Aviation groups, volunteers receive public benefit awards

September 17, 2012

The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation has been honored in Washington, D.C., for its work to promote growth of the pilot population and advance aviation education.

The National Aeronautic Association and the Air Care Alliance presented Lightspeed Founder and President Allan Schrader with a 2012 Champion of Public Benefit Flying award at a ceremony Sept. 13.

The award was conferred “in recognition of Lightspeed’s significant contribution by creating a support system enhancing groups involved in public flying,” said NAA President Jonathan Gaffney in an announcement of the awards.

The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation was launched in 2010. It recognizes and rewards organizations “that help grow the pilot population, support education to extend the future of aviation and to serve others through the use of aviation resources.” Since its inception, Lightspeed has contributed more than $250,000 to aviation charities, said an organization news release.

In 2012, NAA also issued Public Benefit Flying Awards to Distinguished Volunteer Pilots Susan Lapis of conservation organization SouthWings, and Del Reiff of Wings of Hope; and Distinguished Volunteers Awards to Debi Boies of Pilots N Paws, and Larry Scheffler of Miracle Flights For Kids.

An Outstanding Achievement in Public Benefit Flying went to Bob Showalter and Showalter Flying Services for supporting efforts including relief work after natural disasters.

Air Care Alliance Chairman Rol Murrow noted that recipients of the awards deserve recognition for “their own contributions and also because they serve as examples of all those others who work to fly patients for care, serve in times of emergencies, provide educational flights for youth, support environmental causes, help our veterans, and provide help in many other ways to those in need.”

The Public Benefit Flying awards have been conferred since 2003.