At the Living Legends of Aviation Awards, Tom Cruise was honored as the Top Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award. And who better to present him with this award than John Travolta, the Ambassador of Aviation. Cruise was awarded a bird shaped statuette and a Breitling watch which he promptly donated to a charity auction that evening.
Travolta has always been known for his obsession with planes. He is a certified pilot and owns five aircraft. One of his collection is the Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. He acts as an ambassador for Qantas whose insignia remains are still visible on the plain. On his $4.9 million estate in Florida, Travolta has his own runway and taxiway till the front door.
It is with this history that Travolta was seen as the perfect one to award Tom Cruise with the Top Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award. Cruise received the award not only for his own passion in flying and planes, but mainly for his movie Top Gun which features the most grossing aviation scenes of all time.
Many other awards were presented during the evening, most notably the First Out of This World Landing and Take-Off Award, which was awarded to Dr. Buzz Aldrin for his own accomplishments in aviation and exploration. When he was younger, Aldrin flew 66 times on missions to Korea. He is one of 12 astronauts to ever walk on the moon.
The Legends awards gala is organized by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which is a non-profit organization that introduces children to aviation.