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King Schools owners are recognised for safety
John and Martha King have received the first AOPA Richard G McSpadden General Aviation Safety Award. They said it would encourage them even more to carry on their own risk management efforts.
AOPA president Mark Baker with John and Martha King, and Paul Deres, AOPA vice president of operations.

King Schools owners John and Martha King were recently honoured during an emotionally charged presentation at AOPA's Annual R A 'Bob' Hoover Trophy reception in Washington DC. The aviation couple jointly received the inaugural Richard G McSpadden General Aviation Safety Award, named after the late, longtime AOPA safety leader and highly accomplished aviator.

The portion of the ceremony honouring John and Martha included AOPA president Mark Baker and aviation legend Sean Tucker who introduced Paul Deres, AOPA vice president of operations. Deres spoke about Richard's contributions to aviation safety and the evolution of renaming the award for Richard McSpadden. After a video tribute to John and Martha, Paul presented the trophy.

After accepting the award, John King said: "I want to tell you how much we appreciate AOPA doing this; what it is doing tonight is celebrating achievement. If it weren't for AOPA we wouldn't have an aviation community today the way we have it. AOPA has made it possible for us to be in this business and for us all to be flying together. It's a wonderful organisation and we really appreciate it."

Martha King added: "AOPA is what gives us a strong voice in the US and helps maintain our freedom to fly, and we thank you for that.

"I want to also say how very honoured we are to receive this, the very first Richard G McSpadden Air Safety Institute General Aviation Safety Award. We knew Richard, we really liked him and we especially appreciated the contributions he made. His videos analysing accidents and his thoughtful discussions brought great insight to the community and a great improvement, we think, to the general aviation safety record. He helped change the vocabulary of the whole community about risk management and helped put a renewed emphasis and focus on safety that will carry on to the future and do great things. And so we're very, very pleased and privileged to accept this first inaugural award. It will encourage us and inspire us even more to carry on our own risk management efforts."

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