NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin is one of four Hall of Fame inductees Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin is one of four Hall of Fame inductees Photo courtesy of NASA

Museum of Flying fundraiser to honor Aldrin, Hoover, Lacy and Robinson on Saturday

By Michael Aushenker

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, World War II fighter pilot Bob Hoover, aviator and businessman Clay Lacy and helicopter manufacturer Frank Robinson will be honored Saturday in Santa Monica during the Museum of Flying’s inaugural induction ceremony and dinner for its California Aviation Hall of Fame.

Aldrin, 84, was a NASA astronaut and member of the legendary Apollo 11 crew who took part in the first successful lunar landing.

Hoover, 92, spent 16 months as a German prisoner after his malfunctioning aircraft was shot down in France but escaped by stealing a Luftwaffe fighter plane. He went on to work as a test pilot and revered air show performer.

Lacy, 81, logged more than 50,000 flight hours and worked as a commercial, military and test pilot. He founded one of the first private jet charter businesses in U.S. history.

Robinson, 74, is an engineer who designed helicopters and founded the Torrance-based Robinson Helicopter Co.

In addition to the inaugural inductees, the Hall of Fame also recognizes 19 legacy members who helped shape the growth of California’s aviation industry: J. Leland Atwood, Jackie Cochran, Glenn Curtis, Jimmy Doolittle, Donald Wills Douglas, Amelia Earhart, Ed Heinemann, Howard Hughes, Kelly Johnson, Dutch Kindelberger, Roy Knabenshue, Alan and Malcolm Loughead, Paul MacCready, Jack Northrop, Arthur Raymond, Ben Rich, Claude Ryan and Theodore von Karman.

The gala dinner serves as Santa Monica Museum of Flying’s annual fundraiser.

Santa Monica Museum of Flying’s inaugural Aviation Hall of Fame induction ceremony begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and program at 7 p.m., at 3100 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $350. Call (310) 398-2500 or visit museumofflying.com.

michael@argonautnews.com

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