Category Archives: associations

Bob Hoover to be honored by NBAA

Famed air show pilot Bob Hoover will be awarded the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award by the National Business Aviation Association at its annual convention in October.

Hoover served as a combat aviator during World War II, a military and civilian test pilot and air show performer.

He’s piloted more than 300 types of aircraft and is best known for his aerial demonstrations in the P-51 Mustang and Shrike Commander.

During World War II, Hoover was shot down and spent 16 months as a prisoner of war before escaping by commandeering a German fighter.

When he returned to the U.S., he evaluated captured enemy aircraft and flight-tested U.S. combat airplanes, including the first jets.

He was an alternate pilot for the supersonic Bell X-1 and flew the chase plane when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947.

After leaving the Air Force, Hoover worked for North American Aviation and Rockwell International as a test pilot for more than 30 years.

Aviation Design Challenge for high school students in third year

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is hosting its third annual Aviation Design Challenge for high school students.

The nationwide competition is to promote science, technology, engineering and math skills.

In 2014, the challenge attracted entries from 79 schools in 33 states plus Washington, DC., the trade group said.

Under the competition, GAMA will provide 100 teachers who enter with a “Fly to Learn” curriculum and five copies of airplane design and simulation software powered by X-Plane for their classrooms.

The lessons can be used to teach the basics of aerospace engineering and design, GAMA said.

Students learn to apply that knowledge to modify and fly their own virtual airplane in a fly-off.

Teachers wanting to learn more about the competition can e-mail their name, school name and school’s city and state to

GAMA will release more information about the competition later this year.

WSU’s Dean Headley to talk about airline quality ratings

Every year, Wichita State University associate professor Dean Headley co-authors the annual Airline Quality Rating report, ranking the nation’s largest airlines.

The report, in its 24th year, measures the performance of U.S. airlines as it relates to customer complaints, denied boardings, mishandled bags and on-time arrivals.

Headley, a native of Kansas, will speak about the ratings and ho the report was developed  at the Wichita Aero Club luncheon on Wednesday.

The latest rating was released Monday.

Headley received his undergraduate degree in business from Emporia State University. He also has a masters’ of public health from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s of business administration from WSU and a Ph.D from Oklahoma State.

He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing research and services marketing at WSU.

The luncheon will be held at 11:45 a.m. at the Doubletree Hilton Wichita Airport.

The cost is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers.


Wichita Manufacturers Association announces scholarship winners

The Wichita Manufacturers Association awarded 19 scholarships for 2014.

Sixteen companies that are members of the association provided funds for a named scholarship, two scholarships were provided by the association’s scholarship fund, comprised of member donations. And one scholarship is funded by the Wichita Area Technical College.

The winners are Jacob Dold, Bao Pham, Austin Towne, Brianne McNutt, Tanner Harpool, Jose Cisneros, Taylor Price, Arlene Raymundo, Nathan Ruzzin, Michelle Wheeler, Katherine Marceau, Henry Ramirez, Kyle Offutt, Phillip Osu, Talon Wanless, Conner Garoung, Maggie Koops, Colin Phillips and Ryan Wolfe.

They won $1,000 scholarships.

Wichita Manufacturers Association has more than 150 members, made up of managers and owners of manufacturing companies in Wichita and Sedgwick County.

The objective is to promote the general welfare of manufacturers, to educate the public about manufacturing companies and their products, to acquaint members with one another and their products and operations, to attract, advise and assist other manufacturers who may want to locate in the Wichita area, and to support educational opportunities and activities that promote and develop better manufacturing interests, methods and employees.

Kirby Ortega inducted into National Flight Instructors Hall of Fame

Kirby Ortega, who retired from Cessna Aircraft last year as chief pilot for its piston engine operations, has been inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame by the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Ortega was surprised at a banquet Thursday evening in Lakeland, Fla., the site of this week’s Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo.

He began flying at age 16 through the Cessna Employees Flying Club. His father was an employee. Ortega received his private pilot’s license at age 17.

During  summer break from Wichita State University, Ortega’s father challenged him to earn his instrument, commercial and flight instructor ratings. Ortega took his advice and earned the ratings at the former Ross School of Aviation in Oklahoma, where student housing was a double-wide trailer and 10 guys shared two bathrooms.

Ortega worked as a flight instructor at the Augusta airport during the late 1970s, then joined Cessna in January 1980 as chief flight instructor. He was 23.

At Cessna, he eventually was promoted to flight training supervisor and then chief pilot for piston engine operations.

He has logged roughly 24,000 flight hours.

AOPA publishes guide for starting a flying club

There are more than 600 flying clubs in the country, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association wants that number to grow.

To that end, AOPA has published a new guide, “AOPA’s Guide to Starting a Flying Club,” to steer members through the critical steps of forming a club.

Flying clubs have a positive impact on the general aviation community, the organization says.

More than half of all active pilots are past or current members of a flying club.

“Virtually all of them consider club membership as a positive experience,” AOPA’s survey showed. “AOPA’s efforts around flying clubs are aimed at building a stronger community in which more people earn pilot certificates, pilots are more active and the flying lifetime of pilots is extended.”

