Steve Hinton Wins Third Annual Air Show Buzz Person of the Year Award
January 5, 2010 - LOS ANGELES, CA – Air Show Buzz (ASB), the world's first and only media company delivering the passion of aviation and its lifestyle to millions of consumers worldwide, has selected Steve Hinton as the recipient of the ASB Person of the Year Award. The prestigious and highly coveted award is given out each year to an air show icon that captures the passion of flight and this past year Hinton was no exception after becoming the youngest pilot to win the top prize at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada in September of 2009. Hinton was awarded the prize which includes a custom made plaque.
Previous winners of the ASB Person of the Year Award include 2007’s recipient U.S. Air Force Major Paul “Max” Moga who was the first Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Pilot and 2008’s recipient Advanced World Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland.
“Steve is a prodigy in the air show arena and the most deserving of this celebrated award,” stated ASB’s Ed Shipley. “With decades of success ahead of him, Steve joins legends Max and Rob as the best among his fellow aviators.”
Hinton said, “Being honored as ASB’s Person of the Year is incredible. Having won the Gold Jacket and becoming the youngest Unlimited Gold Champion and now being recognized by ASB, 2009 was a year I will never forget. I am proud of this accomplishment and the statement it makes and I thank ASB for recognizing me with this coveted award.”
This past year, Hinton flew the highly-modified P-51 Strega to victory in the Breitling Gold Unlimited Race in Reno Nevada. He won with an average speed of 491.822 mph in a time of 8:10.357, almost 13 seconds ahead of John Penney in Rare Bear, an F8F Bearcat. It was only Hinton's second appearance in the Unlimited class but he's been around the sport since he attended his first Reno races when he was two weeks old. His father is a two-time Unlimited champion.
Hinton’s love of airplanes dates back to when he was four years old giving tours at the Planes of Fame museum in Chino, California where is father served as the museum’s president. Hinton started working his way through airplanes soloing in a Cessna 150 at 16 and moving through a stearman, L-5, T-6 and ultimately soloing in a P-51 Mustang at 19. When he was 15, Hinton saw the P-51 Strega and introduced himself to owner Bill “Tiger” Destefani who in turn put Hinton in touch with Strega’s crew chief, LD Hughes. After 8 months of discussions, Hinton was rewarded for his efforts by being invited to join the Strega team. Hinton worked tirelessly and earned the respect of Destefani who invited Hinton to fly Strega and ultimately deemed him Strega's next race pilot.
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