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TopNAA Record                                           December 2011


Fall Awards Banquet Included

Many of NAA's Prestigious Awards

   On Monday, November 7, 2011 over 240 people gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia to recognize the recipients of numerous NAA awards. Below are highlights of some of the presentations; all photos of the event can be viewed online.

   The evening began with an emphasis on aviation education

Mark Smith (right) receives the Frank G. Brewer Trophy from Phil Woodruff.

achievement, with two Dr. Mervin K. Strickler, Jr. Aviation Education Leadership Awards going to the Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Program and Dean E. Davis, Chief Mission Systems Flight Test Engineer for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' F-35 Lighting II.

   The Frank G. Brewer Trophy for aviation education was then presented to Mark Smith, Executive Vice President of the Academy of Model Aeronautics by Phil Woodruff, a former Brewer Trophy recipient and representative of the Brewer family.

   Presentation of international awards were next as the F�d�ration A�ronautique Internationale (FAI) Diplomas were presented as follows: Tissandier Diploma to Brian Utley for service to air sports,

Bert Padelt (left) and John Pethren (center) receive Montgolfier Ballooning Diplomas from Jonathan Gaffney.

Outstanding Airmanship Diploma to Jade Schiewe and Zachary Pfaff for surviving and landingtheir fire engulfed Cessna 172RG in Oklahoma, and the Montgolfier Ballooning Diplomas to Bert Padelt and John Pethren.

Walter Boyne (far left) presented Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman of Aviation Awards to (left to right) Jack Dailey, Lenny Potts, Jim Coyne, and John Cashman. Jonathan Gaffney is at the far right.

   The recipients of the 2011 Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman of Aviation Awardswere Jack Dailey, Lenny Potts, Jim Coyne, and John Cashman. Each contributed significantly to the aviation

industry during long careers.

Fran Bera (left) received the Katharine Wright Trophy from Susan Larson and Jonathan Gaffney.

   One of the most inspirational presentations was that of the Katharine Wright Trophyto Fran Bera, a pioneering woman aviator who is still flying at age 86. Susan Larson, President of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, introduced Bera and reviewed many of her accomplishments before presenting the award.

   The evening concluded with the emotional recognition of four young U.S. Air Force officers who received the Mackay Trophy for

From left to right, General Schwartz is pictured with Mackay Trophy winners Leigh Larkin, Don Cornwell, Dylan Wells, and Nicholas Tsougas.

the "most meritorious flight of 2010" for their mission in Afghanistan that killed more than 80 Taliban fighters and saved the lives of approximately 30 coalition troops with no civilian injuries., Lieutenant Colonel Don Cornwell, Lieutenant Colonel Dylan Wells, Captain Leigh Larkin and First Lieutenant Nicholas Tsougas received the award from U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz.

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Hugh Risseeuw Receives

Certificate of Honor from NAA

Hugh Risseeuw (left) received the NAA Certificate of Honor from NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney.

  Hugh Risseeuw, who retired this year after a 45-year career as an aviator and corporate executive, received NAA's Certificate of Honor at the October 2011 NAA Luncheon.

   NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney described some of his many accomplishments, including participating in Flying Crusaders, Skyhawks, and Phantoms; completing numerous combat missions in Vietnam; helping many organizations which support the Navy and Marine Corps; and serving as an influential and successful executive with Pratt and Whitney.

   However, Gaffney said his most important contributions to NAA occurred more than four years ago when NAA was "flying through some pretty tough turbulence, but it was people like Hugh who really stepped up with his support, encouragement, and participation which helped us make it through those difficult times."

Aviation/Defense Analyst Says Industy

Still Outperforming the Economy

   Referring to the remarkable growth rates enjoyed by aviation markets over the last decade, Richard Aboulafia, the Teal Group's Vice President, Analysis, told attendees at the December 1 NAA Luncheon that the industry is still considered a safe haven in a world of economic turmoil.

   Aboulafia had much to say about the great boom the industry enjoyed up until 2008 and the widely divergent markets that followed. But probably of greatest interest to attendees were Aboulafia's predictions regarding the Congressional Super Committee's failure to cut spending and the potential impact on defense cuts.

