General Aviation Leaders Honored at Living Legends Event

Aviation industry leaders were honored on Friday night at the 12th Annual Living Legends of Aviation dinner gala at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, hosted by actor and pilot John Travolta whose question for the evening was "Are you jet happy?" Among others, two general aviation leaders were honored at the event.

The Aviation Industry Leader of the Year Award was handed out by FlightSafety's chairman, president and CEO, Bruce Whitman, to Michimasa Fujino, the president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company who is also the visionary of the HondaJet and its over the wing engine mount design. In his heartfelt remarks, Fujino said pride in one's achievements is frowned upon in his homeland, Japan. "Tonight I'm not Japanese," he said. Fujino also recognized his two daughters, who were in the audience, and introduced "the beautiful HondaJet" as his third daughter.

Mark Baker, the president and CEO of AOPA, was also honored at the event, receiving the Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award from actor and pilot Harrison Ford. Baker's brief remark included a message: "Cheap gas to all of you!"

The Living Legends of Aviation is produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which strives to spark an interest in aviation in children 4 through 9 years of age.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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