Russ Meyer to Address April 26 Wichita Aero Club Luncheon

April 2, 2010 11:52am

Wichita, KS—April 2, 2010—Former Cessna Aircraft Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Russ Meyer has seen his share of ups and downs in the aviation industry. The long-time head of the world’s most prolific manufacturer of business aircraft, Meyer guided the company through times when its daily output exceeded 30 aircraft and through the dark days of the 1980’s when the company actually discontinued production of its venerable single engine product line. He worked tirelessly to revive Cessna, lobbied Congress to pass much-needed product liability tort reform, restarted the light aircraft production lines and led Cessna’s re-configuration into the company that has now built more business jets than anyone else in the world. In the process, too, he earned a well-deserved reputation as a civic leader, philanthropist and, an award- winning industry icon. He will address the Wichita Aero Club at its monthly luncheon at noon on Monday, April 26 at the Wichita Airport Hilton. Tickets can be obtained online at or by calling the Wichita Aero Club at 316.641.5962.

“Having Russ speak to the Wichita Aero Club is like having Nolan Ryan speak to a baseball group meeting,” said Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club Executive Director. “We’ll get a real inside perspective from a Hall of Famer. In fact, Russ was elected to the National Aviation Hall of Fame this past summer. That was one of the reasons we asked him to speak now. It will undoubtedly provide the basis for a look back at his career, but I’m sure he’ll focus on looking forward and encouraging his many friends and neighbors here, during a difficult period in the industry. It’s easy to take our own local legends for granted but this will undoubtedly be a presentation that will draw a lot of attention elsewhere, too. Russ’s knowledge of the industry, the players and the politics that affect them are deep and insightful and he’s a terrific speaker. This will be a great luncheon.”

Russell W. Meyer, Jr. joined Cessna in June of 1974 as an executive vice president and was named chairman of the board a year later. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, he led Cessna for nearly 30 years, ultimately turning over the reins of the company to Jack Pelton in 2003. Mr. Meyer is a native of Davenport, Iowa. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and an Air Transport Rated pilot with more than 17,000 hours in more than 50 types of aircraft. He is a past recipient of the Wright Brothers Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Aero Club of Washington, the National Business Aviation Association’s Meritorious Service Award, and the NAA’s Collier Trophy.

The Wichita Aero Club was founded in October of 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight.