Women In Aviation International (WAI) founder Peggy Chabrian and business aviation industry luminaries Randall Greene, Preston Henne and Clay Lacy were selected as this year’s recipients of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards. To be presented at an NAA ceremony on December 8 in Arlington, Virginia, the awards honor “outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.”
Chabrian launched the first WAI conference in 1990 with 150 attendees and formally established the organization in 1994 with 16 founding board members. The organization now has more than 13,000 members and has awarded nearly $11 million in scholarships.
Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Safe Flight Instrument, has held senior roles with numerous industry companies, including Aeronautical Systems Corp., Commander Aircraft, AirResearch and AlliedSignal, among others. Chairman of the Corporate Angel Network, he holds 15 U.S. patents and is an associated Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He also holds 12 NAA and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale aviation records.
Henne, recognized as “a visionary leader in aircraft development,” has led teams responsible for the certification of the Gulfstream V, G550, G450, G150, G280 and the G650. He also was responsible for the aerodynamic design of the wing on the C-17, chief design engineer for the MD-80 and v-p and general manager of the MD-90 program. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Lacy has been working in aviation since he became a flight instructor at the age of 16, holding roles as an airline captain, military aviator, experimental test pilot, air race champion, world record-setter, aerial cinematographer and business aviation entrepreneur. He has flown more than 300 aircraft types and logged more than 50,000 flight hours, and accumulated more hours flying turbine aircraft than any other pilot in the world, according to NAA. His highlights include the first flight of the Pregnant Guppy, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser modified to carry the Saturn rocket booster in support of the U.S. space program; flying the first Learjet into Van Nuys Airport; and founding Clay Lacy Aviation in 1968.