Signature Flight Support Joins the San Diego...

Signature Flight Support Joins the San Diego Air & Space Museum as Presenting Sponsor on November 5, 2011 to Honor the "Class of 2011" Inducting Pioneering Legends into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame!

San Diego, 11.19.2011

San Diego, CA - November 20, 2011 - The San Diego Air & Space Museum announces Signature Flight Support as the Presenting Sponsor of the 48th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on November 5th. The event honors national and international air & space legends. Each honoree was selected for their historic contributions to aviation, space or aerospace innovation.

This spectacular evening attracts numerous air and space legends to San Diego and honors the "Distinguished Class of 2011": Jerry Coleman, World War II and Korean Marine Aviator & baseball legend; Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm founder; Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut; James Raisbeck, aerospace engineering entrepreneur; Dick Rutan, combat pilot & aviation record setter; Bill Gibbs, aviation living legend; TOPGUN (the squadron), Captains Dan Pederson, first TOPGUN Commanding Officer and Rick Ludwig, former Operations Officer and Commanding Officer representing; Naval Aviation, on its100th anniversary, invited guest Chief of Naval Operations and Commander Naval Air Forces; Tom Poberezny, Experimental Aircraft Association and Airshow Pilot; and other special invited guests.

Signature Flight Support, a subsidiary of BBA Aviation, operates the world’s largest fixed base operation for business aviation services with 104 FBO locations situated in 13 countries. No stranger to San Diego, BBA Aviation subsidiary ASIG has operated at Lindbergh Field for 22 years where its 50 employees provide commercial airlines with ground support services such as refueling, baggage handling, and maintenance.

Signature Flight Support was recently selected by the San Diego Airport Authority as a finalist to construct and operate the new business and general aviation facility (FBO) at Lindbergh Field.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum’s International Air & Space Hall of Fame is composed of hundreds of air and space pilots, engineers, inventors and innovators, along with adventurers, scientists and industry leaders. NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts, and Russian cosmonauts are honored in the Hall of Fame, plus famous flying pioneers such as the Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Chuck Yeager. Notable inductees include Jack Northrop, William Boeing, Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Jimmy Doolittle Jr., Frederick Rohr and Waldo Waterman.

Proceeds from the evening benefit the Museum's education programs.

The Class of 2011:

Jerry Coleman
San Diego legend, Marine Corps pilot, and one of a few baseball stars who served in both World War II and Korea earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Second baseman and six-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees. Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster for the San Diego Padres. He is known and loved in the San Diego community.

Dr. Irwin Jacobs
San Diego businessmen, innovative computer engineer, entrepreneur, educator, and a noted local and international philanthropist. Dr. Jacobs and his team at Linkabit developed a coding scheme used by NASA for deep space probes still in use today and developed variable-aperture satellites (VSAT). Dr. Jacobs is San Diego’s leading statesman and his company Qualcomm changed the way modern man communicates.

Walter Cunningham
Marine Corps pilot and Astronaut. Crewmember on the first manned Apollo mission - Apollo 7. He served as Chief of the NASA Skylab Astronaut Office overseeing 56 major scientific experiments. He is the author of the book The All American Boys, which chronicles the human side of the American space program.

James Raisbeck
Entrepreneur, businessman and an aviation innovator. He served as a research Aerodynamicist at the Boeing Airplane Company and President and Chief Engineer of Robertson Aircraft Corporation before starting his own company Raisbeck Engineering Inc., which after 9/11 designed Hardened Cockpit Security doors for American aircraft.

Dick Rutan
An accomplished Air Force pilot and Vietnam Veteran with over 325 combat missions and five Distinguished Flying Crosses, and world record holder. He founded Voyager Aircraft Inc. and piloted the Voyager aircraft on a non-stop, around-the-world flight and also set a world record in the EZ-Rocket for the longest distance in a ground-launched rocket powered aircraft.

Bill Gibbs
He is a living legend of Aviation. He established what is now known as Montgomery Field and the Gibbs Aircraft Service Center. His aviation career started in 1931 and has continued ever since. He worked for the famous Ryan School training Army pilots during WWII. His philanthropy through the Bill Gibbs Scholarship Endowment Fund has helped students attend universities and pursue careers in aviation and science.

The United States Navy Strike Fighter Weapons Program, known as TOPGUN is the modern day evolution of the Navy Fighter Weapons School established on March 3, 1969 at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. It has been training the best of the best of Navy and Marine Corps pilots for 42 years.

Naval Aviation
With the simple stroke of a pen on May 11, 1911 a keen-minded Navy Captain named Washington Chambers launched Naval Aviation in the United States by procuring the first two Navy airplanes. San Diego’s role in his decision was pivotal. The Navy’s first aviator, Theodore G. Ellyson, had attended the Glenn Curtiss flying school on North Island. Since then the United States Navy has evolved into the most sophisticated and modern Naval Air Force in the world, always on point defending the nation.

Tom Poberezny
He served as president of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), which was founded by his father Paul Poberezny. He was instrumental in the creation of the EAA Young Eagles program that encourages youth involvement in aviation. Tom is also a world-class airshow performer.

The Hall of Fame Gala Celebration is scheduled for Saturday evening, November 5, 2011 in the Pavilion of Flight in the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

For more information please call (619) 234-8291 or visit

Additional biographical data on the 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees is available by emailing

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. Currently on display: SPACE: A Journey To Our Future, produced by Evergreen Exhibitions and presented in collaboration with NASA, this dynamic, multimedia exhibit looks back into the history of aeronautics and examines the many unknown questions of existence posed by future space exploration. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with admissions until 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


rounded bottom