The California Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHOF) will honor its first group of inductees during an Inaugural Ceremony and Dinner on Saturday evening, June 7, 2014, at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying. This year, the Hall of Fame will honor the accomplishments of Buzz Aldrin, Clay Lacy, Bob Hoover and Frank Robinson.
This year’s four honorees reflect a legacy spanning more than 75 years of aviation achievement in both war and peace.
Dr. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin is a former engineer, Korean War fighter pilot, retired United States Air Force colonel and astronaut, best known as the second person to walk on the moon. Dr. Aldrin was the pilot of the “Eagle,” the Apollo 11 lunar module, and he performed the first-ever manned lunar landing on July 20, 1969, following mission commander Neal Armstrong onto the lunar surface.
Clay Lacy established the first executive jet charter company in the western United States when he founded Clay Lacy Aviation in 1968. In addition to his renowned career as an innovative business aviation entrepreneur, his celebrated professional pursuits include military aviator, test pilot, air race champion, world speed record-holder, aerial cinematographer, and airline captain. Incredibly, Clay Lacy has flown more than 300 types of aircraft and logged over 50,000 flight hours.
R. A. “Bob” Hoover is an aviation legend, often called “the pilot’s pilot.” He flew 59 missions in the Spitfire Mark V fighter during the Second World War before being shot down and captured. After 16 months as a prisoner of war, he escaped his captors, stole a German plane and flew to freedom in the Netherlands. After the war, Hoover served as a military and civilian test pilot and became famous for his amazing flight maneuvers at air shows around the world.
Frank Robinson is an aeronautical engineer and founder of Robinson Helicopter Company of Torrance, California, the largest manufacturer of civilian helicopters in the world. Robinson worked for various aviation companies, including Cessna Aircraft and Hughes Helicopters, for 16 years before founding the company that bears his name in 1973. He retired as president and chairman in 2010, just before the company built and sold its 10,000th helicopter.
In addition to the four inaugural honorees, CAHOF will also honor 19 legacy inductees who made contributions to the development of aviation in California. They are the late J. Leland Atwood, Jackie Cochran, Glenn Curtis, Jimmy Doolittle, Donald Wills Douglas, Amelia Earhart, Ed Heinemann, Howard Hughes, Kelly Johnson, Dutch Kindelberger, Roy Knabenshue, Alan and Malcolm Loughead, Paul MacCready, Jack Northrup, Arthur Raymond and Ben Rich, Claude Ryan, and Theodore von Karman.
CAHOF was founded in 2010 on the initiative of David G. Price, Chairman and President of the Museum of Flying, and is administered by Dan Ryan, the museum’s managing director. The organization’s mission is to recognize the Golden State visionaries who have contributed to advancements in aviation and aerospace. Nominees for the Hall of Fame designation may be living or deceased and must have made a noteworthy and meaningful impact on developments in air and space flight. All nominees must have resided in California for a minimum of five years. The nominations are evaluated by a nine-person selection committee comprised of community leaders in the aviation and space industries. Anyone may nominate an individual for CAHOF recognition by submitting the nomination form on the CAHOF web page at http://www.museumofflying.com/hall-of-fame.html. Nominations for 2015 CAHOF honors are due on July 31, 2014.
Stephen Hofer, President of Aerlex Law Group, says the firm was pleased to provide legal support for the creation of the CAHOF.