June 10, 2021 Newsbite

Dear NAA Members and Friends,

The last two weeks has seen several exciting NAA award announcements, including the prestigious Collier Trophy. On June 3, NAA announced that Garmin Autoland was named as the recipient of the 2020 Collier Trophy for “… designing, developing, and fielding Garmin Autoland – the world’s first certified autonomous system that activates during an emergency to safely control and land an aircraft without human intervention.” The trophy is awarded annually for “… the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” The list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of air and space achievements, marking major events in the history of flight dating back to 1911. NAA Chairman Jim Albaugh said of the selection, “The Garmin Autoland system marks a significant improvement in civil aviation. It’s ability to take over an airplane with a disabled pilot and land it safely will save many lives in the future. It’s a remarkable technical achievement and clearly merits the Collier Trophy.” The Collier Trophy Selection Committee, comprised of 35 aviation and aerospace professionals, reviewed presentations from seven nominees and selected Garmin Autoland as the recipient on June 2. The trophy will be formally presented to the Garmin Autoland team on a date to be determined.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Erin Miller, author of Final Flight Final Fight: My Grandmother, the WASP, and Arlington National Cemetery, will be awarded the Bruce Whitman Trophy for 2021. The trophy is awarded to “… outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation or aerospace in the United States, and who by working with museums and other institutions have promoted an appreciation by students and the broader public of the sacrifices and legacy of members of the military service.” A deserving nominee is put forth annually by the Chairman of the NAA. Miller is being recognized for her tireless and successful efforts in leading a grassroots and direct lobbying campaign to recognize the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) as eligible for interment at Arlington National Cemetery. Building on the success of her legislative efforts, Miller has used her book and story as a means of educating children and adults all around the country about the contributions of the WASP to victory in WWII. NAA looks forward to presenting the Whitman Trophy to Miller in the coming months.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) invites you to join them for the feature presentation of A Journey Through the Birthplace of Aviation on June 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The film follows 9-year old Noa (dressed as her hero, Enshrinee Bessie Coleman) as she explores Dayton, Ohio. It celebrates the influence of NAHF Enshrinees and the importance of honoring our heroes and remembering our nation’s aviation heritage. Narrated by celebrated Astronaut and former NASA administrator Enshrinee Charlie Bolden Jr., the film also features aviation and aerospace Enshrinees Eileen Collins, Sean Tucker, Dick Rutan, Dale Klapmeier, and Patty Wagstaff who all make appearances describing, in their own words, the mission and purpose of the NAHF. The documentary was written and directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Adam and Kara White of Hemlock Films. The premiere, presented by Cirrus Aircraft, will include interviews with the filmmakers and Noa Lewis, messages from several other Enshrinees including Russ Meyer, Joan Sullivan Garrett, Charlie Duke, Harry Robertson, and John & Martha King, and a live panel with NAHF Enshrinees who took part in the film. Reserve your spot for this must-see film premiere today!

The skill, beauty, and excitement of aerobatic flight will be celebrated on Saturday, June 26, during the inaugural National Aerobatics Day. National Aerobatics Day is the perfect day to host an aerobatic camp, a BBQ, a practice session, or to share videos of aerobatic activity online. With over 40 chapters nationwide and two international chapters, IAC members will be organizing these types of activities and others to engage the public and general aviation pilots in aerobatics. A full list of National Aerobatics Day events is available on the IAC website.

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