Dan Namowitz AOPA
NAA Honors Aviation Careers of Service
September 26, 2012
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  • By Dan Namowitz

    The National Aeronautic Association has announced that it will honor well-known aviation educators Martha and John King of King Schools for significant contributions to pilot training at a ceremony Nov. 13, when the organization will also recognize the careers of five distinguished aviation statesmen.

    The Kings will receive the NAA’s 2012 Brewer Trophy for Aviation Education at the awards ceremony in Arlington, Va., in recognition of “their passion and dedication in making aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots worldwide by combining elegant technology with clear, fun teaching featuring courseware that simplifies complex concepts for students,” NAA said in a news release. The Brewer Trophy is presented annually for “significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.”

    “We’re very proud of accomplishments of Martha and John King and all they have done to support aviation and aerospace education in the United States. They are truly some of the great ambassadors of the excitement and opportunity which exists in our industry,” said NAA President and CEO Jonathan Gaffney.

    The NAA announcement noted the Kings’ roles as personal mentors to pilots throughout the world, and cited the growth of their training enterprise from a venture launched in a spare room of their residence to “a dedicated complex in San Diego that includes a television and software production facility.”

    The Kings “are the first couple to each hold every category and class of FAA rating on their pilot and instructor certificates. Martha is the first and only woman to achieve this complete ratings sweep. In 2001, Martha was appointed by President Clinton to the First Flight Centennial Advisory Board and received NAA’s Henderson Trophy in 2005,” Gaffney said.

    The Kings will receive the Brewer Trophy at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet.

    Distinguished statesmen of aviation

    At the banquet the NAA also will also present its 2012 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards to Keith Ferris, Dick Koenig, Christopher Kraft, Henry Ogrodzinski, and Dr. Irving Statler, the announcement said.

    Ferris is a 52-year veteran of the Society of Illustrators Air Force Art Program who has flown almost every jet aircraft type in Air Force inventory, the NAA said. He is a founding member and past president of the American Society of Aviation Artists; a 1992 inductee to the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey, and may be best known for two 75-foot murals at the National Air and Space Museum titled “Fortresses Under Fire.”

    For more than 40 years, Dick Koenig has served the business and general aviation community, and is currently publisher of Flying magazine. A former helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam, Koenig has flown in corporate, airline, and Air National Guard capacities, and has been a flight instructor.

    Retired NASA engineer Christopher Columbus Kraft, Jr., was instrumental in establishing the agency’s Mission Control operation and became NASA’s first flight director, said the NAA news release. “He was on duty during such historic missions as America’s first human spaceflight, first human orbital flight, and first spacewalk,” it said.

    Henry Ogrodzinski is president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Previously he held senior management positions at the General Motors’ avionics division, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Gulfstream Aerospace, and The U. S. Air and Trade Show in Dayton, Ohio, said the NAA. He has been co-chairman of the US. Aviation Security Advisory Committee Working Group on General Aviation, and served on the Board of Nominations of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Board and Executive Committee of NAA, and as president of the Aero Club of Washington.

    Irving Statler, during a 60-year career, “has made outstanding contributions to aviation safety through research and innovation in fields that include stability and control, data analysis and monitoring, and human factors,” said NAA. His career included Army Air Corps service during World War II as a research scientist, and he was director of the NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development.

    “As the Distinguished Statesman Award is synonymous with lifetime achievement, these individuals together have contributed immensely to five very distinct aspects of the aviation and aerospace industry. Each has left an indelible mark in their areas of expertise,” said Gaffney.

    The NAA fall banquet will be held Nov. 13 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.