The guide offers advice on how to choose the right airplane for insurance considerations and provides a collection of sample documents, forms and other resources, such as sample operating rules and aircraft lease agreements.

“This guide was created to provide a useful roadmap to pilots starting a club,” Woody Cahall, leader of AOPA’s flying club initiative, said in a statement. “It addresses the biggest roadblocks to starting new flying clubs and it provides common sense advice that pilots will be able to apply when launching clubs all over the country.”

AOPA also offers a flying club insurance program, aircraft financing, a monthly newsletter for clubs to share information, flying club webinars and a flying club network Facebook page.


Wichita Aero Club gala brought some quotable moments

Saturday’s Wichita Aero Club gala drew a packed house as it honored Cessna Aircraft chairman emeritus Russ Meyer for Meyer’s contributions to aviation.

It also had a number of quotable moments. Here’s a few:


“He’s got great charisma, assuming it’s OK for a guy to say that about another guy.”

— Sen. Jerry Moran in a speech honoring Russ Meyer.

“If I can (say) Russ Meyer is my friend, my standing goes up a lot. That’s very important for someone in the business I’m in right now.”

— Sen. Jerry Moran

“He had a huge smile on his face. He looked right by me and said, ‘Russ.’”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen, who had been impressed with himself that he had secured a difficult-to-get appointment with then U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, on Snow’s greeting.

“It is very appropriate for Russ to receive this honor, because it’s hard to imagine someone who’s done more for his ‘adopted hometown’ of Wichita than he has. He is one of the most significant figures in general aviation history, and has probably had the largest impact on aviation policy than any other single person in the United States.”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen

“Russ’s huge record of accomplishments extends well beyond aviation. “n fact, the last two times that a sitting U.S. president has visited Wichita, it has been at the invitation of Russ Meyer, and to see the philanthropic projects he’s been deeply involved in.”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen

“One of these days, we’re going to learn that an award like this should go to the wife.”

—Russ Meyer, in accepting the Wichita Aero Club Gala award, on his wife, Helen.

“If you were anyplace in the world, if you looked up and saw two airplanes flying, chances were 50 percent that one of them was a Cessna.”

— Russ Meyer on the go-go years for general aviation during the late 1970s.

“It was not a campaign, it was really a crusade to save the single-engine market.”

—Russ Meyer on efforts to pass the General Aviation Revitalization bill. After its passage, Cessna restarted piston airplane production.

“I promise you this: If I were 25 years old today, I’d pursue a career in this industry in a heartbeat.”

– Russ Meyer during his speech at the gala.

Aviation Legacy Awards to go to two Wichitans for Special Olympics Airlift work

Wichitans Marilyn Richwine and Rhonda Fullerton will be in good company Friday when actor Harrison Ford presents them with an Aviation Legacy Award for their work coordinating Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Special Olympics Airlift.

The awards are part of the 11th annual “Living Legends of Aviation” awards produced by the nonprofit Kiddie Hawk Air Academy.

Living Legends of Aviation will honor Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx with its “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award,” and Bruce Whitman, chairman and CEO of FlightSafety International with the “Lifetime Aviation Industry Leader Award.”

Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, a Medal of Honor recipient, will receive the Freedom of Flight Award, and actor Morgan Freeman will narrate a tribute to Experimental Aircraft Association founder Paul Poberezny in a Flown West segment of the program.

Seven Legends of Aviation will be inducted including Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas; David Hurley, chairman emeritus of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; John Uczekaj, CEO of Aspen Avionics; David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue and Azul Airlines; Roy Morgan, founder of Air Methods, and actor and pilot Treat Williams.

Jack Erickson, the inventor of the SkyCrane and a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot will be honored as the Bell Helicopter’s Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award honoree.

The event will be held Friday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Lycoming executive Michael Kraft to speak at Wednesday’s Wichita Aero Club luncheon

Michael Kraft, senior vice president and general manager with aircraft engine manufacturer Lycoming, will be the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Wichita Aero Club luncheon.

Kraft was formerly vice president of research, development and engineering at Lycoming, and led a team that accelerated product development.

He holds bachelor and master degrees in aeronautics and aerospace from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The luncheon will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton at Wichita Airport.

For reservations, call 681-4471 or go to

New AOPA president Mark Baker to make appearance at Wichita’s Aviation Expo

Mark Baker, who took over as president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association this month, will make his first public appearance in Wichita.

Baker is coming to Wichita for the inaugural Kansas Aviation Expo, said Expo organizer Jesse Romo.

The event is hosted by the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation and the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education.

AOPA is canceling its Aviation Summit next year in order to focus on meeting members at community airports and hosting grassroots events.

With Baker’s appearance, “it’s kind of like we’re kick starting a new trend,” Romo said.

Baker will introduce Wichita aerial photographer Paul Bowen at a luncheon at the Expo on Friday, Sept. 27. Bowen is the luncheon’s guest speaker.

The Expo will be held Sept. 26 and Sept. 27 at the National Center for Aviation Training at 4004 N. Webb Road. The event leads up to the Wichita Flight Festival held Sept. 28 and 29 at Jabara Airport.

Baker replaces Craig Fuller at AOPA, who served five years as president and CEO.