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William Shatner Receives "Living Legends of Aviation" Award

Canadian actor and private pilot William Shatner.
Canadian actor and private pilot William Shatner.

His claim to fame is as a fictional spaceship captain. But Canadian actor William Shatner is also a private pilot - and made history as the oldest person to travel to space when he flew on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space shuttle on 13OCT 2021. Now, he's been recognized as a "Living Legend of Aviation."

Shatner, most known for his portrayal of James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, received the "Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award" at the 20th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards on 20JAN 2023 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Hosted by John Travolta, "The Official Ambassador of Aviation," the annual event honours those who have made "significant contributions" to aviation/aerospace.

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The list of this year's honorees also includes:

·         Mike Silvestro, the CEO of Flexjet, receiving the "Lifetime Aviation Industry Leader Award" for his work in the fractional private jet industry.

·         Tim Ellis, who received the "Eren Ozmen Entrepreneur of the Year Award." Ellis is the Founder of Relativity Space, who reportedly invented a new approach to design, print and fly its own rockets, starting with the world's first 3D printed rocket.

·         Daniel Drohan who received the "Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award." Drohan founded Solairus in 2009, and under his leadership, Solairus has one of the largest fleets of managed business jets serving clients worldwide.

·         Max Lyons received the "Elling Halvorson Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award." He is an aviator, business owner, philanthropist and adventurer. In 1999, Lyons and his wife purchased Hillsboro Aviation. He is dual rated in helicopters and airplanes, including commercial instrument helicopters, single and multi-engine airplanes, instrument airplanes, and multi-engine seaplanes.

·         Mack Rutherford received the "Barron Hilton Aviation Inspiration Award." Rutherford holds the Guinness Book of World Record for being the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in a small aircraft. He accomplished the feat in AUG 2022 at only 17 years old. His sister, Zara, who finished her own global flight in JAN 2022 at age 19, currently holds the record for the youngest female to fly solo around the world.

The Living Legends also welcomed new inductees to their ranks:

·         Greg Evans is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and lifetime advocate for the business aviation industry. He is the Chairman of the Board of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., the first company providing complete mission management services for business aviation.

·         Alan Eustace is a pilot and Google executive who performed the highest human free-fall, jumping from 135,890 feet up in the stratosphere.

·         Tom Haines is a former Editor in Chief with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.

·         Jared Isaacman, an American entrepreneur, pilot, philanthropist, and commercial astronaut who led the first all-private citizen crew into orbit. He is also the founder of Draken International, a private air force provider and Shift4 Payments, a payment processor.

·         HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman is a former Royal Saudi Air Force pilot who flew aboard the American STS-51-G Space Shuttle as a payload specialist. He is the first member of a royal family to fly in space and the youngest person ever to fly on the Space Shuttle. In 2018, he was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Space Commission at the rank of minister.

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