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TopNAA Record                                             January 2011

Ford Board
Harrison Ford with members of the NAA Board of Directors at the Wright Memorial Dinner, where he received the prestigious Wright Memorial Trophy.

Harrison Ford Accepts

Wright Memorial Trophy from NAA

at Washington Aero Club Dinner

   Approximately 900 members of the aviation community were on hand at the Aero Club of Washington Wright Memorial Dinner on December 17, 2010 to watch aviator Harrison Ford accept the 2010 Wright Memorial Trophy.

   The trophy honors Orville and Wilbur Wright and commemorates the anniversary of man's first powered, controlled, and sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine. It has been awarded annually since 1948 "to a living American for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States." This prestigious award is administered by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest nonprofit aviation organization.

   Well-known for his career as an actor, Ford has a passion for flying and has earned an important place in aviation. He was honored "for engaging our nation's youth in aviation and inspiring tomorrow's leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts to secure a strong future for all of aviation."Harrison logo

   As a mentor, he worked with children as Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) "Young Eagles" program - taking more than 300 kids on their first flight.

   As a humanitarian, Ford flew critical supplies to Haiti following the earthquake there and has flown search-and-rescue missions in remote areas of the United States. He also served as Honorary Chairman of Cessna's 2010 Special Olympics Airlift and transported Special Olympics athletes to the Games.

   As an advocate, he has helped educate the public about the benefits of aviation and its contributions to communities and the nation. He has also worked to enhance the growth and integrity of the industry and promote aviation safety.

   "Aviation helped me reinvent my life," Ford said. "I flew a few times in college, but didn't get back behind the yoke until I was 50-something - for me it was about learning something new."

   He loves flying in the backcountry, which he finds the most challenging and rewarding.

Harrison trophy   At the dinner, Ford was both modest and witty - after listening to NAA President Jonathan Gaffney read the citation on the award, which he accepted from NAA Chairman Walter Boyne, he quipped, "I meet two of the criteria - I'm living and I'm an American," drawing laughter from the audience.

   He quickly turned serious, noting how aviation has become "a political football" in recent years as "the economy has decimated the aviation


   "I am hoping and planning for its recovery. In order for that to happen, we have to recognize that we depend on each other. General aviation is training most of our pilots - we cannot allow our differences to be dramatized in the press."

   Ford also spoke about "the legacy of freedom of flight we have that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. We have to pass this on to future generations and inspire our kids. Kids who fly are good kids - they take themselves seriously."

Ford was praised by four aviation leaders at the dinner:

   The Honorable Randy Babbitt, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said Ford "used his passion as a springboard for aviation."

   Craig Fuller, President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, talked about how Ford encouraged his group to tell stories about aviation as a way to engage people.

   Jack Pelton, CEO of the Cessna Aircraft Company, noted how Ford "maintains the highest level of professionalism in the cockpit" and is an "incredibly gracious model for our industry."

   Tom Poberezny, Chairman and President of EAA, told Ford, "You have made a difference when aviation needed a leader, mentor, and people who can inspire."


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John Porcari to Speak at

NAA January Luncheon

John D. Porcari

   Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari will speak at the January Luncheon on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.  Seats are still available; register now!

   Porcari has served in his current position since June 1, 2009 and is the Department of Transportation (DOT) chief operating officer with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of 10 modal administrations and the work of more than 55,000 DOT employees nationwide and overseas.

   Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Porcari served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation beginning in January 2007, a position he also held between 1999 and 2003. In that role, he transformed the state's capital program for transportation to require all projects to be consistent with the principles of smart growth, overseeing the $1.4 billion expansion of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, a plan to double transit ridership in the state by 2020, and a strategic plan for maritime commerce that resulted in contracts with long-term minimum tonnage guarantees at the Port of Baltimore.

   The NAA Luncheon Series is strongly supported by the Season Table Holders: The Boeing Company, Cobham, DRS Technologies, EADS North America, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rolls-Royce North America, UTC/Pratt & Whitney, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

NAA Assists Brazilian Airplane

in Claiming Four World Records

   A unique airplane called the CEA 308, designed and built by Professor Paulo Iscold and his students at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, claimed four world records in early December 2010.

   The flights were sanctioned by the Comissão de Aerodesporto Brasileira (CAB), an organization recently admitted as a new member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Gúnar Armin Halboth piloted the airplane from the Regional da Zona da Mata Airport.

The CEA 308 Team proudly stands next to its record-setting aircraft.

   The flights were personally overseen by Brian Utley, a long-time member of the NAA Contest and Records Board. Utley was there because of his experience with verifying records and his expertise in developing and using the secure, high-speed GPS flight recording device used to verify world records. CAB is also a new member of FAI that had not attempted a world record before, so his assistance was very helpful to the group.

