John Travolta to host show honoring ‘Living Legends’ of flight


Actor and pilot John Travolta is set to host an evening dedicated to the flying world’s A-listers at the 12th Living Legend Aviation Awards on Friday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The awards honor pilots, entrepreneurs, industry giants, astronauts and others who have made a difference in aviation’s second century, a statement from organizers said. Travolta serves as the award show’s “official ambassador.”

Past honorees include Richard Branson, Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and actors Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford.


Individual tickets to the event at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills cost $1,050 -- and yes, there are a few left.

Three honorees are to be added to the 88 current “living legends”: Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher; Bruce Whitman, chairman of FlightSafety International, which specializes in aviation training for pilots; and Maj. Gen. Carl McNair, a man deemed the father of modern Army aviation, according to the statement.

A presentation is to be made to Cynthia Zamperini-Garris, whose father was war hero and World War II pilot Louis Zamperini. The film “Unbroken,” currently in theaters, tells the story of his life, from Olympic medal winner to prisoner of war in Japan. Louis Zamperini died July 2 at age 97.

The evening is also to include a celebration of the birthday of Robert “Bob” Hoover, an Air Force test pilot and former air show pilot. He will be 93 on Jan. 24. Hoover was imprisoned in Germany during World War II but escaped, stole a plane and flew to safety in the Netherlands.

And what would any awards show be without a cool after-party? A rooftop gathering at the hotel is planned to mark Aldrin’s 85th birthday on Tuesday.

The Kiddie Hawk Air Academy based in Colorado sponsors the annual awards. It’s a nonprofit that gives children 4 to 9 years old a sense of flight on a trainer and encourages academic achievement in math and science.

Info: Living Legends of Aviation