NAA Contest & Records Board Member Inducted into the U.S. Soaring Hall of Fame

NAA Contest & Records Board Member Brian Utley was inducted into the U.S. Soaring Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 5th in Elmira, New York. Art Greenfield, Director of Contest & Records, NAA spoke at the induction ceremony, highlighting Utley’s contributions and accomplishments while serving on the Contest & Records Board.

Born in Cottingham, York, Great Britain, Utley came to the U.S. in 1949, to live in Utah, became a citizen in 1954, and soon joined the Civil Air Patrol. He went to work for IBM as a Customer Engineer and was given assignments all over the world. Utley bought an Ercoupe and learned to fly, and following a move to California, began soaring. In 1972, Utley placed 14th in the National Soaring Championships in his first competition.

IBM then assigned Utley to Rochester, Minnesota in 1974 and at this time he was appointed to the Soaring Society Board of Directors, a position he would maintain until 1982. He planned the 1975 Region 7 Soaring Championships at Sleepy Eye, MN, where he won his class. He also set a record soaring from Sleepy Eye to St. Louis, a distance of 435 miles. In 1977, he soared to over 30,000 ft over Pikes Peak, CO.

Utley was elected President of the Soaring Society of America in 1978. He returned to Minnesota in 2001 and was invited to join the National Aeronautic Association’s Contest and Records Board in 2003, a position that he still holds today. As a member of the Contest and Records Board, he has served as an official observer for record attempts of all kinds, including around-the-world flights, speed and altitude records. Utley currently lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.