British Airways boss Willie Walsh, the passengers and crew who tackled a suicide bomber and the team behind a fly-by-wire system for Embraer business jets were last night named Leader, Aviator and Innovator of the Year in the second Flightglobal Achievement Awards.
The 89-year-old Joe Sutter, father of the Boeing 747 in the 1960s, picked up an award for Lifetime Achievement at the ceremony in front of 150 industry VIPs at TAG Farnborough Airport.
The winners topped a poll on flightglobal.com, where voters had to choose their favourites from a shortlist in each category.
Also announced at last night's ceremony was the fifth Boeing Engineering Student of the Year, Rick Cory. Chosen by a panel of former Boeing senior engineers, Cory left school with few qualifications and was working in a DIY store when he decided to go back to college and indulge his passion for robotics. He has ended up with a PhD from one of the USA's top universities for his work on perched landings with hand-held, fixed-wing unmanned air vehicles.
Clockwise from top Left, Flight International editor Murdo Morrison, Father of the 747 - Joe Sutter, hero of Delta flight 253 Jasper Schuringa , Ciro Tokasiki of Embraer and Willie Walsh of British Airways
The event was sponsored by Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, AJW Aviation, Bombardier and Boeing, and hosted by Flight International editor Murdo Morrison. Special guest John McCarthy, the author, broadcaster and former Beirut hostage, gave an inspirational talk on international relations and understanding cultures.
Cory, Sutter and Walsh were there in person to pick up their awards. The passengers and crew of Delta 253, on which a young Nigerian tried to explode a bomb hidden in his underpants on 25 December last year on an Airbus A330 flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, were represented by Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch film producer who overpowered the terrorist after he saw flames coming from his lap and gave cabin crew a chance to fetch extinguishers. He then manhandled the suspect to the front of the aircraft and searched him for weapons.