Dayton could lose Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony

Apollo 13 astronaut James A. Lovell (right) received the first Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award at the National Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony held in October 2015 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. At left is William Harris Jr., the National Aviation Hall of Fame chairman of the board. LISA POWELL / STAFF
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Apollo 13 astronaut James A. Lovell (right) received the first Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award at the National Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony held in October 2015 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. At left is William Harris Jr., the National Aviation Hall of Fame chairman of the board. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Event that brings in big names has lost money in recent years.

A more than half-century Dayton tradition of enshrining aviation legends at the National Aviation Hall of Fame could move to an undisclosed location out of state because of continuing financial losses and a need for a bigger venue, organizers say.

The event, long billed as the “Oscars night in aviation,” has brought the biggest aviation legends to Dayton for the annual ceremony staged in recent years at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Organizers say they would prefer to keep the enshrinement ceremony in Dayton if financially viable, and a decision on where to stage the 2017 ceremony with four new inductees could be reached next month.

An unnamed site out of state has offered the use of a venue and an event planner without charge to bring the ceremony there, officials said. Several sites have been under consideration which have not been disclosed, officials said.

“We’ve been finding our community support here has been very lackluster,” said David Brixey, enshrinement committee chairman. “Of the total budget for the enshrinement, less than 15 percent comes from the Dayton community and we are a national aviation hall of fame, not a Dayton aviation hall of fame.”

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