Australian aviator to receive first Wiley Post Spirit Award

Monday, January 24th 2005, 9:57 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An aviator from Australian will be the first person to receive the Wiley Post Spirit Award this week.

Champion skydiver, free-fall photographer and record-setting autogyro pilot Andy Keech will be given the award Friday.

The Wiley Post Commission created the award to recognize aviators who exemplify the engineering and innovative pioneer spirit of Post.

The award is given to aviators who have pushed forward without the financial support of either the government or a large corporate backer.

Post, an aviator pioneer, died in 1935 in a plane crash in Alaska, along with Oklahoma's Will Rogers. Post was the first person to fly solo around the world and invented the high-altitude pressure suit. It was considered to be the forerunner to the modern space suit.