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Leading Aviators Aboard Represent Past, Present and Future of Aviation
ATLANTA, GA, September 22, 2007 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed a commemorative flight into Atlanta’s DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, near the site of NBAA’s 60th Annual Meeting & Convention. The flight, originating from New York (the site of NBAA’s first meeting in 1947), was completed in a very light jet (VLJ) piloted by aviators representing business aviation’s storied past, its modern-day present and its visionary future.
“This commemorative flight represents several important milestones for NBAA, the state of Georgia and a number of our Member Companies,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We are proud to recognize these achievements, starting with this flight, and continuing throughout this year’s Convention.”
Joining Bolen on the flight was Pat Epps, president of Atlanta-based Epps Aviation, who is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in general aviation. His father, Ben T. Epps Sr., built and piloted the first powered aircraft in Georgia 100 years ago. Also aboard was 23-year-old Augusta, GA, native Jamail Larkins, known for obtaining his pilot’s license at 14 years of age. Larkins now serves as a special assistant at NBAA and also as a youth ambassador for the Federal Aviation Administration, where he is tasked with educating youth about aviation.
Bob Stangarone, vice president of corporate communications for Cessna Aircraft Company, co-piloted the aircraft alongside Cessna pilot Jim Perry. The aircraft, a new Cessna Citation Mustang, was provided for the commemorative event by Cessna. The Mustang and other VLJs mark an evolution in general aviation aircraft manufacture.
The National Aeronautic Association is expected to certify today’s flight from New York as a record-setting trip by a VLJ for “speed over a recognized course.”
To complement the involvement of the VLJ in the commemorative flight, a replica of Georgia’s first aircraft – a monoplane built by Epps in 1907 – will be suspended over a Georgia Centennial of Flight Welcome Center display in the Georgia World Congress Center, Hall C Atrium, to welcome visitors.
The NBAA 60th Annual Meeting & Convention and related activities will be held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center and Fulton County Airport from September 22 through 29. For more information, visit www.nbaa.org/2007.
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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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