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June-July 2013

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NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team Honored with 102nd Robert J. Collier Trophy

   "We're very excited and proud to award the 2012 Collier Trophy to a team of visionaries, engineers, scientists, and their leadership who collectively took our breaths away last August when they seemingly threaded the needle from 154 million miles away and landed a small automobile not just on the surface of Mars, but about a mile from where they intended."

Steve Callaghan, Master of Ceremonies
   With those words, Steve Callaghan, President of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Awards and Events Committee, kicked off the 102nd Robert J. Collier Trophy Presentation Banquet where the Collier Trophy - the greatest award in aviation and aerospace - was presented to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team, which accomplished the amazing feat of landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars on August 5, 2012.
Members of the Collier Selection Committee and NASA and JPL Leaders

   The 35-member Collier Selection Committee said it chose the winner ". . .in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."

   "Curiosity is a marvel of technology, design, and certainly durability," explained NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney.

NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney

"Comprised of 10 different instrument packages - from a chemistry and mineralogy laboratory to an environmental monitoring station to a photography package which consists of 17 engineering and science cameras - it is all designed to support the overriding goal of the mission: to determine whether the area Curiosity explores around Gayle Crater has ever been a potential habitat for Martian life."

   In accepting the Collier Trophy, NASA Administrator Major General Charles Bolden said, "One of my proudest moments as NASA Administrator was when Curiosity landed on Mars. It is wonderful to see NASA and its people recognized by the aviation community. This was the hardest NASA mission ever attempted. It truly engaged the world.

   "I want to thank all the people who developed it and guided its landing. It is sending back amazing science and is telling us new things about the Martian environment. New technologies have also been developed that will inform us for future missions. We are going to keep doing these things. We plan to take man to an asteroid and send robots to distant solar systems. We will continue to raise the bar for human achievement."

From left to right, Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of JPL; Walter Boyne, Chairman, NAA; Richard Cook, Mars Curiosity Project Director; General Charles Bolden, USMC (Ret), NASA Administrator; Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO, NAA.

    Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, added, "This was truly a team effort. It was a great inspirational event. One of the most rewarding things was the thousands of emails I got using the word 'inspirational.'

   "Hitting a golf ball from here in Washington, DC and having it land in the cup at St. Andrews is equivalent to the task of landing the Curiosity Rover within two kilometers of its target."

   Curiosity Rover Project Manager Richard Cook noted, "This was a team effort and team sport conducted by an incredible group of people. When I look at Curiosity on Mars, I see the faces of the people who did the work. Those faces got me through the landing day. What keeps me going is to be an inspiration for future accomplishments."

   The Collier Trophy Banquet was supported by two Gold Sponsors - Rolls Royce North America and Siemens - and six Silver Sponsors - Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, Aerojet, United Launch Alliance, General Electric Aviation, and Honeywell.

Members of the JPL Team
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NAA Accepting Nominations for

Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

   NAA is accepting nominations for the 2013 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy through August 31, 2013.

   NAA established this award in 1948 to honor the memory of Orville and Wilbur Wright. The association created the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which has been presented by the NAA President annually on or near the anniversary of the historic first flight, at the Aero Club of Washington Annual Wright Memorial Dinner.

   The trophy is awarded annually to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States."

   The award is made possible by a trust fund established in 1936 by Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston, a former NAA President. The first trophy was awarded to William Frederick Durand for his many accomplishments including developing the basic theories for aircraft propeller design and acting as a primary force in the establishment of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

   This year's Wright Memorial Dinner will be held December 13, 2013 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC. Click here for details on nominations for the Wright Memorial Trophy.

Cybersecurity is Focus of NAA April Luncheon

   Cybersecurity is in the news more than ever, and it's no secret that the U.S. military is working harder and smarter than ever to identify and thwart threats to electronic data that could endanger national security.

   Attendees at the April 2013 NAA Luncheon gained insight into this issue as Lieutenant General Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commander, United States Cyber Command, provided an overview of how the military is addressing cybersecurity. Davis

   In his position only since June 2012, Davis recounted how he didn't necessarily see himself as a cybersecurity leader, but his commanders did.

   From 2006 to 2008 Davis served as the Deputy Commander Joint Functional Component Command -- Network Warfare, which gave him critical insight into the cybersecurity world of the military. In returning to this lead the cybersecurity area, he began working on improving the defensive architecture needed to defend the network.

   Davis noted that a key challenge is "How do you manage threats at light speed?"

