The first African-American in space, NASA administrator, and the chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association are among the participants at next month’s “Oscar Night of Aviation,” when the Class of 2013 will be enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The black-tie gala, slated for Oct. 4 will take place at the NAHF Learning & Research Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Presenting Sponsor is the Cessna Aircraft Co.
The late C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson is widely recognized as “the father of African-American aviation.” He will be presented for 2013 enshrinement by Colonel Guion S. “Guy” Bluford, USAF (Ret), who became the first African-American in space on Aug. 30, 1983, as a mission specialist on STS-8. He flew a total of four Shuttle missions during his NASA career. Accepting Anderson’s honors will be his grand-daughter, Christina Anderson.
Major General Patrick H. Brady, US Army (Ret) is a Medal of Honor recipient and acknowledged as the top helicopter pilot of the Vietnam War. General Brady will be presented for 2013 enshrinement by his daughter, former Army Captain Meghan Brady Smith, who served in Germany, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Operation Iraqi Freedom during which she earned the Bronze Star. Accepting will be General Brady.
Navy Capt. Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, USN (Ret) is a former fighter and test pilot, engineer and veteran of five Shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut. Gibson will be presented for 2013 enshrinement by NASA Administrator, Major General Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Ret). Also a former fighter and test pilot, and NASA astronaut with four Shuttle missions, General Bolden was a crewmate of Gibson’s on STS-61-C in January 1986. Accepting will be Captain Gibson.
The late Dwane L. Wallace rescued the Cessna Aircraft Co. from bankruptcy in the early 1930s, guiding it into the largest light aircraft manufacturer in the world over his 41 year career as president, chairman and CEO. Presenting Wallace for enshrinement will be former Cessna CEO Jack J. Pelton, EAA chairman of the board. Accepting will be one of Wallace’s four daughters, Sarah Bracco.
The Master-of-Ceremonies will be airshow announcer Danny Clisham. With more than 40 years in the airshow industry, Clisham is a 2007 inductee of the Air Show Hall of Fame. Clisham’s 30,000-plus hours of flying time include serving as captain for a major airline and as a test pilot on the development of the Boeing 747 supertanker. This will mark Clisham’s first time as emcee for the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
“The growing roster of stars attending the Hall of Fame celebration reads like a who’s who of the air and space community,” said NAHF Enshrinement Director Ron Kaplan, noting that Amanda Wright-Lane, great grandniece of enshrinees Orville and Wilbur Wright, will lead a toast to the famous brothers to start the ceremonies. “We’re also looking forward to hosting several former enshrinees who are returning to salute our Class of 2013, among them astronaut Joe Engle (2001), artist Keith Ferris (2012), and Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee (2011).”
Seating is limited and a capacity crowd is expected, Kaplan noted. Patron seats are $150 each and premium seats are $300 each. The deadline for reservations is Saturday, Sept, 21.
For more information: NationalAviation.org or 937-256-0944 ext.10.