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Dwane Wallace to be honored by National Aviation Hall of Fame

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013, at 12 a.m.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame will honor the late Dwane Wallace, who rescued Cessna Aircraft from bankruptcy and built it into the largest light aircraft manufacturer in the world, at a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on Oct. 4.

Former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton will present the award to members of Wallace’s family at the event. Wallace, who started with Cessna Aircraft in the 1930s, worked for the planemaker for 41 years, serving as the company’s president, chairman and CEO.

During the Depression, Wallace used money won by air racing to meet the company’s payroll. After Cessna helped meet the demand for World War II military aircraft in the 1940s, Wallace directed Cessna’s development of an extensive line of corporate and general aviation products.

He was a founder and first chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Wallace retired from Cessna in 1975.

One of Wallace’s four daughters, Sarah Bracco, will accept the award from Pelton, now chairman of the Experimental Aviation Association’s board of directors.

Wallace is one of four inductees into the 2013 Aviation Hall of Fame.

He will join the late C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the first African-American in space; Major Gen. Patrick Brady, an Army retiree considered by many to be the top helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War; and Navy Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson, Navy retiree and a former fighter and test pilot, engineer and veteran of five shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut.

The four will be recognized at the 51st Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning & Research Center in Dayton.

Seating is limited. Patron seats are $150 and premium seats are $300. The deadline for reservations is Sept. 21.

For information, go to www.nationalaviation.org or call 937-256-0944, ext. 10.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers in a learning center featuring interactive displays, a youth education program, the annual enshrinement ceremony and public outreach programs.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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