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Venue Change for National Aviation Hall of Fame Dinner
FAIRBORN -- The government shutdown is already having a direct impact on events here in the Miami Valley.
The 51st annual National Aviation Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony was suppose to take place Friday at the National Museum of the United States Air Force but because of the shutdown it has been moved to the Hope Hotel and Richard Holbrooke Conference Center.
Organizers for the event are upset because they have planned for it all year long. Since it is now at the smaller Hope Hotel venue, there will be space issue. It will also cost the Aviation Hall of Fame more money because of changes in the production costs.
The ceremony honors some of the nation's top aviation pioneers. It's often called the Oscar night of aviation.
This year's honorees include : the late Alfred Chief Anderson, care flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen, Major General Patrick Brady, an army rescue helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, Captain Robert Gibson, five-time NASA Shuttle astronaut, and the late Dwayne Wallace.
This is the one chance a year to show potential sponsors and donors to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force the facility, which also puts a damper on the event, but Ron Kaplan, NAHF Enshrinement Director, says the show must go on.
"It's just really a shame, more than frustrating, frankly I haven't been this angry, really, since the sequester hit and it really put us out of orbit when we were trying to raise money," Kaplan explained.
In the past, folks like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, Amelia Earhart and the Wright Brothers have been honored. The Hall of Fame already committed $200,000 for the ceremony, but because the production company has to design a new set, those costs will go up.
The event is sold out. 650 people have already RSVP'd from all over the U.S. and oversees. This was also a record year for sponsorships, so organizers are upset they can't show off the museum the way they would have liked it.
DAYTON -- The 51st Annual National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony is still scheduled for Friday, but the location is now up in the air after the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was shuttered by the federal government shutdown.
The dinner and ceremony is sold out and hundreds of attendees are expected. The new location will be at the Hope Hotel. The venue is smaller, so space may be an issue. It will also cost more money due to production costs.
Among the four individuals to be inducted on Oct. 4 is the first Army Aviator to be enshrined into the Hall, retired Major General Patrick H. Brady.
Considered by many to be the top helicopter pilot of the Vietnam War, Brady is legendary among Army aviation and aerial medevac communities. His 34-year Army career includes flying over 2,500 combat missions as a Dust Off helicopter pilot, saving over 5,000 wounded, and earning the Medal of Honor among his other awards for valor. He also developed foul weather and tactical techniques for air ambulance rescue, none of which had ever been executed in combat before. Serving to present Brady his enshrinement at the ceremony will be his daughter, former Army Captain Meghan Brady Smith.
In addition to Brady, the NAHF Enshrinee Class of 2013 is:
The late C. Alfred Chief Anderson Widely recognized as the father of African-American aviation, Anderson helped develop a civilian-pilot training program for blacks in 1940. His 1941 flight with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt aboard was the catalyst that led to the training of the first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, for whom Anderson served as chief instructor. Accepting will be Andersons grand-daughter, Christina Anderson. Presenting will be retired Air Force Colonel and astronaut, Guion S. Guy Bluford, Jr.
Capt. Robert L. Hoot Gibson, USN (Ret) As a Navy fighter pilot, Gibson flew combat in Southeast Asia, graduated from Top Gun, and served as a flight test pilot before joining NASAs astronaut corps in 1978. He flew five Shuttle missions (four as Commander) and participated on the Challenger accident investigation team. Also an aeronautical engineer, record-setting pilot and air racer, Capt. Gibson has logged over 14,000 hours in over 130 types of aircraft. Accepting will be Capt. Gibson. Presenting will be retired USMC Major General and astronaut, Charles F. Bolden, NASA Administrator.
The late Dwane L. Wallace, After 41 years with the Cessna Aircraft Company, Wallace retired in 1975 as its Chairman and CEO. During the Depression, Wallace used money won by air racing to meet payroll. After the company served to meet demand for WWII military aircraft, Wallace directed Cessnas development of extensive corporate and general aviation product lines. He was a founder and first chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Accepting will be Wallaces daughter, Sarah Bracco. Presenting will be former Cessna CEO, Jack J. Pelton, EAA Chairman of the Board.
The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. Its mission is to honor Americas outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, its annual enshrinement ceremony, other public outreach programs, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.
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