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August/September 2013

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Aviation Pioneer Colonel Joe Kittinger
Receives Cliff Henderson Trophy

   Colonel Joe Kittinger, USAF, an aviation and aerospace pioneer for more than five decades who set two world ballooning records and won numerous ballooning competitions, was honored with the Cliff Henderson trophy at the June 2013 NAA luncheon.

NAA Chairman Walter Boyne presents the Cliff Henderson Trophy to Colonel Joe Kittinger.

   The Cliff Henderson Trophy is awarded to "...a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States."

   Kittinger took the "highest step in the world" on August 16, 1960, when he made history as he ascended to 102,800 feet in a high-altitude balloon and jumped to earth. Most recently, Kittinger provided capsule communications as the primary point of radio contact with Felix Baumgartner in the Red Bull Stratos Project, which set three world skydiving records in 2012.

   Sherry Butcher, President of the United States Parachute Association, introduced Kittinger at the luncheon, explaining that he "changed forever the world of skydiving and enabled many more people to enjoy skydiving. His quest for knowledge had many unintended benefits. He stimulated interest in aviation over several decades."

   She added that Kittinger accomplished many things that did not receive enough recognition, including inventing tandem skydiving equipment, which is the basis for skydiving training around the world.

   In accepting the trophy, Kittinger said," I am here representing a lot of people - teammates who made my flights possible. You cannot do these things by yourself. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people who are a lot smarter than I am."

   He specifically praised the hard work of Art Thompson over the course of seven years as technical project director for the Red Bull Stratos Project. "He made the flight happen," Kittinger said. "Thank you for a job well done."

   Kittinger is also an NAA Distinguished Statesman of Aviation, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Aviation trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, was made an honorary U.S. Army Golden Knight, and is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame, and the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame. He has logged more than 16,800 hours of flying time in over 93 aircraft. His adventures are detailed in his autobiography, "Come Up and Get Me."


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Art Greenfield Awarded the FAI Silver Medal

Greenfield    Member Nations of the F�d�ration A�ronautique Internationale (FAI) recently voted to award the FAI Silver Medal to Art Greenfield, the NAA Director of Contests and Records.

The FAI Silver Medal is "reserved for persons who have occupied high office in FAI or in an aeronautical organization in one of its member countries, and in the discharge of their duties have shown exceptional powers of leadership and influence, to the benefit of the whole international air sport community." Only one silver medal is awarded annually.

   NAA Chairman Walter Boyne said, "This is sensational news. It is wonderful to see Art recognized properly for his unparalleled achievements. It is a joy to work with Art and watch the manner in which he conducts what could be very sensitive business. He is thoughtful, persuasive, comprehensive, and always courteous, so that everyone involved knows that they are getting the best possible treatment."

   "Art has served as the Director of Contest and Records for over 20 years and is one of the world's leading experts in the recording and certifying of aviation and aerospace records," said NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney. "We are so proud of him and the great service he continues to provide to NAA and the aeronautics community."

   Brian Utley, a member of the Contest and Records Board, added, "In my 10 years on the Contest and Records Board, Art has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the integrity and quality of the FAI records process. As such, the FAI, the NAA and the sporting aviation community have benefited immeasurably from his service."

   "It's a tremendous honor to receive such recognition from FAI for the work I've done over the years," Greenfield said. "I never could have imagined all of the fascinating people and various projects that I would become involved with here at NAA - or how many milestones in aviation that I would witness. There are so many people that deserve my thanks, but none more so than the hardworking members of our Contest and Records Board who help oversee many of the record attempts and who I count on for their vast expertise."

   During the past four years, five Americans have received an FAI Gold or Silver Medal - Captain Gene Cernan, USN (Ret.) (FAI Gold Medal); Baron Hilton (FAI Gold Medal); Elon Musk (FAI Gold Space Medal); Mike Heuer (FAI Silver Medal), and now Greenfield.


NAA and Air Care Alliance Announce

National Public Benefit Flying Awards

   NAA and the Air Care Alliance, a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations, announced the recipients of the 2013 National Public Benefit Flying Awards. This year's recipients are:


Distinguished Volunteer Pilot:

   Hank Stoebenau, Angel Flight East, for demonstrating extraordinary commitment, generosity, and dedication to the mission of Angel Flight East for over 13 years by serving as a pilot, organizer, and board member.


