Society News

/Society News
11 02, 2024

Introducing The 2024 First Flight Society Board

The First Flight Society announces its Board of Directors for 2024. Most of the directors are from North Carolina.

The newly elected Executive Committee consists of:

President-Mike Fonseca

Vice President-Paul Wright Jameson

Finance Committee Chair-Erica Paynter

Marketing/Membership Committee Chair-William “Bill” Douglas

Education Committee Chair-Judith Fearing

The rest of the 2024 board consists of:

Paul Carr, Sara Lou Copeland, Danny Couch, M. Roy Daniels, III, Dr Charles Davidson, Mark Flynn, Orestes Gooden, Penny Leary Smith, William Nelson, Mike Smith, K Lynn Tadlock. Erica Paynter is new to the board this year.

The FFS plans an annual celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on Wright Brothers Day, December 17th to memorialize the work of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC. First Flight Society also celebrates Wilbur Wright Day on April 16th and National Aviation […]

18 12, 2023

Walter and Olive Ann Beech

Inducted in 2023

Founders of Beechcraft

Walter H. Beech

1891 – 1950

Olive Ann Beech


In the mid 1920s, young WWI veteran and bold barnstormer, Walter H. Beech became one of the early leaders of the growing airplane industry. Walter and his wife, Olive Ann, founded the Beech Aircraft Company in 1932 and created a legacy of general aviation aircraft known for safety, dependability, beauty and speed.

Olive Ann Beech became one of the first female CEOs of a Fortune 500 Company as well as the first woman to lead a major aircraft company. Because of her finacial and organizational skills she was responsible for Beech Aircraft being one of the most successful airplane manufacturing companies in the world knon for quality, service and excellence. She is forever known as thr “First Lady of Aviation”.

20 11, 2023

First Flight Society Announces 2023 Class of Honorary Members

KITTY HAWK, N.C. – November 19, 2023 – The First Flight Society announces two new Honorary Lifetime Members: Record holder Mack Rutherford, and pilot Erik Lindbergh.

Mack Rutherford became the youngest person to fly solo around the world and the youngest person to fly a microlight aircraft solo around the globe. Now 18, Mack started his 5-month journey at age 17. Mack landed in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 24, 2022, completing a trip that took him across 52 countries. Mack was born to British parents but has grown up in Belgium. He joins his older sister Zara Rutherford as a First Flight Society Honorary Lifetime member.

Erik Lindbergh is a pilot, adventurer, artist and entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of VerdeGo Aero which provides Powertrain Systems and Engineering Services to the electric aircraft industry. Erik is the Co-Host of […]

19 10, 2023

This Wright Brothers Day Is The 120th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ First Flight

Wright Brothers Day: December 17, 2023 – 120th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ First Powered Flight

First Flight Society 12-17-22

This year’s event will honor Walter and Olive Ann Beech, American aviators and early aviation entrepreneurs who co-founded the Beech Aircraft Company—now called Beechcraft—in 1932.  The festivities will feature speakers from the National Park Service as well as a flyover, among other activities. For more information about Wright Brothers Day 2023, please click the button below.

Wright Brothers Day Luncheon

FFS Annual Luncheon Celebrating The Wright Brothers Legacy and Honoring Walter and Olive Ann [...]					
9 06, 2023

Celebrate National Aviation Day with First Flight Society on August 19, 2023

NAD 2021

The First Flight Society announced the 5th annual National Aviation Day at Dare County Regional Airport on August 19th, 2023. The event runs from 10AM-3PM and features Airplane Displays, Exhibitors, and Food Trucks. The mission of the celebration is to provide a fun and educational experience promoting, honoring, and celebrating the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers and helping educate the world about aviation. NAD is a free event aimed at all ages.

NAD is also Orville Wright’s birthday. Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt was the creator of National Aviation Day, deciding for the first time in 1939 that the nation should celebrate the growth and advancements being made in aviation.

Our keynote speaker will be historian Larry Tise.