Wichita Aero Club Sets Luncheon Schedule; Teal Group’s Aboulafia To Address First Gathering on December 2

December 2, 2008 8:00am

The Wichita Aero Club’s first monthly luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, will feature one of the nation’s foremost aviation industry analysts, Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group, Inc. Noted for his insights into the commercial and military aircraft field and broader defense and aerospace trends, he has authored numerous articles in trade publications and is frequently cited as an aviation industry authority by news publications.

“Richard has appeared on numerous television news and radio networks including ABC, BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR and PBS and is often the ‘go-to-guy’ when the state of the industry and the economy are being discussed, so we decided we wanted to hear directly from him,” explained the Aero Club’s Executive Director, Dave Franson. “Richard’s perspective, especially in light of the current economy and the recent election, will be extremely interesting and timely,” he added.

Patterned after and affiliated with the Aero Clubs of Washington and Atlanta and The Wings Club in New York, the new group also announced that it had established a website at The site provides information on membership in the club and includes a downloadable membership form. Franson also announced that the newly elected president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Craig Fuller, will speak at the WAC’s second luncheon on January 28, 2008. “Craig is a veteran of Washington and Capitol Hill,” Franson noted. “He will provide us with his insights regarding the new administration and what we can look for with regard to the aviation industry.”

In addition to Aboulafia and Fuller, future invited speakers include Kansas Fourth District Congressman Todd Tiahrt, Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the NTSB, Flying Magazine editor Mac McClellan, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce and other prominent government and aviation leaders.

The club, which was launched at the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in Orlando last month, will operate as a non-profit 501© 6 organization. It also plans to recognize prominent aviators with an annual trophy that will be presented yearly at a gala awards dinner. It will also promote aviation-related educational and career development initiatives, and will take a leading role in the preservation of the region’s aviation heritage. It will be self-sustaining.

Through the end of the year it will offer a variety of membership categories and dues structures for aviation-related companies and organizations as well as individuals, students, military and government personnel and retirees. Individual Founding Members can join for a one-time Founder’s fee of $100 for the first year and $55 per year subsequently. Student, military, government employee and retirees memberships are available for $25 per year.

Founding Members, those who have donated $10,000 each to launch the Club, include Air Capital Insurance, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna Aircraft, FlightSafety International, Hawker Beechcraft, Klenda Mitchell Austerman and Zuercher Attorneys, Labinal, the National Center for Aviation Training and the National Institute of Aviation Research partnership (NCAT/NIAR), PIM Aviation Insurance, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Spirit Aerosystems, Sullivan Higdon & Sink Advertising and Yingling Aviation. Charter Memberships are also available for a one-time donation of $5,000. Regular corporate members will pay annual dues of $1000.
Founding and Charter Memberships will be available until Dec. 31, 2008.

For further information on the Wichita Aero Club, call Dave Franson at (316) 641-5962.