Gulfstream Inspector Earns Master Mechanic Award From FAA

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 6, 2009 – Richard Thrasher, a senior airworthiness inspector with Gulfstream Aerospace, recently received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Thrasher is the first Gulfstream employee to receive the award, which recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics.

Thrasher has been a senior airworthiness inspector at Gulfstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, since February 2000. He began his aviation career in 1956 as a jet mechanic with the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his retirement from the Marines, Thrasher worked for Gulfstream as a mechanic, crew chief and assistant foreman. He then worked for Raytheon as a mechanic, maintenance chief and senior flight engineer. Before returning to Gulfstream in 2000, Thrasher was a self-employed aircraft consultant.

“Richard Thrasher is a credit to the industry and to Gulfstream Product Support,” said Mark Burns, president, Product Support, Gulfstream. “We value the contributions he has made not only to aviation maintenance but to the younger generations of mechanics he has mentored over his extensive career. He’s a true role model for the team here at Gulfstream.”

To commemorate the award, Thrasher received a lapel pin and certificate from Michael J. Mullaney, the Atlanta-based FAA Safety Team (FAAST) representative, during a ceremony at the new Gulfstream Service Center. Thrasher’s name has also been added to the “Roll of Honor” maintained at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thrasher’s wife, Marilyn, was also honored during the ceremony.

Charles “Chuck” Straight, a fellow member of the General Dynamics Aerospace group employed by General Dynamics Aviation Services, won the Charles Taylor Award in 2005.

To be eligible for the Taylor Award, a mechanic must have 50 years of experience as an accredited mechanic and 30 years as an FAA-certificated mechanic. The award is named after Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. Taylor served as the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine on their first successful aircraft.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced some 1,800 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150®; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200®; the new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G250®; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G350®; the large-cabin, long-range G450®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550® and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650®. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Financial Services Division and Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 9,700 people at seven major locations. We invite you to visit our Web site for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at