Boyer (left) receives Engen Trophy from Susan Sheets, Aero Club President (right). Photo: Warren D. Morningstar
The Aero Club of Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27 presented AOPA President Phil Boyer with the 2008 Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence.
At the club’s monthly luncheon, Henry Ogrodzinski, club board member and president of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, introduced Boyer, saying, “The Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence has been presented to some of the giants of our time. Among them are…the Honorable Najeeb Halaby, Secretary Norm Mineta, and the legendary Scott Crossfield.
“Today, we present the trophy to another giant of our community, Phil Boyer.”
“I really want to thank the people that really deserve this award, and that’s our members,” Boyer told the club. “I’m only the voice of many, many general aviation pilots and owners—415,000—who give us the strength to fight the battles. All I really did was take their concerns and translate them into actionable items for the AOPA staff, so we will make sure they know this honor is for them also. And for that, I thank you.”
The Engen Trophy is named for the late Adm. Donald D. Engen, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration and Director of the National Air and Space Museum, and is given to an individual, team, or organization for a lifetime of achievement in aviation, or a single event or series of events, which reaffirms the Wright Brother’s standard of excellence in aviation.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Boyer. “It’s really very special to me.
“I knew Don Engen as the head of our Air Safety Foundation when we really began our public aviation safety outreach. He was a very personal friend. We flew together many times.”
During his presentation, Boyer walked the audience, many of whom represent the air carriers and other groups such as air traffic controllers, through a brief history of general aviation, highlighting changes and noting the challenges that still face the industry.
Established in 1909, just six years after the Wright Brothers’ historic first flight, the Aero Club of Washington is among the oldest aviation organizations in the world. Its membership list is a veritable Who’s Who of the aviation industry.