Arlington, Virginia, September 27, 2010 – The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced that aviation advocate Harrison Ford will receive the prestigious 2010 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. The citation defining his achievement will read: “For engaging our nation’s youth in aviation and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and enthusiasts to secure a strong future for all of aviation.”
NAA established this award in 1948 to honor the memory of Orville and Wilbur Wright. The trophy is awarded annually to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States."
While Harrison Ford is primarily known for his on-screen achievements, the aviation community has been the beneficiary of his life as an aviator, mentor, teacher, humanitarian and an inspirer. Ford has parlayed his passion for aviation and his concern for its future, along with his humanitarian and educational efforts, into a motivational leadership role that has unquestionably advanced and invested in America’s aviation’s future. An avid pilot and active member of the aviation community, his unswerving passion for aviation, combined with his global respect and visibility, have provided both the opportunity and platform from which he has been able to make a significant impact on something very important to him – aviation’s future.
Ford’s outstanding and significant contributions include:
• Served from 2004-2009 as the Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Young Eagles” program. In this role, he motivated tens of thousands of volunteers to mentor and fly approximately 500,000 young people to the goal of giving children between the ages of 8 to 17 an opportunity to experience flight in a general aviation airplane while educating children about aviation. In addition to serving as Chairman, he personally flew over 280 “Young Eagles” in his aircraft.
• During the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Ford joined with others in the aviation community in loading up his own Cessna Caravan airplane and personally piloting his aircraft to deliver medical supplies and medical personnel to the region.
• Ford served as Honorary Chairman of the 2010 Special Olympics Airlift which utilizes business aircraft to fly Special Olympians to the games. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Airlift, he also personally flew Special Olympics athletes and coaches to the Games in Lincoln, Nebraska, this past summer.
• Ford has also helped educate the public about the benefits of aviation through his efforts with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s “General Aviation Serves America” outreach program.
• For years, Ford has supported the Teton County and Lincoln County (Wyoming) Search and Rescue units by personally piloting missions into remote areas. His volunteer piloting work in this area resulted in two separate rescues.
“All of us at NAA are very grateful for the work that Mr. Ford has done to advance the cause of aviation and aerospace in our nation,” said Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA and the Chairman of the Selection Committee. “And we are particularly proud to present him with one of the greatest awards in aviation as an acknowledgement of his efforts and his success.”
The 2010 Wright Brothers Selection Committee Members were Walter Boyne, Chairman of NAA; Captain Gene Cernan, USN (Ret.) and Wright Trophy Winner in 2007; Mark Lewis, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Alexis Allen, Aerospace Industries Association; Lisa Piccione, Aero Club of Washington; David Castelveter, Air Transport Association, Tony Velocci, Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology; and George Carneal, Hogan Lovells.
The Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy will be presented at the Wright Memorial Dinner on Friday, December 17, 2010, at the Washington Hilton Hotel. For more information on the award and past recipients, please visit www.naa.aero. For more information on the Wright Memorial Dinner, please visit www.aeroclub.org.
The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit, membership organization devoted to fostering America's aerospace leadership and promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States.