NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Wings Club and International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) will honor Bob Hoover with the fifth annual Outstanding Aviator Award.
Created 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 26, at The Yale Club in New York City. Hoover will accept the award remotely from his home in California.
Hoover is considered one of the founding fathers of modern aerobatics, having thrilled millions of men, women and children over the past five decades with his acrobatic flying maneuvers. Additionally, he has flown over 300 types of aircraft and flight tested or flown nearly every kind of fighter aircraft.
Referred to as “The Pilots’ Pilot,” Hoover was a fighter pilot during World War II. After flying 58 missions, he was shot down off the coast of southern France and spent 16 months in a German prison camp. He managed to escape from the prison camp, stole an FW 190 and flew to safety in the Netherlands. After the war, he was the backup pilot in the Bell X-1 program and flew chase for the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star during the March 1 flight.
He’s best known, however, for his civil airshow career, which started when he was hired to demonstrate the capabilities of Aero Commander’s Shrike Commander, a twin piston-engine business aircraft. Hoover has set records for transcontinental and “time to climb” speed and has personally known such great aviators as Orville Wright, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Jacqueline Cochran, Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin.
During his career, Hoover has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier’s Medal for Valor, Air Medal with Clusters, Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre. He was also made an honorary member of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, RCAF Snowbirds, American Fighter Aces Association, Original Eagle squadron and received an Award of Merit from the American Fighter Pilots Association. In 1992, he was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor. In 2007, he received the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Trophy. Hoover currently serves as Vice President of Special Projects for Evergreen International Aviation, Inc., and is also a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
The Wings Club, founded in 1942, is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of aviation. The club provides a forum for discussion and debate on aeronautical and aviation issues. The Wings Club serves over 1,300 members including industry leaders, pilots, professionals in related service organizations and students of aviation.
Founded in 1988, the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) brings together women of achievement in the aviation industry and promotes their advancement internationally through the establishment of a worldwide network of aviation professional contacts. IAWA is an international organization for women who hold senior positions in the aviation and aerospace industry including airline, airport, finance, insurance, law, manufacturing, operations, suppliers and government.
For more information: WingsClub.org