NBAA Mourns the Passing of Industry Legend Walter C. Pague — A Founding Father of the Association

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,

Washington, DC, July 1, 2011 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced today the passing of Walter C. Pague, a former Director of Aviation for ARMCO Steel Corporation who was among the thirteen individuals who gathered at the Wings Club of New York in 1946, and set in motion the establishment of the Corporation Aircraft Owners Association, which later became NBAA. Pague, who was 96, died in his sleep at his home in Middletown, OH. He is survived by his wife Betty.

“Walter C. Pague was one of NBAA’s ‘founding fathers,'” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “His vision and determination helped make possible the association we have today. For nearly three-quarters of a century, he not only served our industry with distinction, but embodied the highest qualities to which we all aspire. He was a true giant, one of our industry’s very best.”

In addition to being one of the founding members of what is now NBAA, Pague served on the association’s Board of Directors from 1947 to 1964, and was the first chairman of NBAA’s Technical Committee.

Pague was born July 7, 1915 in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania and moved to southern California while a teenager. He attended the University of Southern California, worked in the nearby Douglas Aircraft factory and became a flight instructor, eventually moving to Windsor, Ontario in 1941 to serve as a military flight instructor with the Canadian Training Command. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Pague returned to the United States to join the U.S. Navy. During the remainder of World War II, he was stationed in Seattle, where he flew missions to Alaska on behalf of the Air Transport Command.

After the war, Pague joined the ARMCO Steel Corporation flight department in 1945, flying the company’s Twin Beech. He remained with the company until his retirement in 1980.

“Last year, when NBAA was honored at the National Aviation Hall of Fame ceremonies in Dayton, OH, we put together a video on business aviation and NBAA that included a fabulous interview with Walter,” said Bolen. “I think it is entirely fitting that the final image we have of Walter Pague has him smiling into the video camera and proclaiming with great enthusiasm and distinction: “NO PLANE, NO GAIN!”

According to a family spokesperson, Pague will be cremated and his ashes spread over Middletown Regional/Hook Field Airport. A memorial service will held, although details are not currently available.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (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

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