We all know Harrison Ford from his on-screen achievements such as Han Solo in Star Wars and the title character in Indiana Jones. And some of us around Wichita have run into him at local restaurants when he comes in for recurrent flight training. (I met him one year during the National Business Aviation Association’s convention where he was an advocate for the Special Olympics Airlift.)
Now, Ford, an avid pilot, is being honored for his long-standing advocacy of the aviation industry. The National Aeronautic Association selected Harrison as the recipient of its 2010 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.
Ford’s list of contributions to the aviation community is long. He served five years as chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Young Eagles” program, which gives introductory flights to children as a way to introduce them to flying.
He loaded up his Cessna Caravan with medical supplies and personnel and flew it to Haiti after the earthquake.
He helped educate the public about the benefits of aviation through the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s “General Aviation Serves America” program.
And he supported search and rescue units in Wyoming, personally piloting missions into remote areas.
“All of us at NAA are very grateful for the work that Mr. Ford has done to advance the cause of aviation and aerospace in our nation,” NAA president and CEO Jonathan Gaffney said in a statement.
The trophy will be presented in Washington in December.