   Aboulafia is confident that Congress will undo the budget cuts and points out that President Obama has overseen aggressive use of airpower while in office. However, he also cautioned that "Washington has sent many negative messages to Wall Street, but whatever cuts the Pentagon has to make, the 'sequestration' cuts won't happen." He added, "The bottom line is the sequestration cuts are massively overhyped, but fear alone is damaging." luncheon

   In reference to global fighter markets and production, Aboulafia commented on how a bad economy is followed by "the sudden realization that export markets are seriously important," but that the only problem is, Europe has the same idea. He said everyone is scrambling to get procurement cash and when this happens on a global basis, frictions increase.

   In regard to global fighter production, he said there are a lot of risks and a great deal of concern over the second half of the decade. "There are lots of good programs and good export opportunities, but if those exports don't materialize, some planes are going to die."

   In the commercial aviation market, Aboulafia indicated that what has traditionally been a cyclical market may be turning non-cyclical. "Cycles were an unpleasant part of the industry and then suddenly, they're gone. The GDP shrank for the first time since World War II; there should have been a significant market drop over the last three years, but there wasn't."

   Aboulafia says what's different with this "cycle" (or lack thereof) is, among other things, stubbornly high fuel prices, ramped-up government export credit finance, and a big increase in third-party investment.

   In terms of air travel, cargo is usually a good indicator, Aboulafia said, and in the past six months, cargo growth has been firmly negative. He hopes that this is just a rough patch.

   Moving on to business aircraft, Aboulafia said this cyclical market is completely torn in half. Once there had been nothing but growth in the sector with a market valued at more than $26 billion - more than one third the size of scheduled air transport. Now the top half of the market has continued to grow but the bottom half of the market - the business jet - has suffered the worst market cataclysm Aboulafia has seen in a mature market.

   "Corporate profits have made a full recovery, and that's a driver, but no one is spending the corporate profits," he explained. "Companies are making money but are too scared to make capital investments." While Aboulafia hopes this will be only a three-year downturn, he says he can easily see the downturn extending to four years.

   Ending on a high note, Aboulafia pointed out that aircraft production has been largely sheltered from the economic storm and long-term growth is projected. But, he added, it might be a painful road to that long-term growth with a lot of embedded risk. "I'm optimistic, but the silver lining is surrounded by a dark cloud."

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Brigadier General Bullard Calls Marine Corps

"A Unique Investment at an Affordable Cost"

   Brigadier General John H.W. Bullard Jr., representative of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, gave an overview of both the history of the Marine Corps and its essential and enduring role in today's armed forces at the October 28 NAA Luncheon.

   Gen. Bullard described how well-suited the Corps is for the role it plays today in the conflicts and crisis that our nation and its allies face. "We are a Corps with youth and energy and we provide unique capabilities that can be used in a variety of contingencies across a range of military operations," he said. "Whether it is partnering in a security operation as in the recent conflict in Libya, conducting a humanitarian mission, or fighting piracy, the Corps has a unique capability set to respond to a variety of crises."

Brigadier General John W. Bullard, Jr. addresses NAA crowd.

   Gen. Bullard added that what makes Marines different is all in the way they equip, train, and fight. "We're ready to take up arms and fight as infantry no matter what our daily job is," he said referring to how all Marines, regardless of military specialization, receive training as a rifleman. He added that Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) can rapidly scale up or down.

   The MAGTF is the basic structure for all deployed units and integrates ground, aviation and logistics combat elements under a common command element. The combined arms integration of a MAGTF and the logistics that the Navy provides means the Marine Corps excels as a rapid deployment force that can function as first responders to international incidents.

   As a result, the Corps is often assigned to non-combat missions such as the evacuation of Americans from unstable countries and providing humanitarian relief during natural disasters. In larger conflicts, Marines act as a stopgap to get into and hold an area until larger units can be mobilized. "Our ability to get there rapidly and assess the situation gives decision space for our leadership to figure out what our national response will be and determine our involvement."

   "We can't predict the next crisis, but the majority of the world's population lives within 200 miles of the shore and 90 percent of the world's commerce travels overseas," he pointed out in describing one of the Corps' many missions - ensuring the safety of the country's national interests, including commerce.

