7th Annual Living Legends of Aviation

The 7th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards, presented by Learjet, are taking flight on January 22nd at the Beverly Hilton.

Joe Clark - “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur”- Joe Clark’s early fascination with aviation developed into a lifelong passion. He founded JetAir, the first Learjet distributorship in the Northwest in 1965. His career moved to Raisbeck Engineering where he became VP of Sales. He later partnered with Milt Koult to form Horizon Air, a highly successful Seattle-based regional airline that was purchased by Alaska Airlines. In 1988, Clark, Clay Lacy, and Bruce McCaw formed the Friendship Foundation, raising more than $500,000 for children’s charities, as they set a world speed record flying a 747 around the world. In 1991, Clark and Dennis Washington founded Aviation Partners, inventing and developing blended winglets. Clark’s innovations and entrepreneurial impact reach well beyond the aviation industry. His patented winglets are making a huge ecological impact, saving millions of gallons of fuel and diminishing wear on aircraft engines. A recipient of the Horatio Alger award in 2008, Clark is the only person who has been honored as both Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year and Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur, receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005.

Kermit Weeks – “Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight Award” - As a child, Kermit Weeks was a “dreamer and a designer.” When he was 13, his life’s focus became flight and aircraft. He was always fascinated with technical things. Weeks has the largest private collection of vintage aircraft in the world, with over 140 aircraft. All of these aircraft are well-maintained and flying. As founder of Fantasy of Flight, Weeks is dedicated to teaching young people about aviation and flight. Fantasy of Flight is billed as “the world’s greatest aviation attraction.”

Kurt Russell – “Aviation Mentor Award” – Highly successful life-long actor Kurt Russell says, “Flying has taught me more about who I really am than anything I’ve ever done.” Nearly 22 years into his love affair with flying, he encourages others to fly and mentors many pilots in and out of the entertainment business. He’s positively passionate about learning every aspect of flying. “You know what they say about a pilot’s license? It’s a license to learn.” Kurt continues, “Leave your ego at the door; when you get into a plane, it’s serious business. And yes, it’s a love affair in the air that continues to add joy to my life.”

The program includes honoring Legends inducted for 2010 and a special tribute, narrated by Morgan Freeman, to Legends that have “Flown West” in 2009. This year the Legends will pay tribute to Sam Williams, Dee Howard, and Hank Beaird.

This year’s celebrity/Legend attendees include: John Travolta, Bob Hoover, Kurt Russell, Clay Lacy, Morgan Freeman, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Tom Cruise, Joe Clark, Maj. Gen. William Anders, Cliff Robertson, Tony Bill, Dr. Forrest Bird, Carroll Shelby, James Raisbeck, Linden Blue, Barron Hilton, Sir Richard Branson, Harrison Ford, Gene Cernan, Julie Clark, Dick Rutan, Pat Epps, Greg Herrick, Alan Klapmeier, Bob Lutz, Lee Iacocca, Bruce McCaw, Lorenzo Lamas, Max Moga, Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter, Paul Poberezny, Mike Melvill, Vern Raburn, Si Robin, Frank Robinson, Ed Swearingen, Sean Tucker, Steven Udvar-Hazy, Emily Howell-Warner and Kermit Weeks.


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