First Flight Society Announces 2023 Class of Honorary Members

KITTY HAWK, N.C. – November 19, 2023 – The First Flight Society announces two new Honorary Lifetime Members: Record holder Mack Rutherford, and pilot Erik Lindbergh.

Mack Rutherford became the youngest person to fly solo around the world and the youngest person to fly a microlight aircraft solo around the globe. Now 18, Mack started his 5-month journey at age 17. Mack landed in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 24, 2022, completing a trip that took him across 52 countries. Mack was born to British parents but has grown up in Belgium. He joins his older sister Zara Rutherford as a First Flight Society Honorary Lifetime member.

Erik Lindbergh is a pilot, adventurer, artist and entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of VerdeGo Aero which provides Powertrain Systems and Engineering Services to the electric aircraft industry. Erik is the Co-Host of The Lindberghs podcast and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is also on the board of trustees of the XPRIZE Foundation. His grandfather, Charles Lindbergh was inducted into the Paul E Garber First Flight Shrine in 1967.

β€œThe First Flight Society is proud to honor both Mack Rutherford and Erik Lindbergh with lifetime honorary memberships. They are both great individuals who are currently influencing the field of aviation,” said Mike Fonseca, president of the First Flight Society.

Previous FFS Honorary Members include General Charles McGee, Colonel Gail Halvorsen, Patty Wagstaff, Rob Holland, Sean D Tucker, Zara Rutherford and Nicole Malachowski.

The Honorary Member program launched in 2020 to enhance the public visibility of luminaries like these who have achieved national recognition in aviation. First Flight Society will recognize them in Society Media during their lifetime. In turn, FFS offers them the chance to attend the December 17th Luncheon in Kitty Hawk, NC and be honored along with that year’s Honoree.

This year’s honorees are Walter and Olive Ann Beech, founders of Beechcraft. They will be inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine at Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17, 2023.

More information about the event can be found at

More information about the First Flight Society can be found at