   Gen. Bullard devoted part of his remarks to the impact of the current fiscal environment on the Marine Corps, or as he called it, "the autumn of funding availability." As defense budgets may be cut by hundreds of billons of dollars over the next 10 years, he acknowledged that the military will most likely be smaller and that self-control would be needed on everyone's part. "Programs will be under pressure to be on cost and on schedule and this will require discipline on the military side of the house as well as on the part of the engineers and program managers."

   Striking the balance between austerity and security will require difficult choices, according to Bullard, and will require maintaining capabilities while reducing capacity. "The Marine Corps and the Navy are in a unique position to preserve national interests when called," he said.

   Gen. Bullard also declared, "Going into Libya confirmed what we already knew - an expeditionary force with amphibious capability and fixed wing aviation plays a critical role. Although the fiscal environment will be challenging, Americans can expect Marines to be that force of readiness and when the call comes, we will respond immediately."

   Gen. Bullard fielded a question from the audience about the status of the V-22 Osprey - a multi-role combat aircraft utilizing tilt-rotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed wing aircraft. He replied that the V-22 was doing well in Afghanistan and its safety record is good.

   He noted that the East Coast V-22 squadrons had been carrying the lion's share of the land-based deployments and that the West Coast squadrons will soon be standing up to give the other squadrons a break.

   The General concluded by saying, "Rotary, fixed-wing, or tilt-rotor technology, wherever we're going, we see our role as the forward expeditionary force with unique capabilities for readiness. We'll never break faith with our nation and we're looking forward to another century of service."

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President's Message

The NAA Annual Meeting -  

An Opportunity to Participate

   Next week, on December 16, 2011 the National Aeronautic Association will hold its annual Membership Meeting and Board Meeting here in Washington, DC.

   While it wouldn't remotely rival our fellow aviation association Small Jonathanannual gatherings, it is the best opportunity for individual, affiliate, air sport, and corporate members to attend and participate in our work.

   The meeting doesn't last long, but it is the single best opportunity for me and the Board of NAA to hear your concerns, entertain your questions, and solicit your feedback. I, along with our Director of Contests and Records, Director of Administration, and Director of Awards and Events - will provide a detailed 2011 overview of the portfolio of our work including our finances, outreach, awards and other activities. In addition, we will provide our priorities for 2012.

   As the "Aero Club of the United States," we are very proud of the work we do at NAA and would welcome your participation and support of our work.  A great way to do that is to spend a couple of hours of your time at our Annual Membership Meeting.  For details and attendance sign up, click here.


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Air Sport Organization News

Academy of Model Aeronautics 

Elects Bob Brown as President

   Members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics have elected Bob Brown of Bradford, Pennsylvania as the leader of the AMA's 143,000 members and 2,400 clubs. 

Brown   "I will endeavor to earn the support of all our members," said Brown, who assumes the presidency immediately because it was vacated earlier this year by current AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson. "It's a high honor. I look to continue the governing philosophy and success Dave had as president. There is much to do in 2012, so it's time for all of us in AMA leadership to roll up our sleeves and bring increased value to AMA membership." 

   On the Academy's near-term agenda are pending federal regulations affecting aeromodeling, something that has been in the works for more than three years and is expected to conclude during the next few months. 


Multicopter Provides "Simple 

Flight for the Average Person" 

   Who hasn't wanted to soar above rush-hour traffic and fly to their destination without all the backups? 

   Well, salvation from that predicament isn't here yet, but it may be a step closer after the successful manned test flight of a "personal rotorcraft" that aims to make "simple flight for the average person." 

Designer/builder Thomas Senkel
pilots the 16-motor e-volo Multicopter
on its first manned flight.

   The story was reported on the Experimental Aviation Association(EAA) website. e-volo, the company that produced the prototype, calls it the "e-volo Multicopter." It features 16 custom-built electric motors and propellers mounted in clusters of four that surround the pilot, who controls the aircraft with a handheld joystick. The 90-second test flight in Karlsruhe, Germany in late October 2011 was captured on video that can be viewed online in the EAA report. 

   Pilot Thomas Senkel, who also designed and built the aircraft, commented, "The flight characteristics are good-natured. Without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot. This could be the future of flight, piloting a device as simple as a car." 

    Simple flight is achieved, the company says, because the pilot's workload is so minimal: "Whether during vertical takeoff, in flight, or landing, the pilot has to pay little attention to minimum speed, stall, gas mixture control, pitch control, or one of many other things that make conventional flight as challenging as it is." 

