Major contributors to the Southern California aviation and airport community will be honored in a ceremony on May 29 in a beautiful new display area in the Westchester business district north of Los Angeles International Airport.  Flight Path worked in cooperation with Drollinger Properties to create the site in the Westchester Village shopping center at Sepulveda Boulevard and Howard B. Drollinger Way where names of honorees inscribed will be announced during the invitational event.
The Flight Path Board of Directors has unanimously approved recipients of the first four Honorary Service Awards, according to Nancy Niles, Flight Path president. They are the Bob Hope USO at LAX, Howard B. Drollinger, John A. Garstka and David Tallichet. Also honored that day will be Joseph J. “Tym” Tymczyszyn, with embedment of a plaque on Flight Path’s Aviation Walk of Fame adjacent to the ceremony site. The individuals are being honored posthumously.
“Our criterion for the Honorary Service Awards,” explained Niles, “is that each honoree has provided significant contributions or services for the advancement of the Southern California airport community. The 51 plaques on the Aviation Walk of Fame honor pioneers and luminaries who have made major contributions to aviation or aerospace.”
uso200The Bob Hope USO at LAX has for many years been a “home away from home” for military service personnel enroute to or from their assignments. Staffed primarily by volunteers, the USO provides information, recreation and other assistance to these men and women and their families, many of whom are unfamiliar with LAX and the Los Angeles area. The center was named for the late comedian Bob Hope, who focused much of his career on entertaining American troops in places far from home.

drollingerhb200Howard B. Drollinger
 operated a property management firm for many years in the LAX area. He was a key developer of Westchester’s upgraded Sepulveda Boulevard “gateway” to the airport, including shopping, parking and other amenities of benefit to travelers and area residents. He and his firm were noted for their philanthropic endeavors in the airport community. Drollinger served during World War II as an Army Air Forces navigator, flying 50 combat missions over Italy. He was a faithful supporter of Flight Path and the preservation of Southern California’s aviation heritage.
John Garstka200John A. Garstka earned recognition in the LAX community as a leader in education, business and support for training of future aviators. Garstka served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War and Vietnam War, retiring as a lieutenant colonel and master navigator. For heroism and heroic achievement he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. Garstka was a certified public accountant, associate professor of accounting at Loyola Marymount University and an instructor in the LMU ROTC program. He served as chief financial officer of the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum.

David TallichetDavid Tallichet was owner-operator of a group of restaurants, including the iconic Proud Bird adjacent to the LAX south runway complex. Under Tallichet’s direction, the Proud Bird became a showcase of aviation history, including replicas and models of significant aircraft on the grounds plus a large collection of aviation photos and other memorabilia inside the restaurant. Tallichet served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, co-piloting a B-17 bomber on more than 20 combat missions over Europe. He established the Military Aircraft Restoration Corp. to manage, restore and replicate vintage aircraft. Tallichet also was a strong supporter of Flight Path and its educational mission.

Joseph Tyczynszyn200Joseph J. “Tym” Tymczyszyn achieved distinction as a test pilot on a wide variety of aircraft, including airline transports, military fighters, general aviation planes, helicopters and navigation systems. He was best known as the Federal Aviation Administration’s Project Pilot on the first two jet transports, the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8. Tymczyszyn served as an instructor pilot and later as an engineering pilot in the Pacific during World War II. Born in Torrance, he lived for many years with his family in Westchester.


GalaXVII013Flight Path photo by Ron Williams
Rowena Ake was presented Flight Path’s Guiding Light Award at the museum’s Gala XVII fundraiser on October 10, 2013, recognizing her long service as museum president and her tireless promotion of its educational mission in the community.  She is pictured above at the Gala receiving the third annual award from Clay Lacy, CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation,  longtime Flight Path scholarship donor and  previous Guiding Light honoree.
The Guiding Light Award award is represented by one of the yellow and blue taxiway lamps which guide aircraft at LAX from runway to terminal.  Honorees are nominated and selected by the community based Flight Path Board of Directors, a group of active and retired aviation and airport professionals.
Ake is a longtime resident of the Westchester community north of LAX, where she has long been active in business and community organizations.  She previously was honored as  25th Senate District Woman of Distinction and with the Boy Scouts’ coveted Silver Beaver Award.  She is past president of the Westchester Rotary Club and the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce.”We are very fortunate to have Rowena as our strong advocate in the community,” said Morrey Plotkin, Flight Path chairman emeritus.  “She has helped generate vital support for our educational programs, including scholarships for deserving aviation students and participation in our flight simulator training classes.”

Gala Celebrates Museum’s 10th Birthday

The Flight Path Museum celebrates its 10th birthday in the LAX Imperial Terminal with a festive Gala benefit “open house” on October 10.   The Gala’s “birthday party” theme will showcase Flight Path’s progress as a learning center and museum since first opening in October 2003.
This is Flight Path’s 17th annual fundraising Gala, the events having started several years before the museum opened.The Gala, scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m., will feature an international buffet, wide selection of beverages, musical interludes and airport tours, according to Event Chair Lynne Adelman of the Flight Path board of directors.  More than 300 guests are expected.
A highlight of the evening will be presentation of the museum’s annual Guiding Light Award to Rowena Ake in tribute to her long service as Flight Path president and board chair and her work in building community support for the museum’s educational mission.
fpgalarowenalacy172 GUIDING LIGHT AWARD:
Rowena Ake, Flight Path president and board chair, will receive the museum’s annual Guiding Light Award at this year’s Gala fundraiser in tribute to her long service building support for the museum in the community.  She is pictured presenting a previous Guiding Light Award to Clay Lacy, CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation and a major Flight Path scholarship donor.  The award replicates a blue taxiway lamp that guides aircraft at LAX from runway to terminal.

“The museum has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors in the past decade“ said Adelman. “The Gala will celebrate this important milestone as well as salute those organizations and individuals who have made it all possible.“

Emphasizing Flight Path’s educational mission, each Gala also features presentation of the Clay Lacy and Charles “Pete” Conrad scholarships to students planning careers in aviation. Competitive selections are made by aviation professionals.

Guests will have an opportunity view aviation memorabilia and flight simulators in the museum and vintage and contemporary aircraft on the tarmac.  A silent auction and raffle will feature a variety of prizes, ranging from air travel to select wines.

Gala reservations at $75 per person are available by calling (424) 646-7284.  Opportunities are available for table sponsorships. Those sponsoring tables or    donating prizes will receive special recognition at the event.