Dec 13, 2018
Today, NBAA marked the passing of William R. “Bill” Cutter, a lifelong advocate for general aviation, including business aviation, and the patriarch of Southwestern U.S. fixed-based operator (FBO) chain Cutter Aviation. Cutter passed away Tuesday, Dec. 11.
“As we extend our condolences to Bill’s family and friends, we also acknowledge his devotion to professionalism and customer service, which equaled his passion for the industry,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “His good humor, grace and charm will not soon be forgotten.”
Born in 1932, four years after his father William P. Cutter founded Cutter Flying Service in Albuquerque, NM, Bill Cutter went on to grow his family’s business throughout the 1960s as the head of Cutter’s newly-established FBO, sales and charter operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX).
He later became chairman and CEO of Cutter Aviation after his brother, Sid, opted to leave the company to focus on hot air ballooning, and oversaw Cutter’s expansion into other markets and its growth as an authorized sales agent for a variety of aircraft and component manufacturers. Today, the company operates eight facilities throughout California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
Even after handing off leadership of the company to his son, Will, in the mid-1990s, Bill Cutter remained a familiar presence in company locations and at aviation events throughout the country, including at the 2017 edition of NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV where Cutter Aviation launched its 90th anniversary celebration.
Cutter received many accolades throughout his life, including induction in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Wall of Honor, the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame and the Pima Air & Space Museum Hall of Fame. He was an ATP and type-rated in a variety of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, as well as a champion balloonist.
Bill Cutter is survived by his son Will, daughter Kathryn and four grandchildren.