ORLANDO, FL – The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced on Monday morning that Russell W. Meyer Jr., former Chairman and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, will be among four air and space pioneers to be honored in 2009. NAHF Executive Director Ron Kaplan made the official announcement at the opening general session of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention.
“The vigorous growth and state of our civil aviation industry can be easily traced to the many contributions of this one man,” said Kaplan. “We look forward to prominently recognizing Russ Meyer’s visionary leadership and accomplishments with those of the Wright Brothers, Clyde Cessna, and all 199 men and women honored by the Hall of Fame to date.”
Meyer championed aviation’s legal atmosphere in the 1970s and 1980s. His efforts led to the passing of the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994. He also led the creation of the “Be a Pilot” program, with more than 2,000 participating U.S. flight training schools offering introductory flight training lessons for $40.
A native of Davenport, IA, Meyer joined Cessna in 1974 as Executive Vice President – he was named Chairman and CEO one year later. He retired from Cessna in 2003. As Chairman Emeritus of the Wichita-based Cessna, Meyer remains active in general aviation affairs. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he served as a fighter pilot with both the USAF and USMC Reserves from 1955-61, and has more than 17,000 hours of flight time in more than 50 different general aviation and military aircraft.
The names of the three other people slated for induction will not be announced until Dec. 17. The NAHF’s annual enshrinement dinner and ceremony will take place at the Dayton Convention Center on Saturday, July 18, 2009.www.nationalaviation.org