   The four records claimed were in Class C (Aeroplanes) in Subclass C-1.a/0, Group I (Internal Combustion) and included:

  1. Time to Climb to 3,000 Meters: 8 min 15 sec
  2. Speed Over a 15 Kilometer Course: 204 mph
  3. Speed Over a 100 Kilometer Closed Course: 203 mph
  4. Speed Over a 3 Kilometer Course: 224 mph

   Professor Paulo Iscold, who participated in the world record attempts, chronicled the day-by-day developments in his blog.

   To Iscold, the airplane became like a living creature as it set one record after another. "308 is like a race horse - he knew that we needed to be fast today and he did his best to help us! He is really an amazing machine!," Iscold wrote in his blog.

   The CEA 308 began by breaking the "Time to Climb to 3,000 Meters" record by more than 5 minutes, followed that same day by new speed records over the 15-Kilometer and 100-Kilometer courses.

   The following day, an early morning attempt at the 3-Kilometer record achieved sufficient speed, but was disqualified because the airplane reached a height of 104 meters - slightly higher than the 100-meter limit for this length of flight. However, the second try succeeded and obtained an even higher speed.

   On the day of the final record attempt for the 3-Kilometer Course, Iscold noted that the team was a bit apprehensive as it waited for Utley to calculate the results. "After a few minutes I saw Brian shaking his head side to side, like a gesture of disapproval," he wrote in his blog. "I thought to myself: - Ok, we can fly again... but as soon as I finished my thought he murmured, 'How can it be so fast?'"

   Utley commented, "One of the pleasures that being an Official Observer brings is the opportunity to meet people who make a difference. In this case it was a whole team that made the difference and by no small margin. The records had stood since between 1982 and 1999, all set by different aircraft and pilots and now they had all succumbed to the speedy CEA 308. It was a pleasure to assist the Brazilian CAB in the certification process of these records thanks to the NAA DL-4 GPS receivers that have enabled me to develop the software and measurement processes necessary to certify the performance demands of the type of records just established."

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Collier Nominations Due by January 31; Winner To be Named on March 15

   The 2010 winner of the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy will be announced at the NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, Collierto be held Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. The winner will be selected the previous day by the Collier Selection Committee, comprised of a national group of stalwarts of the aerospace industry.

   There's still time to submit nominations "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year," which is what the Collier Trophy recognizes. Nominations must be sent electronically and received at NAA by January 31, 2011. Click here for complete nomination guidelines and information.
  The Spring Awards event will also recognize recent record setters as the Most Memorable Aviation and Space Records of 2010. 

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Former NAA President Malvern

Gross Passes Away at Age 77

   Malvern Gross, a lifelong pilot who served as president of NAA from 1989-1995, passed away December 5, 2010 at his home in East Windsor, New Jersey, at age 77. He had multiple system atrophy, a degenerative neurological disorder.

  Gross became interested in aviation as a child and purchased a single-engine Cessna 140 after graduating from college. He went on to become an enthusiastic pilot who owned nine airplanes during his life, most recently an experimental light sport airplane.

Mal Gross with his E-LSA.

   In 1977, he and his 12-year-old son, Randy, set a transcontinental speed record in a Cessna 210 when they flew from San Francisco to Washington, DC in 11 hours, 7 minutes, 31 seconds. In August 1978 Gross flew the same airplane to an altitude of 9,882 meters - more than 32,421 feet - to claim the world record in his class for highest altitude in level flight.

   "Malvern Gross was a giant in aviation," said NAA President Jonathan Gaffney. "He played a critical role in building NAA to what it is today, including revitalizing the Contest and Records Board. During his tenure at NAA, his concern for preseving the rich history of NAA lead to the publication of For the Greatest Achievement-A History of the Aero Club of America and the National Aeronautic Association. We will all miss him."

   Gross was a member of the board of directors of several aviation organizations, including the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Soaring Society of America, Balloon Federation of America, International Aerobatic Club, and the United States Parachute Association.

   He served in the Air Force for two years after graduating from Lehigh University and then began a career as an accountant. Gross retired in 1989 as a partner at the accounting firm now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers and then turned full time to flying.

   In 2009, he published "Nine Lives: Adventures of a Lucky Pilot," a book recounting several of his near-mishaps in the sky. In the book's foreword, EAA Founder Paul Poberezny remarked that Nine Lives "should be read by every pilot." The book can be ordered online through EAA.

