Wichita Aero Club to honor Russ Meyer at annual gala


Cessna chairman emeritus Russ Meyer will be honored at Saturday’s Wichita Aero Club annual gala for his contributions to the aviation industry and the local community.

More than 300 people are expected at the event, to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport.

Sen. Jerry Moran will give remarks at the gala, organizers announced Wednesday.

Under Meyer’s leadership, Cessna designed, built and delivered more business jet aircraft than any other manufacturer worldwide, they said.

He was instrumental in establishing a training facility for unskilled workers and worked for congressional passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, which limited aircraft liability and restarted single-engine airplane production.

“The Wichita Aero Club award is not the first award Russ has ever won,” said Wichita Aero Club president Dave Franson. “This gives the local community the opportunity to honor him and thank him for all of his contributions to both aviation and to Wichita.”

Meyer’s awards include the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the Collier Trophy and election to the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame. He was named Kansan of the Year in 1998, among other honors.

A pilot with more than 14,000 hours of flight time, Meyer is type rated in all Cessna products.

A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, he was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps, practiced law, and served as CEO of Grumman American Aviation Corp. before he joined Cessna in 1974. He was named chairman and CEO the following year.

The Wichita Aero Club trophy is presented yearly to a person, group or organization with a strong relationship to the greater Wichita area who has distinguished himself or herself in the field of aviation or aerospace, according to the group.

The Wichita Aero Club was formed in 2008.