   He talked about the high standards in military aviation, replete with standards and procedures that keep everything functioning at a high level. "We never had anything like that in cyberspace," he observed. "We do now."

   In articulating the current threats, Davis noted, "We have nation states attacking our banking industry. The threat has increased exponentially. China has a very robust national effort. They will soon have twice the number of people working on it. Russia is very good but not as good as us. You don't know about them because they are good. We also have guys who are moonlighting at night."

   He added, "Bad guys go for your economic engine and your intellectual property rights," noting that the oil and gas industries can be attractive targets.

   Davis also encouraged attendees to pay attention to their own cybersecurity efforts. "If you think you are secure you need to have it checked because there might be something waiting for you," he said.

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President's Message

World Records, FAI, and NAA

   I had the great opportunity to fulfill one of NAA's most important (and oldest) responsibilities into one trip (albeit a long one) when I attended the European Business Aviation Convention (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland in May. That responsibility, of course, is the presentation of world record certificates.

Members of the Gulfstream Flight Department accept an award for one of the many world records the company's airplanes set this year.

   The focus of our presentation was Gulfstream (and, because of time and logistics, I only presented three of the approximate 35 world records they have set in the past six months).

   While that would be reason enough to attend, it was also a wonderful opportunity to present those records with the Secretary General of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, Jean-Marc Badan - who heads the organization that actually turns NAA-approved United States records into FAI World Records.

Jonathan Gaffney (left) with Jean-Marc Badan

    While it was great for our customer, Gulfstream, to have the Secretary General participate in the ceremony, it was also a great opportunity for NAA to demonstrate to FAI the great importance of the relationship which exists between the entire general aviation community and NAA.

   Over the past five years, NAA has certified 382 national and world records in just about all forms of flight. But, of that number, 236 (almost two-thirds) were records set in general aviation aircraft. In addition to Gulfstream, you will find famous names such as Cessna, Learjet, Beechcraft, Dassault, Embraer, Piper, Mooney, and many others.

   Under the direction of the NAA Director of Contests and Records, Art Greenfield, certifying aviation records is work that NAA does extremely well - whether it be General Aviation Aircraft or military jets or hot-air balloons. It is our original responsibility and as task we are proud to complete.

Jonathan Gaffney

  NAA President and CEO

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Air Sport Organization News

EAA Helps Lobby Congress to

Overturn Oshkosh ATC Fees

   The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) reported on its website earlier this month about a letter sent by a bipartisan group of 28 U.S. senators to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, strongly urging the agency to reconsider its unilateral decision to assess fees for air traffic and other services at general aviation events, including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

   EAA was surprised in mid-May 2013 with demands for a signed contract and a nearly $500,000 payment for expenses associated with air traffic costs at Oshkosh. Upon learning of the assessments on AirVenture and other aviation events, congressional representatives were alarmed at the FAA's imposition of new policy that wavered from the agency's mission of providing safe and effective air traffic services.

  The Senate's letter to Administrator Huerta stated that charging fees for air traffic services is "tantamount to an imposition of a new user fee on general aviation. Through the appropriations process, Congress has previously made clear its opposition to new user fees." The letter further states, "The FAA was the only federal agency to be given flexibility in addressing the impacts of sequestration. As such, for the FAA to demand additional payments for items that have been budgeted for in previous years is completely unacceptable."

   EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said the response from the Senate was very gratifying in support of aviation. More than 19,000 letters and e-mails from EAA members and aviators throughout the U.S. were sent to the Senate in a 48-hour period encouraging senators to sign the letter to FAA.

   "AirVenture and other aviation events are being held hostage in large part because of the FAA's decisions, as the agency would not supply the necessary personnel or approvals to events unless they signed the FAA's contract and paid the bill in advance," Pelton said. "Members of Congress from both parties saw this for what it is - a user fee on general aviation - and have stepped forward in opposition."


USPA Reports on Intense Competition at

2013 Canopy Piloting Nationals

   The United States Parachute Association (USPA) reports that a record 79 canopy pilots - 57 from the United States and 22 guest competitors from around the world - took part in the 2013 USPA National Canopy Piloting Championships at Skydive City, Zephyrhills, Florida, in May 2013.

   Canopy pilots divided up into two classes: 55 in Open Class and 24 in Advanced Class, competing for gold and glory. The competition was fierce and performances spectacular, filled with zigs, zags, high drama and a climactic finish in Zone Accuracy between reigning world champion Curt Bartholomew and his close friend and rival Nick Batsch. Both men scored perfect 100 point landings in their final jump, with Batsch besting Bartholomew by a small margin.

