WASHINGTON, DC, November 30, 2009 – With tremendous sadness, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) mourns the passing of Edward Stimpson, an industry giant, the association’s second president, and a dear friend and mentor to many in the aviation community.
Ed was hired to handle public affairs and congressional relations when GAMA was formed in 1970. Within one year, Ed became GAMA’s president, a post he held until 1996, a period during which he built GAMA into one of the most effective and respected trade associations in Washington. Ed’s energy, passion and enthusiasm for the industry were unmatched and his ability to form coalitions legendary. His vision was to bring the entire general aviation community together to speak with one voice and maximize the industry’s influence by making aviation safety the industry’s top concern. Ed never seemed to forget a name or a face, was accessible to everyone, and seldom sought credit for his numerous achievements.
While at GAMA, Ed drove numerous issues critical to the industry such as the OPEC oil embargo that began in 1973 and the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) approved by Congress in 1994. He remained to the end a champion for general aviation, a true aviation enthusiast ,and a powerful advocate for aviation safety.
Shortly after leaving GAMA in 1996, Ed was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the rank of ambassador. He was later honored with aviation’s most coveted award, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy and most recently served as the chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation.
"It is hard to put into words the indelible mark that Ed has left on this industry," said GAMA’s current President and CEO, Pete Bunce. "He was a leader, a mentor, and most importantly, a friend, to countless numbers within the worldwide aviation industry. His spirit, dedication and enthusiasm were unmatched and will never be duplicated. The general aviation manufacturing family passes along its deepest sympathy to Ed’s wife, Dorothy, and the entire Stimpson family."
“The opportunity to work with Ed for almost 40 years was clearly one of the privileges of my life,” said Russ Meyer, who served as Chairman of GAMA in three separate decades. “He was a great champion of general aviation whose effectiveness and achievements rank him among the pioneers of this industry.”