Outstanding Achievement in Public Benefit Flying:

   AERObridge for creating a nationwide network of volunteer aircraft owners, operators, FBOs, and pilots willing to donate their time, effort, and funding for the alleviation of the suffering of those in need due to disaster or circumstance - all of which was put to use in their tremendous response in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

   The Civil Air Patrol, also in response to Hurricane Sandy, which provided a remarkable level of support and information regarding damage, impact, and surveillance which was crucial to the recovery efforts as well as setting a new standard of service for future natural disasters.


Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award:

   ORBIS and FedEx, in recognition of their 30-year partnership in public benefit flying to fight blindness and vision impairment around the world through the use of flying eye hospitals and medical personnel which have aided more than 18 million people since the program's inception.


Champion of Public Benefit Flying:

   The Air Safety Institute's "Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion" online course for increasing public benefit flying's safety culture by helping volunteer pilots manage risk and avoid harm.

   The Greater Washington Aviation Open for over 25 years of fundraising efforts to benefit organizations flying cancer patients, wounded warriors, and educating future aviation leaders while bringing the entire aviation community together, "Fore a Great Time...Fore a Great Cause."

   "The recipients of the 2013 Public Benefit Flying Awards demonstrate again the diversity of public benefit flying in America and the many different people who benefit from it," said NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney.

   Air Care Alliance Chairman Rol Murrow added, "We honor these recipients not only for their own contributions but also because they represent all those others who fly patients for care, respond following disasters, provide educational flights for youth, protect our environment, help our veterans, and provide support in many other ways to those in need. We truly enjoy working with NAA to celebrate these worthy individuals and groups."

   Members of the 2013 PBF Selection Committee were Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA (Chairman of the Selection Committee); Linda Daschle, LHD and Associates; Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Karen Gebhart, VP of Business Development, Helicopter Association International; and Lindy Kirkland, Rick Durden, and Judy Benjamin of the Air Care Alliance.

   The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others, and those supporting such work. These prestigious awards will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. To nominate someone for a 2014 Public Benefit Flying Award, visit or    


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Kim de Groh and Mary Feik to Receive

2013 Katharine Wright Award

   NAA announced that Kim de Groh and Mary S. Feik will receive the prestigious Katharine Wright Award for their remarkable careers in aviation.

   This award is presented 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. The award was named in honor of Orville and Wilbur Wright's sister, Katharine, who was a crucial supporter of her brothers' timeless work in the development of the first airplane. The award is administered by NAA in partnership with The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots.

   De Groh, a Senior Materials Research Engineer at the NASA Glen Research Center, is being honored for her tireless efforts in mentoring young women for over two decades and for her numerous technical achievements in the advancement of materials durability in the space environment.

   She is an internationally-renowned technical leader in areas relating to the environmental durability of spacecraft materials through experiments in space and ground-laboratory tests. She is the principal investigator for 13 International Space Station (ISS) flight experiments, and she has developed ground-to-space correlation techniques to improve the accuracy of ground-laboratory testing. Her research has directly impacted the Hubble Space Telescope, the ISS, and has influenced spacecraft material design choices made by NASA, the Department of Defensive, and our nation's aerospace industry.

   Feik pioneered aviation maintenance during World War II, and for over 60 years she has worked in aviation, promoted aerospace education, and inspired generations of youth.

   After overhauling her first automobile engine for her father when she was just 12 years old, Feik turned to aircraft engines and then military aircraft maintenance. At the age of 18 she obtained a contract as a civilian and taught aircraft maintenance to crew chiefs and mechanics for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. At the time, there were no other women mechanics, or crew for that matter, working with the Air Corps.

   During World War II, Feik became an expert on many military aircraft and flew more than 6,000 hours as a pilot in fighter, attack, bomber, cargo and training aircraft. Since 1982 Feik has shared her experiences in aviation history with today's youth as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and more than 24,500 Civil Air Patrol cadets have earned the esteemed "Mary Feik Achievement Award."

   "The Katharine Wright Award was established 30 years ago to acknowledge the important role that women have served in aviation. We are extremely proud to award the Katharine Wright Award to Ms. Feik and Ms. de Groh for their outstanding careers in aviation and aerospace," said NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney.

