NBAA Announces New First Century of Flight Awards

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Washington, DC, May 1, 2003 – The Board of Directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has selected the following individuals to receive a special NBAA First Century of Flight Award: Serge Dassault, David Ewald, Jerome F. Lederer, Ray H. Siegfried II and John Tucker. The First Century of Flight Award recognizes these five individuals for their significant contributions to the advancement of aviation since the advent of powered flight 100 years ago.

Serge Dassault
Serge Dassault, chairman and CEO of Dassault Group, began his career as an aeronautical engineer in 1951 with Generale Aeronautique Marcel Dassault, and during the 1950s, he managed several important military flight-test programs, including those for the Super Mystère B2, Étendard, Mirage III and Mirage IV aircraft. In 1967, he was named CEO of Marcel Dassault Electronics, and in 1986, he was named CEO of Societe des Avions Marcel Dassault, which later became Dassault Aviation. Under his management tenure at Dassault, seven different Falcon business jet models were introduced. He has received numerous awards, including the Médaille de l’Aéronautique in Paris, and he was named Aviation Week’s Aeronautical Manufacturer of the Year in 1998.

David Ewald
David Ewald has spent nearly 50 years serving the business aviation community as a magazine publisher and industry spokesperson. He currently is a partner in Specialized Publications Company (SPC) in Missouri, founded 1988 as a magazine advertising sales firm specializing in aviation. SPC’s current clients include NBAA and Business & Commercial Aviation magazine. In 1952, Ewald participated with his employer, Aviation Age magazine, in the first NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention to host Exhibitors. In 1958, he helped create Business & Commercial Aviation, and in 1989, he co-founded Flight Training magazine.

Jerome F. Lederer
Jerome F. “Jerry” Lederer began his career in 1926 as an aeronautical engineer with the U.S. Air Mail Service. From 1929 to 1940 he served as chief engineer for pioneer aviation insurance underwriters, and in 1940, he accepted an appointment as director of the Civil Aeronautics Board’s Bureau of Air Safety. After serving as director of the Airlines War Training Institute during World War II, in 1947 Lederer organized the Flight Safety Foundation for the global exchange of information on aircraft accident prevention, and he was its director until 1967. That year, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) appointed him director of its Office of Manned Space Flight Safety, and in 1970, he became director of safety for all of NASA, retiring in 1972. He also was director of the Cornell University-Guggenheim Aviation Safety Center. Known internationally as “Mr. Aviation Safety” and dubbed the “Father of Aviation Safety” by the U.S. Congress in 1997, Lederer has published hundreds of articles and papers and received more than 100 awards. He celebrated his 100th birthday in September 2002.

Ray H. Siegfried II
Ray Siegfried is chairman of The NORDAM Group, an international aviation service and manufacturing company headquartered in Tulsa, OK. His career with the company began in 1969 when he acquired it out of bankruptcy. Starting with only eight employees, Siegfried rebuilt NORDAM into a leading manufacturer that today has more than 2,500 employees worldwide. Siegfried served as General Aviation Manufacturers Association chairman in 2002 and was presented with that association’s Distinguished Service Award. Successful as a general aviation businessman, Siegfried’s real legacy stems from his involvement in community service. He has received numerous local, state and national awards for his humanitarian work, community service and business success and was named Best Corporate Citizen by Oklahoma Magazine in 2002.

John Tucker
John Tucker, vice chairman of Midcoast Aviation, began his aviation career as a Marine Corps aviator, and he later was employed as president and chief operating officer of Butler Aviation. In 1971, Tucker founded Midcoast Aviation, which grew from a small fixed-based operator with five employees at Lambert Field in St. Louis, MO into what is today a major provider of jet maintenance and modifications with more than 800 employees in four locations in Missouri and Illinois. Tucker has served on the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) board of directors and as contributing editor to several trade publications. He has been honored with the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association Award of Excellence (1983), the Flight Safety Foundation Cuthbertson Award for Safety (1985) and the NATA William A. Ong Award, that association’s highest award of lifetime achievement in aviation (1995). Tucker has been a Member of NBAA since 1972; he also has served on the NBAA Associate Member Advisory Committee.

Award Presentation
The NBAA First Century of Flight recipients will be honored on Thursday, October 9, 2003, at the NBAA Awards Banquet during the NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, FL. For more information about this event, visit

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,300 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

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