Digest of News about Aviators

Aviators' Digest
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Katherine Wright Trophy winner 

Tuskegee Airman dies

FAA employee finalist for Prestigious Service Award

Carl Burleson, FAA Exceptional Executive, retires

Puppies flown to Service

The news about aviation in these difficult times is filled with unpleasant information. AD’s goal is to report occasionally some positive reports, particularly about fellow aviators and aviatrices:

Dorothy Cochrane to Receive the 2020 Katharine Wright Trophy

Dorothy Cochrane and K. Wright Trophy t

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) is pleased to announce that Dorothy Cochrane has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Katharine Wright Trophy. The trophy was established in 1981 and is awarded annually 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.” MORE

Hilton Carter, one of last remaining Tuskegee Airmen, laid to rest

Hilton Carter collage

A small group of relatives gathered Wednesday at an East Side funeral home to remember Hilton Carter, who died May 6 at age 91.

Described as a “silent warrior” by his friends and family, Hilton Carter’s exploits as a military veteran, pioneering Tuskegee Airman and public servant were matched, and perhaps surpassed, by his legacy as a father, grandfather, husband and friend.

A small group of relatives gathered Wednesday at an East Side funeral home to remember Carter, who died May 6 at age 91. But the entire city of Columbus was witness to a military flyover and procession of cars to Carter’s final stop at St. Joseph Cemetery just south of Columbus along Route 23, not far from Rickenbacker Airport. MORE


Service to America Award Shines Spotlight on FAA Employee

David Gray

For decades, American aviation relied on one basic technology to keep track of planes in the sky: ground-based radar systems. On Jan. 1, 2020, the system leaped into the modern age, with more than 110,000 commercial and general aviation aircraft having hit the deadline to switch to the satellite-based Global Positioning System, an advancement designed to make flying safer.

At the center of this major transformation was David Gray of the Federal Aviation Administration, who successfully coordinated the needs of the government, the airlines and the military to bring this highly complex, multibillion dollar undertaking to completion on time and on budget.

“This state-of-the-art surveillance system enables air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability,” said Dan Hicok, the FAA director of surveillance services. “David was instrumental in taking this technology from concept to implementation across the U.S. in every state and integrate it into every single air traffic control facility.”  MORE

30 year exceptional FAA veteran with Environmental, International, and Executive leadership retires

Carl Burleson

The FAA has abandoned the ordinary practice of announcing retirements, promotions and new hires. The absence of such public notice for Carl E. Burleson is particularly galling because the aviation community here and overseas has lost a “go to” guy within the FAA.

FAA organizational chart

Carl’s last position was the #2 executive at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Administrator. Burleson was named to handle the responsibilities of this high level job on January 7, 2018 and helped lead the organization through the Boeing 737 Max 8 crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. He was called to testify on the Hill, to represent the Administrator at important agency and outside events and to participate in industry consensus meetings

Deputy work

His civil service career began in 1989 when Burleson joined was hired as an FAA Regulatory Economist/Loan Guarantee Specialist in the Office of Policy and Plans. In 1991, he became an International Aviation Specialist of International Aviation. In 1992, Burleson became the Manager of International Operations Branch in International Aviation. In 1994, he took the position of FAA Senior Representative for Northern Europe/United Kingdom of International Aviation in London. Burleson became the Chief of Staff for FAA Administrator in 1991.

international work


In 2001, Burleson was appointed the FAA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment. In this role, he led the agency’s efforts to increase the safety and capacity of the global aerospace system in an environmentally sound manner. He was a critical member of the team which navigated international controversies, sound science, the global aviation industry and a powerful green coalition which led to a landmark CORSIA agreement at ICAO.


The breadth of his job description was almost congruent with the boundaries of the agency:

  • FAA’s strategic policy and planning efforts;
  • coordinating the agency’s reauthorization before Congress;
  • overseeing the national and international aviation policies, strategies, and research efforts in the environment and energy arenas;
  • managing the FAA’s aviation activity forecasts, economic analyses, and regulatory evaluations;


  • dealing with the aviation war risk insurance program.

environmental work



Burleson was a finalist in the Public Service to America Awards in 2010 for his efforts in dealing with aviation environmental challenges. He is a recipient of the Office of Secretary’s International Aviation and Safety Award.

Burleson received a BA in Government and Communications from University of Virginia. an MA in Economics from Boston University, and an MA in International Development from American University.


Knew he is smart, but not that degreed. Also, can report that he is a secret fan of the San Diego (not LA) Chargers.

Puppies Find Wings through Volunteer Pilots During COVID-19


May 15, 2020

Puppies destined for career placement through non-profit Canine Companions for Independence found themselves subject to ever-increasing airline schedule disruptions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – so business aviation and volunteer pilots stepped in to help.

Canine Companions provides free assistance dogs to people with disabilities. Its puppies typically fly on commercial airlines, but when COVID-19 cancelled or rescheduled a large percentage of U.S. airline flights, volunteers came to the rescue.

On May 12, puppies awaited transport by volunteer pilots at California’s Charles M. Schultz-Sonoma County Airport’s Sonoma Jet Center.

Josh Hochberg, president of Sonoma Jet Center, flew his Cessna 340 to take dogs to new volunteer trainers’ homes in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, while other volunteers have delivered puppies to Boise, ID, Spokane, WA and more locations. While ensuring social distancing and other CDC guidelines are met, Canine Companions is still able to deliver their puppies to their puppy raisers to care for them and begin their important training.

While the pups are no doubt adorable in their tiny yellow Canine Companions capes, the mission is an important one: more than 400 people are still waiting to be placed with a trained assistance dog.

“At times like these, it is wonderful to see the goodness and kindness in people who want to help however they can,” Canine Companions CEO Paige Mazzoni.

Learn more about Canine Companions for Independence.

puppies collage























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1 Comment on "Digest of News about Aviators"

  1. Congratulations to Carl. A great guy and valued public servant.

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