Two of the best-known personalities of the flight training industry, a veteran aviation journalist, and an aerospace executive active in industry groups were named distinguished statesmen of aviation by the National Aeronautic Association at its fall awards ceremony.
“By combining sophisticated technology with clear, simple, and fun teaching in their video courses, John and Martha have made aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots worldwide and revolutionized the way they learn,” the NAA said when announcing the awards. “The Kings have been champions for the cause of improving the risk management practices of general aviation pilots. They speak to thousands of pilots each year about aviation safety and have taught, inspired, and mentored millions of pilots around the world.”
The Kings offered a characteristically droll response in a news release of their own issued Dec. 19, while noting their appreciation for being recognized for “decades of providing playful and fun video ground school instruction to generations of pilots.”
“For those who know us well, the ‘Distinguished’ title is very questionable,” said John King. Martha King added, “The National Aeronautic Association is to be celebrated for having the courage to do the unconventional thing and select both members of our mom-and-pop team for this award. We are just thrilled.”
William Garvey, editor-in-chief of Business & Commercial Aviation magazine since 2000, received a Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award as “an experienced, knowledgeable, and highly accomplished communicator dedicated to serving his aviation audiences with skilled writing, a passion for aviation, and a sensitivity for market needs.” Garvey has also been editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, an editor for AOPA Pilot magazine, a senior editorial staff member at Reader’s Digest, and managing editor of Aviation Week Television, and has written three books and numerous articles for newspapers and magazines.
Mark Burns, who holds the titles of president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and vice president of General Dynamics, was another 2018 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation honoree—the NAA noting his oversight of “the increase in sales and production of Gulfstream aircraft, while expanding the work force to meet production goals.” Burns also serves on the board of directors of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and on the associate member advisory council of the National Business Aviation Association, according to his company biography.
The NAA established the Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award in 1954 to honor “outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.”