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TopNAA Record                                             February 2011

VenletVice Admiral David Venlet to

Speak at February Luncheon


 On Tuesday, February 15, the Director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, Vice Admiral David J. Venlet, USN, will be the featured speaker at the NAA February Luncheon.

   He will update attendees on the F-35 Program achievements and issues. Limited seating still available. Click here to register online by Feb. 10 or email if you need further information.

Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2010

   Each year, as the official record keeper for United States aviation, NAA tracks dozens of world and national record attempts. New U.S. records are certified and those qualifying as world records are then ratified with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). At the end of each year, under the direction of the Contest and Records Department, a list of the "most memorable" is created.

   Here's a glimpse of the Class of 2010; click here for complete information on these records.

   These remarkable record setters will be honored at the NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on March 15, 2011.

  • Arnold Ebneter set a distance record from Everett, WA to Fredericksburg, VA, a distance of 2,327 miles. Ebneter, 82 years old at the time of the record, personally designed and built the airplane he flew.
  • An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle remotely piloted by Christopher Kelleher and the Qinetiq HALE team set an absolute record for duration of 14 days, 22 minutes.
  • John Parker flies a 3/4 scale P-51 Mustang known as a Thunder Mustang. In June 2010 he flew it over a 100-kilometer closed course at 364 mph, smashing the 35-year-old speed record of 282 mph.
  • James Dexter piloted a new technology Zeppelin airship 441 miles non-stop along the scenic California coast, setting a new gas airship distance record.
  • During the U.S. Air Force's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the B-1 Bomber, four USAF pilots set a new time to climb record, besting the 1993 record by more than 9 minutes; quite a feat with 5,000 kilograms of payload on board.
  • 41 women skydivers beat the previous record of 20 women skydivers in a head-down formation over Eloy, AZ in November.
  • Douglas Cairns spent 5 days, 15 hours and 16 minutes in his Beechcraft Baron 58 visiting all 50 states and District of Columbia, beating the previous record by more than 8 days!


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Nelda K. Lee to Receive the 2010

Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award


Nelda K. Lee

   NAA has announced that Nelda K. Lee of The Boeing Company has been selected to receive the 2010 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award.

   The award will be presented to Lee for "her career and personal achievements exemplifying outstanding and enduring contributions in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space and related sciences. As a role model and pioneer female aerospace test engineer, she has inspired women and men to seek careers in aviation."

   The Stinson Award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution, a meritorious flight, or a singular technical development in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space or related sciences. The Selection Committee consisted of Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President of Women in Aviation, International; Henry Ogrodzinski, President and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials; and was Chaired by Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA.

   Lee has been employed with The Boeing Company (formerly McDonnell Douglas) for 42 years. In January 2011 she joined the new enterprise-wide Boeing Test & Evaluation (BT&E) organization and is currently assigned to the F-15 Eagle Program as the T&E IPT Manager.

   Prior to this assignment she was in the Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA) organization and was T&E IPT Manager for the F-15 Eagle, AV-8 Harrier, T-45 Goshawk, and F/A-18 Hornet programs. A highlight of her career with McDonnell Douglas was when she logged 1.5 hours of flight time in the F-15 Eagle in 1980.

   In addition to her career with The Boeing Company, Lee also enjoys aviation as a pastime and hobby. She is a licensed commercial pilot with instrument, multi-engine, and helicopter ratings. She has flown in several transcontinental air races.

   She is a member of The Ninety-Nines and International Women Pilots for which she previously served as Governor for the 9-state North Central Section. Currently she serves on the board of trustees for the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.

   Lee is Charter Member #15 of Women in Aviation International and currently serves on the Board of Directors. She was inducted into the International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame in 2004. She is a member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers...

   For the second consecutive year, NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney will award the Stinson Trophy at the International Women in Aviation Annual Conference Pioneer Hall of Fame Banquet to be held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, on February 26, 2011.

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Collier Winner to be Named at

NAA Spring Awards Ceremony

   The nomination period for the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy closed on January 31, 2011 and the list of nominees is impressive.  The Selection Committee to choose the winner has been assembled and includes stalwarts of the industry and past Collier recipients. The selection will be made on March 14, 2011.

   It has become an annual tradition to announce the winner the day following the selection.  The tradition continues as the 2010 Collier Trophy winner will be announced at the NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.  Register here or email for additional information.

   The Collier Trophy will be presented for the 100th time at the annual Collier Dinner on May 5, 2011. The Collier Trophy has been awarded annually since 1911 "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."

International Award Nominations

Due by April 30

   NAA works to identify worthy candidates and generate nominations for seven (7) Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Awards. These awards include:

  • Gold Air Medal for contributions to the development of Aeronautics to the cause of Aviation.
  • Gold Space Medal for contributions to the development of Astronautics to the cause of Space.
  • Sabiha Gökçen Medal for the woman who performs the most outstanding achievement in any air sport in the previous year.
  • Silver Medal to a person in high office in an aeronautical organization who, in discharging their duties, showed powers of leadership and influence to the benefit of the international air sport community.
  • Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship to a person or a group of persons for a feat of outstanding airmanship in sub-orbital flight.
  • Paul Tissandier Diploma To those who have served the cause of Aviation in general and Sporting Aviation in particular
  • Honorary Group Diploma togroups that have contributed significantly to the progress of Aeronautics and Astronautics during the previous year or years.

   If you have an idea for a nomination in mind, see details on these awards and how to submit a nomination on the NAA website or email

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Chairman's Message

Instilling the Love of FlyingBoyne

   Veterans of the aerospace industry are sometimes disheartened to learn that the youth of America do not seem to have the instinctive love for flying that was characteristic of earlier generations since 1903. Such a lack of interest is so foreign to those who grew up as few as 20 years ago that it is almost impossible to understand.

