical and Education Committee, and IAWA board members will present the award to Wagstaff, who will be in attendance.

Wagstaff’s accomplishments broke barriers and opened doors for other women to follow, club officials noted. In 1991 she became the first woman to win the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships and she would go on to win the Nationals three times, for three consecutive years. In addition to these U.S. Championships, she has earned a position on the U.S. Aerobatic Team at the World Aerobatic Championships six times, and six times won the Betty Skelton “First Lady of Aerobatics” Award. Her recognition was cemented in 1994 when her airplane, the Goodrich Extra 260, was placed on display at the National Air and Space Museum near Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega.

In 2002, she was a Presidential appointee to the Centennial of Flight Commission’s Federal Advisory Board. In 2005, she received the National Aeronautic Association (NAA)/99’S Katherine Wright Award; and has also received the Air Show Industry’s most prestigious award, the “Sword of Excellence,” and the “Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.”

Wagstaff volunteers with the Kenya Wildlife Service, giving recurrent and aerobatic training to law enforcement officers patrolling for poachers of elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns.

Recently she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Air Force Association and was inducted into the Experimental Aircraft Association/International Aerobatic Club (EAA/IAC) Hall of Fame.

The Wings Club, founded in 1942, is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of aviation. It provides a forum for discussion and debate on aeronautical and aviation issues. The Wings Club serves more than 1,300 members including industry leaders, pilots, professionals in related service organizations and students of aviation.

Recognizing achievements that contribute to the advancement of aeronautical and aviation matters, The Wings Club recognizes and honors people throughout the year with the Distinguished Achievement Award, Distinguished Scholar Awards and the Outstanding Aviator Award. The Club also hosts Aviation Leader Series Luncheons that feature keynote speeches by industry leaders.

Previous recipients of this award were the Tuskegee Airmen, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders

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  1. Mike Pappas says

    Watched Patti through the years, watching her strap a Extra to her tiny frame, and dance,,,,wow ! Few have impressed me like she has ! She brushes shoulders with the likes of Bob Hoover, Gene Souchy, Sean Tucker and his son, on and on. People that fly the box and continue to stretch the envelope, and teach. By the way,,,the only woman I told my wife I would leave her for ! Man,,,,im in trouble again !

  2. Paul Ramsay says

    If anyone deserves this award, Patty does!! She has been a great inspiration to me and I love watching her fly, she is simply incredible and is very down to earth for such a great pilot and person!

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