The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Mark Baker has been named an Honorary Member of the First Flight Society. The program recognizes those luminaries who have achieved national recognition in aviation.
“We are honored to recognize Mark’s many contributions to aviation,” said Mike Fonseca, President of the First Flight Society. “AOPA’s mantra is ‘your freedom to fly’ and Mark has certainly taken that mission to heart. All pilots across the country have benefitted from his vision, leadership and contributions.”
Baker is joined in this year’s class by two other noted aviation notables:
Dr. Tom Crouch is a noted aeronautics historian and curator, spending 44 years at the Smithsonian (both the National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of American History), and retiring in 2018 as curator emeritus. Among his several books include: The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Rob Holland is one of the premier airshow performers and freestyle aerobatic competition pilots in the world, having won several U.S. and world championships.
Other recent Honorary Members have included Colonel Gail Halvorsen, Brigadier General Charles McGee, Dick Rutan, Sean Tucker, and Patty Wagstaff.
“While this may be an individual award, it’s emblematic of the great team we have at AOPA,” said Baker. “Everyone in the organization helps make my job easier and, together, we enable aviators to enjoy the amazing passion Orville and Wilbur brought to our world.”
Located in famed Kitty Hawk, N.C., the First Flight Society commemorates the first flight of the Wright Brothers and their development of powered flight. Each year, the Society recognizes individuals and entities that have accomplished outstanding achievements in manned flight and contributions to aviation.