The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has canceled the 2020 R.A. “Bob” Hoover Awards ceremony due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The event, which had already been postponed from its original March 18 date, was expected to take place on Oct. 6 at the also-canceled 2020 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. Along with awarding the Hoover Trophy to 2020 recipient Burt Rutan, AOPA planned to present the Joseph B. “Doc” Hartranft Award, the Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award, the General Aviation Safety Award and the inaugural Brigadier General Charles E. McGee Aviation Inspiration Award at the ceremony.
“The health and welfare of our staff and event attendees remain a priority,” AOPA said in a statement. “We continue to monitor the ongoing situation surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and decisions regarding AOPA events will always be communicated as soon as a decision is made. We look forward to being together again soon to recognize and celebrate the contributions of many notable leaders throughout general aviation.”
The inaugural Hoover Trophy was presented to Bob Hoover in 2016. According to AOPA, the trophy is awarded to honor “aviators whose airmanship, leadership, mentorship, and passion for aviation inspire a love of flight in countless others.” Past recipients have included Sean D. Tucker, Harrison Ford and Clay Lacy.