   There are many reasons cited for it. Among them are the wide experience that almost everyone has today in flying in passenger jet aircraft, where the thrill of hurtling through space at 500 mph is more than offset by the security checks at the airport, the crowded seating, and the pervasive lack of amenities. Others argue that the problem is the widespread use of electronic devices, from video games to smart phones, personal computers and, of course, the interminable texting.

   There are some noble efforts to offset this trend toward indifference to flight, among them the Experimental Aircraft Association's "Young Eagles" program, the tireless efforts of the Civil Air Patrol, and a host of well-made documentaries.

   But the real problem is of our own making. By "our" I mean those generations who grew up loving flight almost automatically. We have not recognized that times have changed, and that the previous channels into flight have dried up. The military requirement for flyers has diminished, and can be satisfied in large part by graduates from the military academies. The airlines require pilots and will require even more to fill the ranks in the coming years, but the cost to obtain the necessary licenses is daunting to the average young man or woman.

   Baldly put, our generation has not been far-sighted enough to make flight instruction available to large numbers of people by subsidizing the cost. People have reacted naturally enough with indifference to flying as a career or avocation.

   The average young man or woman, either in school or getting ready for it, cannot come up with the necessary money to learn to fly. In a country where almost every educational aim is backed by massive corporate support for government subsidies, we have failed to do the same for flying. We need an industry-wide effort to secure funding from the government for a massive flying training effort.

   To do this-at a time when all the talk is about cutting government spending-is difficult, but if the aerospace industry could come together and offer to match government funding with industry funds, we could create a new climate, one which would see interest in aviation climb in a way that would more than repay the joint investment made by government and industry.  If we do not, we will be paving the way for industrial use of unpiloted aerial vehicles.

   Let's face it. Flying is as thrilling as ever-but we have to make it available to a vastly wider audience of young people.

 Walter Boyne

NAA Chairman

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Air Sport Organization News

Larry Newman, Last Surviving Member of

Double Eagle II Crew, Passes Away

   The Balloon Federation of America reported that Larry Newman (1947-2010), last surviving member of the crew of the Double Eagle II balloon - the first to cross the Atlantic in a balloon - has died.

   In 1978, Newman joined with Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson to fly the Double Eagle II balloon across the Atlantic Ocean. Newman also teamed with Abruzzo, Ron Clark, and Rocky Aoki on the crew of Double Eagle V, the first balloon to cross the Pacific Ocean. Newman was also the last surviving member of the Double Eagle II crew.

   Newman was involved in aviation almost since infancy. Among other accomplishments, he was a world champion hang glider and a 757 Captain with America West Airlines for 10 years


Airplane Builders Host Video Blog

As They Build a Four-Place Bearhawk

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) website featured an article about two 20-something guys - Brady Lane and Caleb Ihrig - who have embarked upon an ambitious project to build a four-place Bearhawk from scratch. Ihrig is an engineer and likes mechanical things; Lane is a multimedia journalist for EAA. With just basic skills and tools, the two friends are inviting the world to watch them build an airplane through their Dream Build Fly blog, featuring weekly build sessions streamed live from Ihrig's basement.

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Aero Club News

ACSC to Honor FedEx Founder


Frederick W. Smith and part of the FedEx fleet of cargo aircraft.

   The Aero Club of Southern California (ACSC) will present the 32nd annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award to Frederick W. Smith, founder and chairman of FedEx Corporation, at a banquet in Los Angeles, CA, on March 1, 2011. Selection of each year's honoree, recognized for a lifetime of leadership in aviation or aerospace, is made by a vote of past recipients of the award.

   Smith heads a $35 billion global transportation, business services and logistics company operating in 220 countries and territories with a fleet of 664 aircraft and over 80,000 ground vehicles.  The ACSC says that some seating is still available for the banquet, which is open to members and the public.

   Information about reservations (which are mandatory) and ticket pricing is available on the Events Calendar page of

the ACSC website at

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In This Issue
Venlet to Speak
Most Memorable Records
Lee to Receive Stinson Award
NAA Spring Awards Ceremony
FAI Awards
Chairman'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

NAA February Luncheon

Tuesday, February 15

Featuring VADM David J. Venlet, Director, Joint Strike Fighter Program

Click here to register by February 10.


NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

Tuesday, March 15

11:30 Reception

Lunch at Noon

Crystal Gateway Marriott

Click here for details and registration.


NAA April Luncheon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Featuring John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary of Transportation

Click here for details and registration.


Collier Dinner

100th presentation of the Collier Trophy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Click here for details.

Call for Nominations

Katharine Wright Award

Nominations close

March 31, 2011

The Katharine Wright Memorial Award is given annually to a woman who has contributed to the success of others or made a personal contribution to the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation and space flight over an extended period of time. It is presented at The Ninety-Nines Annual Conference in the summer.

Click here for details.


FAI Awards

Nominations due to NAA by April 30

There are seven international awards for nomination. Click here for details on the awards and how to submit a nomination.

This month's featured member

Hawker Beechcraft




Records Claimed
December 1 - 31, 2010




Speed Over a Recognized Course:


Daytona Beach, FL to Panama City, FL:

142.65 mph

Cass Howell

Class C-1.c, Group I (Internal Combustion)


1 Continental IO-550



Ontario, CA  to Phoenix, AZ:  312.10 mph

Justin P. Beitler

Class C-1.c, Group I (Internal Combustion)

Cirrus SR22T

1 Continental IO-550


This Month's
Air Sport Link

NAA Credit Card

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