   For U.S. competitors, the meet was a fiercely-contested trial to determine which 12 competitors would win the prestigious opportunity to represent the United States at the World Cup of Canopy Piloting at Kolomna, Russia, from August 25-September 1, 2013. 


SSA Launches New Website

   The Soaring Society of America has a new website, and it is inviting members to help to keep it updated and exciting. "Have you made an interesting flight?," SSA asks. "Have you recently soloed a youth member in your club? Is your club celebrating an anniversary? There are many news items which would be interesting, and we have many places to post them.


Aero Club News


ACONE Members Enjoy Night at the Boston Pops

Past ACONE President Dan Schrager (left) enjoying the evening with ACONE member Ed Fredkin.
   On May 15, 2013, Aero Club of New England (ACONE) members enjoyed the annual night at the Boston Pops, which is affectionately known as "America's Orchestra." The evening's program, "A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch," was enjoyed by all. Marvin Hamlisch is one of only 11 artists to achieve the "grand slam" of show business with Emmy, Tony, Oscar and Grammy Awards

   Guest artists included Jodi Benson, Doug LaBrecque, Donna McKechnie, and Zoe Raphael. They performed the wonderful music and dancing from A Chorus Line, They're Playing Our Song, Smile, Ski Party, and The Way We Were. In addition, The Tanglewood Festival Chorus participated in the "Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch."


NATA President Tom Hendricks

Speaks to Atlanta Aero Club

Tom Hendricks
   The Atlanta Aero Club Luncheon on May 23,2013featured guest speaker Tom Hendricks, President of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). A graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, a career fighter pilot, and retired Air Force Reserve Colonel, Hendricks also served on duty as a U.S. Navy officer on the USS Midway and an instructor at the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. Over 70 members and guests attended the luncheon at the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta. For more information, including upcoming events, please visit


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In This Issue
Collier Trophy Dinner
Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy Nominations
NAA April Luncheon Coverage
NAA President's Message
Air Sport News
Aero Club News
Call for Nominations
Meet our Members
Records Claimed
Air Sports Link
NAA Credit Card

Call for Nominations

Frank G. Brewer Trophy

Nominations Close 7/31/13

Awarded annually to an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.

Click here for details.


Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards

Nominations Close 7/31/13

Awards honor outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics, and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.

Click here for details.


Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

Nominations Close 8/31/13

Awarded annually to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States."

Click here for details.

NAA member



Hawker Beechcraft




Records Claimed
March 1 - April 30, 2013     

FAI Smaller   



Distance: 8,114 mi

Bill Harrelson

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

homebuilt Lancair IV

1 Continental IO-550

Agana, Guam to Jacksonville, FL



Speed Over a Recognized Course


Melbourne, Australia to Abu Dhabi, UAE: 553.07 mph*

Michael Jarrett, Harold Ball & John McGrath

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



Melbourne, Australia to Singapore: 523.05 mph*

Brett Rundle & Bruce Egart

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Singapore to Abu Dhabi, UAE: 477.32 mph*

Brett Rundle & Bruce Egart

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



London, UK to Lagos, Nigeria: 477.53 mph*

William Reid & Stephanie Ruyle

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Libreville, Gabon to Casablanca, Morocco: 406.22 mph*

Casablanca, Morocco to Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 471.43 mph*

William Reid & Stephanie Ruyle

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



London, UK to Teterboro, NJ: 509.52 mph*

David Smith, Eric Parker & Edward Faciszewski

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



New York, NY to Gadsden, AL: 170 mph

Randall Greene

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

Aero Vodochody L-39C

1 Ivchenko AI-25



Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Las Palmas, Spain: 459.8 mph*

Ivo Maia & Brian Erickson

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Las Palmas, Spain to Recife, Brazil: 474.99 mph*

Ivo Maia & Brian Erickson

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Chicago, IL to Beijing, China: 512.63 mph*

Eric Parker, Karen Brannen & Carl Schomburg

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



Shanghai, China to Newark, NJ: 580 mph

David Steinfeldt, Scott Buethe & Craig Wilkerson

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725




Free Distance: 700 mi

Gordon Boettger & Hugh Bennett

Class DO, Open, Multiplace

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus

Minden, NV



Except where noted by an asterisk (*), information is preliminary and subject to approval.

Air Sport

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