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Sat, Dec 16, 2006

Steve Fossett To Be Inducted In Aviation Hall Of Fame

July Ceremony To Honor Five 'Legends Of Flight'

Steve Fossett had an eventful year. In February he set the Absolute Non-Stop Distance Record for any aircraft, then in March the Absolute Closed Circuit Distance Record -- both flying solo in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. Then in August, with co-pilot Einar Enevoldson, he established a new glider world altitude record.

Fossett holds numerous aviation world records in balloons, gliders, airships and powered aircraft. Because of those and his tireless efforts in promoting aviation the world over, ANN has learned he and four other "legends of flight" will be honored with enshrinement in the The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) next July.

Famed test and fighter pilot, parachutist and balloonist, USAF Colonel (Retired) Joe Kittinger made the announcement last night in Dayton, OH, birthplace of the Wright Brothers and home of the NAHF. He was addressing a group attending a dinner celebrating the 103rd Anniversary of the Wright Brothers first powered flight.

In addition to Steve Fossett, the NAHF "Class of 2007" includes Walter J. Boyne, former Director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, aviation historian and best-selling author;  Evelyn Bryan Johnson, a flight instructor who has logged more flight hours, trained more pilots, and given more FAA exams than any other pilot; Sally K. Ride, America’s first woman in space aboard NASA’s STS-7 Shuttle mission; and Frederick W. Smith, a former USMC combat pilot and innovative founder of FedEx, the global transportation, business services and logistics company.

The formal enshrinement will take place in Dayton on Saturday, July 21, 2007, where these five will join the 190 legends of flight already honored in the NAHF.

A pleased Steve Fossett commented yesterday, "This is a great honor - and a very nice Christmas present! I am especially pleased my old friend Joe Kittinger will be making the announcement tonight, and I'll look forward to being in Dayton in July."

FMI: www.nationalaviation.org

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