   The company plans to extend flight duration and increase the payload as battery technology improves. The next flight tests are planned for spring 2012 with an enhanced prototype.


USPA Completes National Skydiving Championships

   The United States Parachute Association (USPA) held its National Skydiving Championships at Skydive Arizona in late October and early November 2011.

Arizona Airspeed performing at the National Skydiving Championships. (Photo by Bill Schmitz)

   Competitors enjoyed near-perfect weather throughout and performed many complex maneuvers in a range of categories, including 4-way, 8-way, 10-way, and 16-way formation skydiving; vertical formation skydiving; canopy formation; freefall style & accuracy landing; and the artistic events of freeflying and freestyle.

   USPA Director of Competition Jim Hayhurst said, "It was a stellar competition; 576 competitors made over 14,000 jumps in 10 action-filled days. USPA awarded 109 gold medals to our 2011 national champions and selected 57 skydivers to our 2012 United States Parachute Team. Deserving special mention was the participation of a young man named Jarrett Martin, a paraplegic who took part in the style and accuracy events and whose courage and competitive spirit inspired us all."

   Many of the championship activities can be seen at


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Aero Club News

ACSC Members Help Organize

"Carrier Classic" Basketball Game

   Two members of the Aero Club of Southern California (ACSC) helped organize the Carrier Classic basketball game between the North Carolina Tarheels and the Michigan State Spartans on the flight deck of the carrier USS Carl Vinson in San Diego on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.

   ACSC President Nissen Davis and member Tom Lee are principals in the Morale Entertainment Foundation, which organized the event, broadcast to millions by ESPN. The event's objective was to honor U.S. military members and veterans. Other ACSC members in attendance included veteran test pilots Clay Lacy and Bob Gilliland.


ACNC Presents Crystal Eagle Award

To Colonel C.E. "Bud" Anderson

ACNC President Sandra Clifford presents the Crystal Eagle Award to C.E. "Bud" Anderson.

   Colonel C.E. "Bud" Anderson, a World War II triple ace and career Air Force test pilot and fighter commander, on Oct. 22 became the 29th recipient of the Crystal Eagle Award, presented annually by the Aero Club of Northern California to honor those whose aviation and space achievements are among the nation's highest.

   Anderson, flying P-51B and P-51D Mustangs he named "Old Crow,'' shot down 16 German Luftwaffe fighters, shared in the kill of a bomber and destroyed another aircraft on the ground during two tours of duty in Europe in 1944.

   ACNC also presented NAA Certificates of Merit to Bob Overby, managing director of Jeppesen Data Plan in San Jose, and longtime Hayward FBO Mike Coutches for their lifelong contributions to the advancement of flight. NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney made the presentations.

   The club awarded scholarships to San Jose State University Aviation Department students Travis Champ, Colton Thomas, Robert Hofer and Kathy Tran.


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In This Issue
Fall Awards Banquet
Hugh Risseeuw Honored
December Luncheon
October Luncheon
President's Message
Air Sport Organization News
Aero Club News
Membership Meeting Notice
Upcoming Events
Call for Nominations
Featured Member Orgs
Records Claimed
Air Sports Link
NAA Credit Card


Special Notice to Members:

2011 Annual NAA Membership Meeting
NAA hereby notifies all current NAA members that the annual meeting of the membership will be held Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Hogan Lovells, Columbia Square, 555 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC. All members are invited to attend. Please notify NAA of your attendance by December 9, 2011 by email to [email protected]. This meeting will be followed immediately by a meeting of the Board of Directors. 



Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events


Annual Membership Meeting

Friday, December 16

Click here for details 


Wright Memorial Dinner

Friday, December 16

Honoring the 2011Wright Memorial Trophy winner, Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford

For seats, contact [email protected] 


January Luncheon

Thursday, January 19

Featuring RADM Kenneth Floyd, USN,

Director, Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88)

Details and Registration 

Call for Nominations

2011 Collier Trophy

Nominations close January 31, 2012

Awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.

Click here for details and nomination requirements.

This month's featured member


UTC logo


Aerospace Industries Association

Air Care Alliance

Records Claimed
October 1 - October 31, 2011  

FAI 80 


There are no Records claimed this month.


This Month's
Air Sport Link     


NAA Credit Card

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