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Mon, May 14, 2012

Ninety-Nines Recognize Outstanding Contributions

Awards Presented To Members And Non-Members For Achievements In Aviation

The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots, will present several awards to members and non members for significant accomplishments in support of The Ninety-Nines and aviation. Winners will be honored at a banquet during the organization’s annual meeting in Providence, RI, on July 13th.

The Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation will be presented to Debbie Rihn-Harvey. A world class aerobatic pilot, Rihn-Harvey is the 2006, 2008, and 2009 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion. Her 14-time selection to the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team makes her the longest-standing member of the team. She holds a gold medal in world competition and many regional aerobatic titles. She also is the highest-placing woman at the U.S. Nationals in Powered Unlimited Category. 

The owner/operator of Harvey & Rihn Aviation Flight School and FBO at LaPorte Municipal Airport since 1979, Debby is also a Captain for Southwest Airlines. Her reputation as an aerobatic instructor attracts students from around the world. She was inducted into Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003 and the International Aerobatics Club Hall of Fame.

She serves as an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator for the International Council of Airshows and for more than 30 years has been an FAA Designated Flight Examiner. She also is on the Board of Directors of Unlimited Aerobatics USA and a member of the Aviation Advisory boards for City of LaPorte, TX and San Jacinto College.

The Award of Inspiration is given by The Ninety-Nines Board of Directors to an individual, group, organization or agency whose participation, achievements or activities has had a significant impact on The 99s, the world aviation community, or the art and science of aviation or aerospace. Mireille Goyer, organizer of the Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots celebration is 2010 is this year’s winner.

In the absence of any celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first licensed woman pilot, the Delta, B.C., Canada, resident created a world-wide network in 29 countries where volunteers gave introductory flights to more than 1600 non pilot women and girls. The success of that program led to the 2011 debut of Women of Aviation Worldwide, a week-long event held each March. The 2012 event introduced another 1,104 girls and women from seven countries to the joy of flying. The 2013 event is scheduled for March 4-10.

Ninety-Nines President Susan Larson will present the awards. “Debby’s accomplishments is like a relay baton: her historic path encourages dedicated women like Mireille to continue the pursuit to bring more women into aviation. We are proud that these two winners are both members of The 99s.”

FMI: www.ninety-nines.org

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