Aviation industry veteran Ed Stimpson dies

The aviation industry is poorer with the passing of veteran Ed Stimpson, who began his career in the aviation industry nearly 40 years ago.

Stimpson served as president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for 25 years. He died at his home in Boise, Ind., on Wednesday at the age of 75.

While at GAMA, Stimpson helped lead an effort to pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act, an act, which reinvigorated the small aircraft industry. The bill prevents general aviation companies from being named as defendants in lawsuits in crashes of small planes 18 years or older.

After its passage, Cessna Aircraft, which had halted manufacturing single-engine piston airplanes, restarted production. Cessna’s Russ Meyer had promised to restart production if the measure passed.

Stimpson retired from GAMA in 1996 to lead the Be A Pilot program, which at the time was the largest “learn-to-fly” initiative in general aviation history.

While at GAMA, Stimpson took a leadership role in “nearly every significant aviation policy issue of the era,” the National Business Aviation Association said.