The Air League held its Annual Reception in the wonderful setting of St James Palace, where a number of individuals and organisations were recognised for their remarkable achievements, with a series of awards presented by The Air League Patron His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The Air League’s most prestigious award (very seldom presented) – The Founder’s Medal – was awarded to Major Tim Peake for his remarkable exploits in space, noting that he was the first Briton to walk in space. Tim, who is still circling the Earth aboard the International Space Station until 18 June, was unable to be present at the event but in a surprise phone call, which was listened to by the 350 guests, Tim “called down” and spoke to Prince Philip and The Air League Chairman Mr Christopher Walkinshaw, thanking them for this medal in recognition of his achievement. The Founder’s Medal was accepted from Prince Philip on Tim’s behalf by his parents Nigel and Angela Peake.
Mr Christopher Walkinshaw said: The Air League is delighted to recognise Tim Peake’s remarkable achievements which particularly have included the encouragement of young people. Since its foundation in 1909, the promotion of an interest in Aviation has remained one of The Air League’s principal aims.
Tim Peake said : “It is an honour to receive this highly prestigious award. I would like to congratulate all those receiving awards this evening and to encourage others for the future.”
The Air League also recognised the 75th Anniversary of the founding of The Air Training Corps by the award of a Gold Medal, received by The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford; the Retiring Executive Chairman of British Airways was recognised for his work in providing gliding opportunities for under privileged children in inner cities with the award of The Jeffrey Quill Medal; The Scott- Farnie medal was awarded to Robert Pleming for his work in restoring to flight the Avro Vulcan, which retired from flying in 2015 following 11 Air Display seasons. Other awards were made to journalist Howard Wheeldon and also to two long distance pilots for remarkable and inspiring flights in 2015: Johan Wiklund who flew a 1930s de Havilland Moth to S Africa, and Tracey Curtis- Taylor who flew a 1940s Boeing Stearman to Australia.