President's Message

 The Beginning of Another Year


Happy New Year

Small Jonathan


We are still tabulating the results, but it would appear - from almost any perspective - that we enjoyed a good, solid year of progress in continuing the work of the National Aeronaut

ic Association.  Next month, many of you will receive our 2010 Annual Report, which will reflect this progress in the four areas of responsibility - records, awards, the luncheon series, and working with Air Sports in America and the Fédération Aéeronautique Internationale.  We have advanced the outreach, quality, efficiency, and (modest) profitability of our work and I am extremely proud of our achievements.

   Of course, there are many people and organizations that we can thank for this continued success.  That list begins, however, with my colleagues here at NAA, specifically our Director of Contest and Records, Art Greenfield; our Director for Administration, Nancy Sack; and our Director of Awards and Events, Cassandra Bosco.  They have performed exceptionally well in the very lean operation that is NAA.

   Our Chairman, Walter Boyne, and our Board of Directors have played an extremely important role throughout the year with their support, direction, and participation.

   Finally, the positive, professional relationship we have developed with our Corporate Partners, Air Sport Organizations, Affiliates, and Aero Clubs has resulted in a thriving, exciting, and useful  organization which exists for one simple reason:  To support our great industry of aviation and aerospace.

   Many thanks to you all.


Jonathan Gaffney
NAA President and CEO
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Air Sport Organization News

USHPA Reports on Free Flight Festival

   The United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (USHPA) featured a short article and link on its website to an ABC News "Good Morning America" program that aired a report in early December 2010 on "The Icarus Cup," a free-flight festival held in Saint-Hilaire du Touvet in Southern France. Acrobatic Pilot Tim Green described it as an event where "balloons are going up, hang gliders are coming down, and every aerial sport known to man comes together for the biggest festival in the world." View the television report.

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Aero Club News

ACSC Elects Directors and Officers;

Presents Awards and Scholarships

   Aero Club of Southern California (ACSC) members, who attended their final 2010 meeting in November, re-elected five members of the board of directors to new three-year terms. They are Charles May, Jack Norris, Jim Ragsdale, Gil Speed and Bill Withycombe. Nine other current board members are serving terms that continue through 2011.

   A slate of four officers was elected by the board to serve during 2011. They are Nissen Davis, president; Jim Ragsdale, vice president; Alan Wayne, secretary, and Art McAlister Jr., treasurer.

   Also at the meeting, the club's annual scholarships were presented to five Southern California students working toward careers in aviation. A special guest at the meeting was NAA President Jonathan Gaffney, who presented official NAA record certificates to six Southern California aviators who set speed or distance records during the year. They are Carl Nurmi, Brent McNevin, and Charles Reid, transcontinental speed record in a Robinson helicopter; John Parker, speed record in a Thunder Mustang; James Dexter, distance record in a Zeppelin, and Arnold Ebneter, distance record in a homebuilt E-1 aircraft.


Delta Airlines President to Speak to AAC

   Ed Bastain, President of Delta Airlines, will speak to the Atlanta Aero Club (AAC) on February 16, 2011 at the Capitol City Club. Bastian has been president of Delta Air Lines since September 2007 and a director since February 2010. He also serves as president and chief executive officer of Northwest Airlines, Inc. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a BBA and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

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In This Issue
Wright Memorial Trophy
Porcari to Speak
Brazilian Claims Records
Collier Nominations Due
Malvern Gross Passes Away
President's Message
Air Sport Organization News
Aero Club News
Upcoming Events
Call for Nominations
Featured Member Orgs
Records Claimed
Featured Air Sport Org
NAA Credit Card

Upcoming Events

January Luncheon

Tuesday, January 18

Featuring: John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary of Transportation

Click here for details and registration


NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

Tuesday, March 15, 11:30 Reception, Noon Lunch,

Crystal Gateway Marriott

Click here for details and registration

Call for Nominations

Collier Trophy

Nominations close

January 31, 2011

The Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year."  Click here for details.

This month's featured member

Cessna logo
DRS Technologies

GE Aviation

Air Transport logo


Records Claimed
November 1 - 30, 2010



Speed Over a Recognized Course:

London, UK to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt:  493 mph

James C. Barnett & Bradley D. Cox

Class C-1.g, Group III (Jet)

Learjet 60 XR

2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW305A


Speed Over a Commercial Airline Route

Myrtle Beach, SC to Atlantic City, NJ:  537 mph

Jason H. Ledbetter & Benjamin D. Riecken

Class C-1

Spirit Airlines Airbus A319



Largest Head-down Formation:  41 parachutists

Class G-2, Performance, Female

Eloy, AZ


This Month's
Air Sport Link

NAA Credit Card

Apply now for an NAA Rewards Visa® Card.  With every new account opened and every purchase made, a contribution will be made to NAA - at no additional cost to you!  Support NAA and earn Rewards points towards cash back, air travel, merchandise, and more - all with no annual fee and a low annual percentage rate!

Apply Now
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