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Industry Mourns Passing of General Aviation Pioneer, William T. Piper, Jr.

GAMA NEWS 07-18 For Immediate Release: Aug 31, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC, August 31, 2007 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has learned that industry veteran, William T. Piper, Jr., has passed away at the age of 95. Piper was a founding board member of GAMA in 1970 and received the association’s Distinguished Service Award following his chairmanship in 1973.

"Bill was more than just a founding member of GAMA,” said Ed Stimpson, former GAMA President and CEO. “He was a driving factor in its establishment and a true leader in the general aviation industry. Bill was part of an extraordinary era and we celebrate his devotion to the industry that he served so well.”

Bill Jr. joined the company founded by his father following his graduation from Harvard University in 1934. He became president of Piper Aircraft in 1968 when the company’s worldwide sales reached $96 million annually. In 1970, he was named chairman of the board, by which time Piper had manufactured 86,000 planes, many of them during World War II. He remained chairman until 1973. Bill Jr. also placed great importance on the creation of the Piper Foundation, which was established to support educational, recreational and cultural projects and facilities that benefit public health.

Pete Bunce, GAMA’s current President and CEO, added, “Bill is a true icon in our industry and one who made countless contributions to the success and vitality of general aviation worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those that he touched throughout his life.”

Communications Director:
Andre Castro:
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Headquarters: (+1) 202-393-1500
European Office: (+32) 2 550-3900

GAMA exists to foster and advance the general welfare, safety, interests, and activities of the global business and general aviation industry. This includes promoting a better understanding of general aviation manufacturing, maintenance, repair, and overhaul and the important role these industry segments play in economic growth and opportunity, and in serving the critical transportation needs of communities, companies, and individuals worldwide.