Six new plaques for the aviation “walk of fame” on Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester were dedicated recently at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal. Each honoree is credited with a significant contribution to the advancement of aviation.
Honored at the ceremony and luncheon were Gen. Kevin P. Chilton (USAF-ret.), NASA astronaut and former head of the U.S. Strategic Command; Iris Cummings Critchell, aviation educator and World War II Woman Air Force Service Pilot (WASP); the late Robert W. Prescott, founder of the all-cargo Flying Tiger Line; Frank Robinson, pioneer helicopter designer and manufacturer; Burt Rutan, aircraft and spacecraft designer; and the late Robert Six, airline industry innovator and visionary. General Chilton was featured speaker at the event.
Honorees were selected by the board of directors of Flight Path, a locally based nonprofit organization which operates the museum in cooperation with the airport’s Community Relations office. Addition of the new plaques brings the total to 51 since the program began, according to Flight Path President Rowena Ake. The new plaques are to be installed in the sidewalk on Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester business district north of LAX. Lori Keir of the Flight Path board and John Ruhlen of the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association are coordinating the project.
The plaque project began in 1995 with ceremonies in Westchester. Dignitaries present included Flight Path’s honorary chairman, Maj. Gen. Charles E. Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier. Presiding was Morrey Plotkin, longtime community leader, who originated the aviation walk of fame concept and garnered support for the project.
Flight Path’s Speaker Series, so well received in 2011 and previous years, will continue in 2013 with a schedule of new programs. Speaker Series programs are open to the public. Admission and parking are free.
For information on The Endeavour, including future viewing opportunities, please see the California Science Center website, Click Here
Rowena Ake of Westchester was re-elected president and board chair of Flight Path during a recent meeting of the nonprofit organization’s board of directors. Flight Path operates an aviation museum and learning center in the Imperial Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
Ake has served as Flight Path president since 1999. A resident of the Westchester-Playa del Rey area since 1952, she is past president of the Westchester Rotary Club and the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce. Ake is a charter member of the Westchester Vitalization Corp. and holds the coveted Silver Beaver Award for her extensive volunteer service to Boy Scouts of America. Ake was proprietor of a local dry cleaning business for 40 years and more recently has worked as a real estate broker.
The Flight Path Board also re-elected Ethel L. Pattison of Manhattan Beach and Vincent Migliazzo of Westchester as vice-presidents, John Garstka of Westchester as chief financial officer, Jo Ann Hudspeth of Playa del Rey as treasurer, and Nancy Niles of Pacific Palisades as corporate secretary. Robert Acherman of Torrance was elected to fill a new Board position, vice president of electronic communications.
Flight Path Chairman Emeritus Morrey Plotkin has been honored by the Westchester Playa Village (WPV) with its first ever Inspirational Senior Award. WPV provides services to help local seniors remain in their homes.
Plotkin, who is 95 years old, serves as chairman of WPV’s fund committee and has long been active in Westchester community organizations. He was a founder and longtime board chairman and president of Flight Path and remains a generous supporter of the learning center’s activities, according to Rowena Ake, Flight Path’s current president.
“Morrey has a special talent for motivating individuals and organizations to work together,” said Ake. “The result has been many worthwhile projects of lasting benefit to the community. Flight Path was launched and first came to public attention through Morrey’s leadership in establishing the Flight Path ‘Walk of Fame’ in the Westchester business district with sidewalk plaques saluting aviation and aerospace pioneers.”
The Inspirational Senior Award was presented to Plotkin by WPV Executive Director Linda Berri and Field Representative Nate Kaplan during a ceremony at the Westchester Family YMCA. The criteria for the award include being an outstanding senior residing in WPV’s service area and providing inspirational leadership.
Said Berri, “Morrey has always been one to reach out and has always been dedicated to making Westchester a better place to live, work and play.”