National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today said the induction of Russ Meyer into the National Aviation Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to Meyer’s legacy of innovation and dedication to the people and companies in the general aviation community. “Russ Meyer is a visionary who embodies the spirit and passion that are the hallmarks of general aviation,” Bolen said. “We are delighted that his countless contributions to our industry have been recognized with his induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.” Meyer, former chairman and CEO of the Cessna Aircraft Company, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Dayton, OH, during an enshrinement ceremony held last week. A Davenport, IA native, Meyer holds degrees from Yale and Harvard universities. He served in the United States Air Force and Marine Corps Reserves from 1955 to 1961. Meyer has logged more than 17,000 flight hours in more than 50 aircraft types. In 1974, he joined the Cessna Aircraft Company as executive vice president and was named chairman and CEO one year later. During Meyer’s tenure as chairman, Cessna delivered 67,000 aircraft – more deliveries than those from any other manufacturer.
Under Meyer’s leadership, Cessna earned the Collier Trophy twice – first in 1986, for the safety record obtained by Cessna’s Citation fleet, and again in 1986, for the development of the Citation X. In 1995, Meyer was honored with the NBAA Award for Meritorious Service to Aviation. One of the aviation industry’s most prestigious honors, the award is given to individuals who, by virtue of a lifetime of personal dedication, have made significant identifiable contributions that have materially advanced aviation interests.
A champion of general aviation, Meyer led the battle against stifling regulations that nearly decimated the general aviation industry in the late 1970s and 1980s. As a result, Congress passed and the Clinton Administration signed the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994, helping to preserve or create many thousands of jobs. Meyer retired from Cessna in 2003 and remains active in general aviation and philanthropic projects. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame today along with NASA astronauts Eileen Collins and Edward White, and Jimmy Stewart, the late actor and military pilot.
“Russ has always been held in high regard by policymakers in Washington, who recognize his solid grasp of policy and his emphasis on collaborating with people regardless of political party or philosophy,” Bolen continued. “That reputation has made him a very effective advocate for business aviation. It is tremendous to see that Russ’s accomplishments, which have helped define business aviation as we know it, will now be recognized alongside those of other aviation pioneers. Russ’s story is one we can all take great pride in, and we can be sure that it will inspire future generations of aviators.”