Wings Magazine

NBAA2011 features aviation leaders and luminaries

Sept. 19, 2011, Washington, D.C. - An all-star lineup of distinguished pilots representing the highest levels of professional achievement will be featured speakers at the second-day Opening Session of the 64th Annual Meeting & Convention of the National Business Aviation Association, when NBAA bestows its highest honor on aviation legend Clay Lacy.

September 19, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

A “pilots roundtable” will follow the presentation of NBAA’s highest award, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award, to Lacy for his extraordinary contributions to aviation, which include experience as an Air Force pilot and airline pilot, notoriety as a national air racer, and international success as a director and videographer specializing in air-to-air sequences for Hollywood blockbuster movies and television commercials.

The roundtable, which will be moderated by famed air show performer Sean D. Tucker, will include the following panelists, all of whom will provide their perspectives on the remarkable breadth of Lacy’s career:

Harrison Ford, actor, aviator and 2010 recipient of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the highest individual award in aviation.

Federal Aviation Administrator Randolph "Randy" Babbitt, former Eastern Airlines pilot and former Air Line Pilots Association president.


Gene Cernan, retired U.S. Navy captain, Apollo XVII commander and the last person to walk on the moon.
R.A. "Bob" Hoover, former air show pilot and U.S. Air Force test pilot, who is considered by many to be the greatest pilot of all time.

Lloyd "Fig" Newton, retired U.S. Air Force general and former lead pilot for the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Team, "Thunderbirds."

“We look forward to welcoming this extraordinary group of aviators to NBAA2011, as every one of them represents the highest level of achievement in his chosen field,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

The Meritorious Service Award presentation and the pilots roundtable discussion to follow will cap the Opening Session on Day 2 of NBAA2011. Preceding the roundtable will be a general aviation (GA) association presidents panel focusing on the challenges and opportunities confronting the industry, and the presentation of the annual Combs Gates Award by the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

The presidents panel, moderated by Bolen, will feature Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President and CEO Craig Fuller, Experimental Aircraft Association President and CEO Rod Hightower, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pete Bunce, Helicopter Association International President Matt Zuccaro and National Air Transportation Association President and CEO Jim Coyne.

Following the presidents panel, National Aviation Hall of Fame President Phil Roberts will present the annual Combs Gates Award to filmmaker Heather Taylor, of Columbia, MD, in recognition of a documentary she directed and produced, entitled “Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women’s National Air Derby.” Accompanying Roberts for the presentation will be Hall of Fame enshrinees Cernan, Lacy, Hoover and Tucker. The Combs Gates award is named for business aviation pioneers Harry Combs and John Gates.


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