President’s Message

A bit over a year ago, Jean Tinsley passed away. Jean was one of our Distinguished Statesman, but she was so much more than that. Jean was a co-founder of the Helicopter Club of America, an Executive Director of the Whirly Girls, and an active member of the Ninety-Nines. She was one of six pilots to compete on the first US team at the World Helicopter Championships, and later was a Chief Judge at the event. Jean was the first woman in the world to obtain a gyroplane rating in a constant speed propeller driven gyroplane and the first woman to pilot the Bell XV-15 experimental Tilt Rotor aircraft. She has been a delegate to many international aviation conferences, including the International Rotorcraft Commission of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. I could go on and on.

Not long after Jean passed away, we were informed that she remembered NAA in her estate, along with several other organizations with which she was involved. What a wonderful way to keep her quite substantial legacy alive.

Later in the year when we received the funds, we immediately moved to make the best use of Jean’s bequest. We shared some of the funds with member Aero Clubs, which are often strapped for resources and which do such great work all over the country sharing their passion for aviation. We used some of it to replenish the fund that helps support the NAA Distinguished Statesman program. We used some of it to boost the Brewer Trophy program, since that is the nation’s preeminent aviation education award. And we used some to help fund a new base for the Mackay Trophy, which honors the most meritorious Air Force flight of the year. We have designated what remains to use toward a website upgrade in the near future, to help us communicate with aviators and others, and to better fulfill our mission to promote aviation.

Jean did not put any restrictions on her gift, but we wanted to be sure that it was used in ways to promote our mission of spreading the joy and passion of aviation to as many people as we can. I very much hope she would have approved, and all of us at NAA are eternally grateful for her consequential life, and for the way in which she has helped us continue work she very much believed in.

If anyone reading this would like to remember us in a similar way please let me know: [email protected]