Jeff Bezos headlines newest class of inductees into Living Legends of Aviation

Jeff Bezos headlines newest class of inductees into Living Legends of Aviation

January 07, 2019

John Travolta and Harrison Ford present the 16th annual awards ceremony

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF., January 8, 2019 - John Travolta, the “Official Ambassador of Aviation” will host the 16th annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” on Jan. 18, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. The event honors those who have made significant contributions to aviation. Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos will be among the many accomplished people to receive awards this year.


Living Legend of Aviation Dr. Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, will present Bezos with the “Jeff Bezos Freedom’s Wings Award.” It honors Mr. Bezos’s advancing the principles of freedom in business and his personal endeavors. Mr. Bezos will be inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation.


Joining Mr. Bezos as 2019 inductees are:


  • Mr. Kenn Ricci, Founder and CEO of Directional Aviation Capital.
  • Mr. Brian Barents, retired executive chairman and CEO at Aerion.
  • Mr. Rick Fiddler, director of Amway Aviation.
  • Col. Joe Kittinger, retired, United States Air Force.
  • Mr. John Leahy, retired Airbus executive.
  • Kenny G, pilot and Grammy-Award-winning musician.


The Legends will honor the following individuals:

  • Mr. Jean Rosanvallon will receive the “Lifetime Aviation Industry Award.” President and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet, Mr. Rosanvallon was originally recruited by Dassault Aviation in 1975 to coordinate the company's Falcon Business Jet program.
  • Legendary actor Harrison Ford will present his “Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award.”
  • Mr. Richard DeVos will be honored for creating and founding the West Michigan Aviation Academy. His charter school has helped over 50 students earn their private pilot’s license. The curriculum focuses on excelling both in aviation and in life.
  • Mr. Jim Payne will be honored for his Perlan 2 Glider Project, an aircraft that flies to 90,000 feet to explore the science of giant mountain waves that help create the ozone hole and change global climate models.
  • Mr. Bertrand Piccard will be honored for his record-breaking around the world flight in the Solar Impulse aircraft.
  • Mr. Jeff Bezos will receive the Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award.
  • Mr. Stefan Aust will receive the “Wings of Help Award.”
  • Mr. Brian Barents will receive the Aviation Industry Leader of the Year Award.


Mr. Travolta will honor Qantas with the “Safest, Longest Continuous Operating Airline Award.” The award will be presented to Mr. Leigh Clifford, Qantas Chairman.


The Legends will pay tribute to two “Flown West Legends” during 2018.

  • Mr. Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft and renowned philanthropist. Allen had a serious interest in preserving and advancing American’s aviation and space efforts.
  • Bruce Whitman, former United States Air Force pilot who devoted much of his life to FlightSafety International, where his passion for aviation safety and dedication to flight training innovation received international acclaim.


Moderated by NBC Tom Costello, a “Fireside Chat with the “Legends” will round out the most spectacular Legends Awards event of the 16 years of historical and memorable aviation/aerospace celebrations.


The “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” are produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization. Kiddie Hawk’s mission is to educate children and spark their interest in aviation/aerospace. Please visit for more information.


Contact: Patty Kovacevich, Entertainment/Consumer & Aviation/Trade (including Red Carpet) at