Russell Meyer becomes chair of AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors

August 5, 2008

Russell Meyer becomes chair of AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors

Continuing its legacy of influential leaders, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors welcomed its new chairman, Russell W. Meyer, Jr., chairman emeritus of Cessna Aircraft Company, at the board’s meeting on May 1 in Frederick, Md.

“Russ’s selection will bring new opportunities to expand visibility of the Air Safety Foundation to the industry and general aviation pilots,” said AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. “Up until a few years ago the Air Safety Foundation was one of the better kept secrets for helping new and experienced pilots in safety education. That has changed with the advent of the Internet and the strong increase in funding that has allowed the foundation to produce more than 20 online courses while maintaining more than 200 free safety seminars open to all pilots on a national basis.”

The Board of Visitors serves in an advisory capacity for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, the leading source of innovative safety education and outreach materials that benefit all general aviation pilots. The gavel was passed to Meyer from departing chair and former FAA administrator David R. Hinson, who had lead the group since 1997.

The selection of Meyer as chair continues a succession of outstanding aviation leaders who have led the Board of Visitors, including Najeeb Halaby, the first FAA administrator, and Admiral Donald Engen, former FAA administrator and NTSB member. Meyer is a commercial, instrument-rated pilot with more than 15,000 hours. He was chairman and chief executive officer of Cessna Aircraft Company for three decades and has also served on several industry boards and three Presidential commissions.

Members of the Board of Visitors were at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., for their annual spring meeting. Also in attendance was FAA Acting Administrator Robert A. “Bobby” Sturgell, who spoke to the group of influential aviation leaders about issues such as the declining general aviation accident rate, the foundation’s support of the FAA’s efforts to reduce runway incursions, and his support for voluntary disclosure programs like the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation relies on tax-deductible contributions from pilots to fund its education programs and improve general aviation safety. Pilots are encouraged to visit the foundation’s Web site to make a donation or participate in an online course.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the nation’s only private, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to providing continuing pilot education and safety programs for general aviation. It is funded by donations from individual pilots and organizations, which support the cause of improved general aviation safety.

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May 8, 2008