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Tue, Sep 23, 2003

First and Last Men on Moon at NBAA

First-Ever Combs Award Presenters on Opening Day

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan will join business aviation legend Harry B. Combs in presenting the first annual Combs Award to photographer Dan Patterson during the Opening General Session of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 56th Annual Meeting & Convention on Tuesday, October 7 in Orlando (FL). This award, sponsored by the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) and 1996 NAHF enshrinee Combs, honors Patterson for his photographic preservation of America's air and space heritage.

The Combs Award grew out of a 2001 donation by Combs to the National Aviation Hall of Fame. As part of his generous $1.3 million gift to the NAHF for the creation of a Research Center, he stipulated that the Combs Award would support and encourage continuing aviation heritage research and preservation efforts. Combs' illustrious career includes accomplishments as an aircraft designer, fixed base operator, flight instructor, entrepreneur and author. A former aviation executive who helped devise the modern air traffic control system and pulled LearJet from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s, he also is the author of the acclaimed book Kill Devil Hill: Discovering the Secrets of the Wright Brothers. 

Award presenters Armstrong and Cernan are, respectively, the first and most recent men to set foot on the surface of the moon. Patterson's submission was selected for the $20,000 research and preservation award by a panel of judges that included not only Combs and Armstrong but also aviation historian and author C.V. Glines; best-selling author and executive director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Howard Benedict; and executive director of the Whirlybirds International, Jean Tinsley.

FMI: www.nationalaviation.org; www.nbaa.org/conventions/2003

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