   "The Ninety-Nines are very proud to participate in the selection of the Katharine Wright Award winners. The many outstanding candidates are a testament to the important contributions these women have made in aviation and aerospace. Congratulations to Ms. de Groh and Ms. Feik on their outstanding achievements," said Ninety-Nines President Martha Phillips.

   In addition to Mr. Gaffney and Ms. Phillips, members of the Selection Committee included Ninety Nines Past President (and NAA Board Member) Pat Prentiss; Lisa Piccione, Senior Vice President for the National Business Aviation Association; and Andrew Broom, Division Director, Corporate Communications, Honda Aircraft Company.

   The awards will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.


President's Message


   I dust off this message just about every year not because it is easy - but because it is still a timeless suggestion.

   If you have a "bucket list" of aviation things to do at least once in your life, you need to put a visit to "Oshkosh" on your list. (And, of course, that means the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture).

Many industry leaders spoke at EAA AirVenture. Shown here (left to right) are Jack Pelton, Chairman of EAA; Craig Fuller AOPA; Ed Bolen, NBAA; Matt Zaccaro, HAI; Tom Hendricks, NATA; Pete Bunce, GAMA; Henry Ogrodzinski, NASAO; and Mac McLellan EAA.

    In just a few days you can see friends and colleagues; see the newest General Aviation aircraft produced, meet numerous leaders in the industry (see photo), take a flight on a Ford Tri-Motor, attend literally a hundred seminars and presentations (I even presented), go to a movie, buy a plane/sell your plane, camp, and walk 20 miles doing it all (or take the tram).

   But the best thing about it is that it is 99 percent aviation everywhere.

   I would really, really recommend that you make a visit for a few days (or the entire week). Unlike just about everything else we do in our professional lives, this is an event you can bring your family to (I alternate our twin sons) and you can wear shorts and sneakers.

   It is one of the great spectacles in aviation in the world.


Jonathan Gaffney

  NAA President and CEO

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Tony Velocci Warns of "Creeping Complacency"

In American Aerospace Innovation Risk Taking

Veloci    Tony Velocci, who served as Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week for nearly 10 years and worked for the publication for 24 years, spoke at the NAA June 2013 luncheon and warned that "creeping complacency" endangers the future of American innovation in aerospace.

   Speaking on the topic of "Innovation and Risk Takers: Do They Still Matter?," Velocci explained that risk taking is a quintessential complement to technology and innovation.

   "From my perspective, the two greatest challenges are sustaining a culture of innovation during these uncertain times and improving the perception of the aerospace industry in America," he said.

   During Velocci's long career in the aeronautics industry, he has seen that innovation has defined aerospace for as long as there has been an aerospace industry, and it is that spirit of innovation that has helped produce an astonishing array of new technologies and ideas.

   Velocci noted that heavier-than-air flight, vertical flight, supersonic flight, hypersonic flight, spaceflight, precision-guided weapons, radar, sonar, night vision are all examples of disruptive innovations that changed the game, created new capabilities, and built new market segments.

   "My biggest concern was, and continues to be the specter of creeping complacency amid the rapid emergence of global competitors for technology leadership - by hook or by crook," he declared. "The setbacks we have seen in current programs represent not an atrophy of innovation, but a reaction to higher development risks that attend the design of ever more capable systems with ever more complex functionality."

   According to Velocci, there is much to celebrate in American innovation and risk taking. But he warned that there are indicators suggesting that America's innovation advantage, based partly on risk taking, may be fading and that in some areas, our so-called advantage already has turned into an innovation deficit. While short-term strategies can deliver an immediate impact, in the race to stay on top in uncertain times - which seems to be the new normal - the undisputed champions are those who take the long view.

   "Innovation and risk taking matter a great deal, because there are other countries that see opportunities to take the lead in technologies and global markets that the United States still dominates," said Velocci.


Air Sport Organization News


Ballooning Reality Show Seeks

Families and Individuals to Join Cast

   The Balloon Federation of America (BFA) reports that a television production company is seeking ballooning families and individuals as possible casts for a new reality television project to be based around hot air ballooning. Anyone interested can contact the company, Tunnel Light Productions, at [email protected].


Aero Club News


Steve Dickson of Delta Airlines

Speaks to Atlanta Aero Club

Shown from left to right are AAC Vice President Elaine Weatherby, Steve Dickson, and AAC member Cheryl Galloway.

