Jack Pelton

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Jack Pelton
2010 Recipient

Jack Pelton was selected to receive the 2010 Lindbergh Award for leading the charge to see that the aviation industry focuses appropriate efforts in reducing its environmental impact.?? Pelton has been a vocal proponent for pursuing policies and practices that balance progress and technology with environmental sensitivity, a concept that resonates strongly with Lindbergh Foundation values.

Furthermore, the Lindbergh Foundation noted that Cessna?۪s business aircraft have employed technology to reduce emissions by over 60%, and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Pelton to chair the State?۪s Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group.?? In addition, Pelton has established the Cessna Environmental Strategy Council, which has five areas of focus: aircraft emissions, industrial emissions/waste/recycling, recycling consumables, energy conservation and engaging employee participation through communication.


Jack J. Pelton is chairman, president and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company, the leading worldwide manufacturer of general aviation aircraft.

A native of California, Pelton has more than three decades of aviation experience. He joined Cessna in November 2000 as senior vice president, Product Engineering and oversaw Cessna’s engineering and??product development activities, including new aircraft development, design, experimental and production test flight, certifications and product improvements for all Cessna models. He was named president and chief executive officer in 2003 and chairman in 2005. He is a member of Textron’s Executive Leadership Team.

Before joining Cessna in 2000, Pelton served as senior vice president, Engineering and Programs at Fairchild Dornier in Germany and was responsible for the 728JET aircraft family. Previously he held related??executive positions of increasing responsibility during his 20 years at Boeing, formerly Douglas Aircraft.

Pelton has a commercial pilot’s license with instrument, multi-engine and seaplane ratings. He also holds type ratings in several Citation business jets, including the Citation X, the world?۪s fastest civil??aviation airplane. He is a single-engine aircraft owner and restores antique aircraft.

Pelton?۪s leadership at Cessna and in the industry is well recognized. In 2008, he was bestowed one of the industry’s top accolades ??? the Aviation Week Laurel for Business and General Aviation. Also in 2008, he earned the Freedom of Flight award, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s highest honor. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Ad Astra Award as the state?۪s most??influential business leader.

He is a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), where he continues to serve as chairman of the Flight Operations Policy committee, and he serves on the Associate Member Advisory Board of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). He also serves on the boards of directors of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Corporate Angel Network.

Actively involved in numerous community non-profit organizations, Pelton serves on the board of trustees of the Sedgwick County Zoological Society and the boards of directors of the Wichita Metro??Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Chamber. He is chairman of EAA’?۪s Gathering of Eagles and a member of the board and past president of Wichita Habitat for Humanity.