BCA's Retiring Editors Offer A Final Salute
For reasons too frustrating to detail, this, my last issue of BCA, has been one of the worst to put together in recent memory. You would think after doing this job for what some might consider a ridiculous number of years, publishing an issue of BCA would be “old hat,” maybe even boring.
Well, trust me, being executive editor of this magazine has been everything but dull. And now as I look back, I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment and am very proud of the good work our team has done for an incredible industry. Will I miss it? You bet.
It’s been a joy to watch lifelong industry friends grow and prosper, and to be a part of an industry where the majesty of the airplane defines all we do. To all of my colleagues, know you are cherished and will be held in my heart till the sun goes down. Thanks for the stories and fabulous memories. — Jessica A. Salerno
You and I have traveled a wonderful path together. We graduated from recips to turboprops to turbojets to turbofans. We learned straight-wing, low-altitude aerodynamics then swept-wing high-altitude technologies. We started with ADF, then VOR and ILS and went on to GPS, R-Nav, spinning metal INS and then spinning light.
Our air data instruments involved tubes, bellows and clockwork mechanisms and then, overnight, data went solid-state and our displays graduated to eight-segment light schemes to CRTs, LEDs and high-resolution flat panels.
Meantime, our instruments began exchanging information. Micro-computers and data buses monitored and protected the engines, airframe systems and avionics. Finally, the exchange evolved into a neural network.
An airplane once comprised airframe, engine(s) and avionics. Today these components are one, inseparable—a flying computer.
And always, we’ve explored the man-machine interface with all its sometimes-stumbling progress.
I have been truly blessed to have made this journey with you our readers. We have learned much together on this 52-year flight. Stay safe. — Dick Aarons
A confession: I’m a pack rat, having saved hundreds of business cards during my half-century of flying. So, I recently started sifting through them, intending to toss most. Yet, the more I perused, the more I was reminded why aviation has been so rewarding as a career.
Astronauts, engineers and test pilots, entrepreneurs, inventors and tycoons, war heroes and air racers, all taking bold risks, pushing back frontiers, raising expectations. We met at airports, onboard aircraft carriers, in offices and laboratories, at conventions, expos and company headquarters.
So many of those people made possible all my great memories of flying 230+ makes, models and variants of aircraft, ranging from the Fuji Blimp to the Mach 2 Rafale, from the J-3 Cub, the original ultralight, to the 300-ton A350.
So, I can’t toss those business cards. They remind me that it’s not about hardware. Rather, it’s all about the remarkable people who made it possible. Thank you all. — Fred George
As BCA’s new guy — I joined only 20 years ago — it’s fitting that I’m last to offer sincere thanks to my extraordinary colleagues including Frank Craven, our exiting publisher; legendary predecessors, and you, business aviation’s professionals. All have provided support, inspiration, insight and, occasionally, deserved criticism.
Our purpose always has been to deliver editorial that helps you do your jobs more efficiently, safely and in ways that make you even more valuable to your organizations. In the process, I’ve reported from five continents (I’ll get Down Under yet) took controls of everything from a Starduster and Commanders to TBMs and Citations, and had one-on-ones with presidents, visionaries and pioneers.
Decades ago, when signing off my first flight check, champion aerobat Mary Gaffaney urged me to become an aviation professional. Earlier this year, in sharing honors with Capt. Jim Lovell and Sergei Sikorsky, it occurred to me that, fortunately, I’d taken her advice. And I’m indebted to all who have helped make that decision so rewarding. — William Garvey
Publisher's note: Thank you to Bill, Fred, Jessica and Dick for their tremendous contributions, and for helping establish the next chapter of BCA.