   Steve Dickson, Senior Vice President of Delta Airlines, spoke to the Atlanta Aero Club (AAC) at its July luncheon at the Capital City Club. With a group of about 75 guests and members in attendance, Dickson announced that Delta will hire 300 pilots starting November 2013, its first pilot hiring since 2010. The company will also add 50 pilots per month from November 2013 through January 2014, then about 20 per month through September 2014.


   The next AAC luncheon on September 16 will feature keynote speaker Hal Shever, Founder and Chairman of Sportsman's Market and Sporty's Academy, along with Sporty's Pilot Shop, a mail order enterprise. Sporty's was founded in 1961. The event will be held at the Capital City Club in Atlanta and begins at 11:30 a.m. for socializing with the lunch starting at Noon.



NAA Logo

In This Issue
Cliff Henderson Trophy
Art Greenfield Receives FAI Silver Medal
National Public Benefit Flying Awards
Katharine Wright Award
NAA President's Message
Tony Velocci on Innovation and Risk Taking
Air Sport News
Aero Club News
Call for Nominations
Meet our Members
Records Claimed
Air Sports Link
NAA Credit Card

Call for Nominations

Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

Nominations Close 8-31-13

The trophy is awarded annually to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States." The recipient receives this coveted award at the Wright Memorial Dinner in December of each year near the date of first flight (December 17th).

Click here for details.


Harmon Trophies

Nominations Close 9-30-13

The Harmon Trophies are awarded for the most outstanding international achievement in the art and/or science of aeronautics (ballooning) for the calendar period of July 1 - June 30 of the previous year.

Click here for details.


Stinson Award

Nominations Close 11-30-13

The award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution, a meritorious flight, or a singular technical development in the fields of aviation, aeronautics, space or related sciences.

Click here for details.

NAA member
Lockheed Martin

Northrup Grumman

Rolls Royce       



      Rockwell Collins


Records Claimed
May 1 - June 30, 2013     

FAI Smaller   



Altitude: 42,569 feet

Altitude in Horizontal Flight: 41,657 feet

Time to Climb to 9,000 Meters: 18 min 18 sec

Time to Climb to 12,000 Meters: 28 min 39 sec

Douglas Matthews

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

North American P-51D Mustang

1 Rolls-Royce 1650

Indiantown, FL



Speed Over a Recognized Course:


St. Helier, Jersey to Bangor, ME: 484.76 mph*

Ryan Ferguson, Brian Kravat & Brian Roney

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

Bombardier Challenger 300

2 Honeywell HTF7000



Teterboro, NJ to Geneva, Switzerland: 512 mph

Santiago Koritschoner

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Nice, France to Sao Paulo, Brazil: 512 mph

Gregory Sheldon & Harold King

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



London, UK to Chicago, IL: 487 mph

Earl Leonard & Timothy Riddell

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Pittsburgh, PA to Anchorage, AK: 155 mph

Janice Ribaudo

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

Mooney M20R Ovation

1 Continental IO-550



London, UK to Bangor, ME: 487 mph

Jonathan Headley

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

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Anchorage, AK to Pittsburgh, PA: 167 mph

Janice Ribaudo

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

Mooney M20R Ovation

1 Continental IO-550



Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA: 590 mph

Transcontinental Speed, East to West: 590 mph

Thomas Horne, Harold Ball & Eric Parker

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

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



Solar Powered Aeroplanes   

Straight Distance, Pre-declared: 861 mi

Distance Along a Course, Pre-declared: 923 mi

Distance Along a Course, Free Flight: 935 mi

Andre Borschberg

Class CS

Solar Impulse S10


Phoenix, AZ to Dallas, TX





Three Turnpoint Distance: 784 mi

Linwood Stevenson

Class D15, 15 meter, General

Schempp-Hirth Discus 2b

Knoxville, TN



Three Turnpoint Distance: 800 mi

Brian Collins

Class D15, 15 meter, General

Eiri-Avion PIK-20

Julian, PA



Free Triangle Distance:

718 mi

Alan Polinsky

Class DM, Motorglider, Single Place, General

Schleicher ASH 31 Mi

Ely, NV




Distance Goal and Return #202: 15.99 mi*

John McNeil

Class F5, Radio Controlled, Electric Powered Flight

California Valley, CA



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

Air Sport

United States Hang Gliding/Paragliding Association   
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