December 17, 2021 | 5 - 9:30 p.m.
Celebrate the anniversary of the first powered flight with special guest presenters, cocktails, and full dinner service.
The annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet honors the spirit and achievements of the Wright brothers. Drawing hundreds of attendees, this event is one you won't want to miss. Enjoy a full service dinner and cocktails while you listen to a riveting presentation given by a special keynote speaker who shares with us their story of adventure, camaraderie, and flight. Doors to the event open at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.
This year, we’re honored to host Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson as the keynote speaker. “Hoot” was born in Cooperstown, New York, on October 30, 1946, but considers Lakewood, California, his hometown. He first entered active duty in 1969 as a naval aviator. Gibson began his fighter pilot career in VF-111 and VF-1 and served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Coral Sea and USS Enterprise. He flew combat missions over the skies of Southeast Asia in the F-4 Phantom. He would later make the first operational carrier deployment of the F-14 Tomcat. Gibson then graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School, commonly referred to as “TOPGUN.”
Hoot was selected by NASA in 1978 and graduated as an astronaut in 1979. He flew five missions — STS-41-B on the space shuttle Challenger, STS-61-C on Columbia, STS-27 on Atlantis, STS-47 on Endeavor, and STS-71 when he docked Atlantis with the Mir space station for the first time. Gibson served as the Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1992-1994, and then was the Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations in 1996.
Gibson’s amazing career has touched every part of aviation. He has served as a commercial airline pilot, air racing pilot, warbird pilot, and avid model builder. He has flown 111 different types of aircraft. He is married to astronaut Dr. M. Rhea Seddon.
Tickets will be available for purchase in the fall. Mark your calendars for Friday, December 17, and watch for additional announcements on our Facebook event!