Dear NAA Members and Friends,
After a prolonged selection process due to the pandemic, NAA was honored to present the 2019 Robert J. Collier Trophy to the United States Department of the Air Force - Boeing X-37B Team in a small, socially distanced ceremony on March 8 in Arlington, Virginia. The Collier Trophy is awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America and the list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of air and space achievements, marking major events in the history of flight dating back to 1911. The X-37B team was awarded the trophy for "... developing and employing the world's only reusable, autonomous spaceplane, which logged more than 2,865 days in orbit across five missions, changing access to space and serving as the nation's workhorse in space experimentation and technology." Congratulations to the X-37B team for your history-making achievement!
On February 17, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, presented the 2019 Mackay Trophy to Captain Alexander Boules and Major Charles Stretch, the Crew of Hawg 71 Flight, during a ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. NAA President, Greg Principato, provided congratulatory remarks virtually in support of the presentation and a video recording of the ceremony can be viewed here. The Mackay Trophy, which has been administered by NAA in partnership with the United States Air Force since 1912, is awarded annually for the most meritorious flight of the year by an air force person, persons, or organization. On July 19, 2019, Captain Boules and Major Stretch were tasked to support a troops-in-contact situation in which countless Afghan Special Forces were being overrun, captured, and pinned down with heavy machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades. Working together as Hawg 71 flight, Captain Boules and Major Stretch waged a diligent battle against the difficulties of night operations, terrain, dislocated controllers, and significant language barriers to enable coordinated strikes against enemy fighters, ultimately saving the lives of 12 Afghan Special Forces members. The professional ability and outstanding aerial accomplishments of the Crew of Hawg 71 Flight reflect great credit upon themselves and the United States Air Force.
Did you miss NAA and the NAHF's last webinar, Journalism & Aviation: A Complex Relationship, on March 3? No need to worry... a recording of our conversation with panelists Miles O'Brien, Julie Boatman, Pete Muntean, and Mindy Kershner can be viewed here. This dynamic, thought-provoking, and entertaining discussion explores the challenges journalists face reporting aviation news in a fair, balanced, and understandable way. Details for our next webinar will be communicated on the NAA and NAHF websites in the coming weeks.

The nomination period is now open for the NAA Katharine Wright Trophy and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Awards. The Katharine Wright Trophy was established in 1981 by the Gates Learjet Corporation and is awarded annually in partnership with The Ninety-Nines "... to an individual who has contributed to the success of others, or made a personal contribution to the advancement of the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight over an extended period of time." The nomination deadline for the Katharine Wright Trophy is March 31. FAI awards dozens of medals and diplomas annually to recognize international accomplishments in aviation and space. As the United States representative to FAI, NAA works to identify worthy candidates and generate nominations for the following FAI Awards: Gold Air Medal, Gold Space Medal, Sabiha Gokcen Medal, Silver Medal, Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship, Paul Tissandier Diploma, and the Group Diploma of Honour. Nominations should be submitted directly to NAA by April 30.

Please join the Aero Club of New England (ACONE) for the 2021 online edition of Crash Course on March 11 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET. The featured speaker will be Richard McSpadden, Executive Director of AOPA's Air Safety Institute. Richard will present a live walk through of "Trapped In Ice", giving participants a chance to explore the back stories behind two accidents that involved flights in areas of hazardous icing conditions, IMC, and mountain obscuration. The FAA New England FSDO will provide opening remarks by Colleen D'Alessandro, New England Region Regional Administrator, and an in-depth review of regional accidents by Stephen K. Brown, Aviation Safety Program Manager. Moderated Q&A sessions will follow the accident presentations. Since 1902, the ACONE has been promoting aviation safety. Founded in 1990, Crash Course is now the largest stand-alone general aviation safety event in the world. The event was created by Dr. Gary Kearney who adapted the medical team debriefing processed used within modern medicine when medical outcomes do not meet expectations. Since its launch, Crash Course has analyzed hundreds of accidents and shared an interactive exploration of their progression, outcomes, and lessons learned with thousands of participants.