William Garvey Named Amongst Living Legends Of Aviation

William Garvey, BCA Editor-in-Chief, was inducted into the “Living Legends of Aviation” in Beverly Hills, California on January 16. Along with other Class of 2020 inductees including Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell, Gulfstream’s Larry Flynn and Sergei Sikorsky, Bill was introduced by the evening’s host, actor/pilot John Travolta. The ceremony is produced annually for the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which is dedicated to sparking children’s interest in aviation.

The list of past recipients includes over 100 men and women from every corner of aerospace. Astronauts, titans of aviation manufacturing, fighter pilots, inventors and celebrities, among them. They have included Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, airline pilots Al Haynes and Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, celebrity pilots Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman, and general aviation’s Jack Pelton, Brian Barents and Clay Lacy. Now, Bill has been honored, too, celebrating his long and storied career in aviation journalism.

I have been honored to work alongside Bill for the past five years. His writing never fails to amaze me, and his knowledge and innate understanding of our industry are unparalleled. Plus, he’s just the nicest guy you could ever meet. Our time together in the office, at aviation conferences, and at trade shows all over the world are a joy, because he is simply the best storyteller I know. His writing reflects his personality…you can hear his voice when you read him in print or online.

William Garvey Living Legend

During his acceptance speech for the Legends, Bill touched only briefly on his aviation adventures, including his flights in a Sukhoi 29 aerobat, twice piloting the Goodyear blimp, formation flying with the Skytypers in SNJs over Long Island, sailplaning in a Schweizer in upstate New York, and splashing down on Lake Meade in a Grumman Albatross.

He also acknowledged the help and support of his beloved wife, Tamara, whom he credits with fostering his career success and enabling him to pursue his lifelong love of all things aviation.  

William Garvey with wife Tamara Garvey
William Garvey with wife Tamara Garvey

Bill has been the top editor for Flying and Professional Pilot magazines, along with BCA, and has written for many other prominent outlets including Reader’s Digest, National Public Radio, Smithsonian Air & Space, The New York Times and, of course, Aviation Week & Space Technology and Aviation Week Television. He has also received “Lifetime Achievement in Journalism” awards from both the NBAA and Aerospace Media organization. NATA granted him an “Aviation Journalism Award,” and he has earned an “Aerospace Journalist of the Year” award as well. In 2018 he was named a “Distinguished Statesman of Aviation” by the National Aeronautic Association. 

Outside of his journalism gig, Bill is a dedicated family man. One of seven siblings, he likes to share the experience of that hectic home life with wife, Tamara, who is also one of seven. Together, they’ve raised four remarkable children, two of whom went on to become military aviators. 
If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Bill, when you do, you’ll find him extremely gracious and eager to talk to you about anything that flies or drives. Ask him about his classic BMW M Coupe! I often see him get stopped at tradeshows, in the airport, and on the street, and without exception, he always makes the time to connect.  

However, if you want to hear about his induction as a “Legend,” you’ll need to raise the subject; Bill’s focus is on others, not himself. I learned that even his closest colleagues had no idea he was receiving this prestigious award until after the event itself.

That is why I’m telling you about it now. 

Congratulations, Bill. Well deserved!