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CELEBRATING34 YEARS: 1984 - 2018

The Aero Club of Metropolitan Atlanta was founded in 1984 by Lockheed Aircraft Company executives and local business people to serve the aviation community.

From Our February Meeting--Richard Hanson, President, Academy of Model Aeronautics

Our February speaker was Rich Hanson, who currently serves as the President and CEO of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) headquartered in Muncie, IN. He previously served as AMA’s Government and Regulatory Affairs Director from May 2008, until taking office as president in January 2017, and prior to that served on the AMA Executive Council for 15 years as a member of the Academy’s board of directors.

Rich is an aviation professional with a 50-yr career in full-scale aviation and over 7,000 hours as a commercial pilot in airplanes and rotorcraft. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served 27 years in the US Army and the Army Guard and Reserve components. During his military career and as a commissioned officer Rich served in numerous military aviation leadership positions and is a graduate of the Army Aviation Safety Officer Course.

Rich also worked 26 years as an air rescue helicopter pilot, a commissioned peace office and a public safety administrator for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Rich managed Arizona’s Governor’s Office for Highway Safety for two years and served one year under special assignment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assisting in the development of NHTSA/IACPs Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program. In his last seven years at the Department of Public Safety Rich served as the Aviation Division Commander over Arizona’s statewide fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

Rich is a life-long modeler and has years of experience in all aspects of aeromodeling and unmanned aircraft. He is an AMA Fellow, an inductee to AMA’s Model Aviation Hall of Fame and was recently awarded the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) for his contributions to model aviation and the aeromodeling community.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics is the world's largest aeromodeling organization. Founded in 1936, the AMA has grown to more than 180,000 members with nearly 2,400 chartered clubs located in all 50 states, the US territories and at US military installations around the world. The AMA has the dedicated mission of furthering, supporting, and advocating on behalf of model aviation and represents and supports a diverse community of aeromodeling enthusiasts. AMA’s nationwide community-based programming provides an established safety structure for all forms of model aviation including the recreational, educational and purposeful use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).

The EPPS Award for Outstanding Aviation Achievement was Presented to Major General George Harrison, USAF (Retired).

George Harrison retired as Associate Director, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia in 2016. Before his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in July 1997 as a Major General, he was Commander, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. George began his Air Force career as an F-4 pilot at MacDill AFB, Florida in 1963. Since then, he has flown combat in the O-1F from DaNang AB, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), and the F-4 from Cam Rahn Bay AB, RVN and Udorn Royal Thai AFB. In later years, he flew combat missions in the F-16C over Iraq (Provide Comfort), the C-130E, E-3A and E-8C over and into Bosnia (Deny Flight and Joint Endeavor) and the E-3B over Iraq (Desert Storm). He commanded the 4485th Test Squadron, the 479th Tactical Training Wing, the USAF Air Warfare Center, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia and served as the Director of Operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

George is an active civil aviator and is an FAA instructor in single and multiengine airplanes, instruments and gliders. His first solo was as a teenager in the Piper J-3 and now has logged over 8800 hours in 103 types of civil and military aircraft, including 530 hours in combat. A volunteer check pilot and instructor pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, he has introduced over 1000 young men and women to aviation through orientation flights. An Airline Transport Pilot, he is experienced in conventional and tail wheel aircraft and gliders and is type-rated in the Boeing 707/720, Lear Jet, and T-33

A graduate of the USAF Academy, University of Pennsylvania and Air War College, he has also received 74 decorations from the United States and four foreign nations, including two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and twelve Air Medals.

Married to the former Pennie Jenkins for 54 years, George is proud of Pennie’s having successfully raised three great children through 23 moves in 35 years of Air Force service.

The EPPS Award for Outstanding Aviation Achievement is given in the name of Pat Epps, a Georgia Tech alumnus, and his family who have made such a positive impact on aviation in the Atlanta Area. Ben Epps, Pat’s father, flew a powered aircraft of his own design at Athens, Georgia in 1907, just three years after the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight.

Thank you, Mr. Epps, for making this honor possible!

About the Atlanta Aero Club

The Atlanta Aero Club is dedicated to providing a forum for matters affecting aviation in the Atlanta area, both commercial and general; recognizing and awarding those making the greatest contribution to furthering aviation in the Atlanta area; communicating and disseminating information affecting aviation; and promoting all aviation and recognizing its importance to the metropolitan area and to the State of Georgia.

Please take a few moments to browse the site and see what the Aero Club has to offer. If you would like to attend one of our great events, keep an eye out to the right in the Upcoming Events section for information.

Individual Memberships are only $55 a year. Business memberships are $250 per year and allow up to 10 named individuals. Support the Atlanta Aviation Industry by joining or renewing now!


Support the Atlanta Aviation Industry by Joining Now!

Join today!

Individual Memberships are only $55 a year. Business memberships are just $250 per year and include up to 10 named individuals.

Click to Join

Support the Atlanta Aviation Industry by Renewing Now!

Renew today!

Individual Memberships are only $55 a year. Business memberships are $250 and allow up to 10 named individuals.

Click to Join

Air Harbor LZU

Air Harbor, Inc. at LZU is an exclusive facility that leases secure individual storage hangers for small aircraft. It is owned and operated by fellow pilots who understand and appreciate better than anyone, the required care necessary to protecting and preserving our aircraft investments.


SOAR Conference 2018

Early Bird Discount Extended to January 24--Be Sure to Register NOW!

March 6 @ 8:00 am - March 8 @ 4:30 pm Location: Middle Georgia State University Conference Center, 100 University Parkway Macon, GA 31206 United States

The Aerospace and Defense business environment is heating up! Come to SOAR to connect with the best resource to connect you with the best resources to grow your business in the Aerospace, Automotive, and Defense industries in Georgia.

SOAR 2018 is two back-to-back conferences - the first focused on automotive, and the second on aerospace and defense. In between the conferences, you can opt-in for our Cross-Sector Networking Lunch.

Both conferences feature Fast Pitch sessions with prime contractors, networking opportunities, and educational sessions to help small business owners increase their exposure within the community, as well as grow their business and boost profitability.

Come see how we can help your business connect, compete, and grow.

Register now! Early bird registration ends January 24th!



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Our Business Members

Please support our business members:

• Airline Transport Professionals (ATP)

• American Air Flight Training

• Aviation Business Strategies Group

• Epps Aviation

• Hawthorne Global Aviation Services

• Home Depot

• Satcom Direct

• Skybound Aviation

• Trade-A-Plane

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