The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) opened the doors today (April 24) for its 66th annual International Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida. Participants include more than 1,400 avionics manufacturers, repair stations, maintenance organizations and “other general aviation professionals,” according to AEA, which says the four-day event is “the largest gathering of avionics manufacturers, distributors and government-certified repair stations in the world.”
The association launched the show by hosting the FAA in awarding the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award to Ric Peri, AEA’s vice president of government and industry affairs. Peri’s career in aviation spans five decades and includes service in the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as in civilian aviation maintenance as a mechanic, instructor, writer, consultant and auditor. Peri has also restored and currently owns a Cessna Skyhawk.
The award is named for Charles Taylor, who designed and built the piston engine that powered the Wright Flyer. In aviation maintenance circles, Taylor is revered on a level not far below the Wrights themselves.
Peri said, “Charles Taylor, the namesake of this award, saw powered flight from its birth to the introduction of the jet age. My career has taken me from round motors, tube radios, and sextants to electric propulsion, autonomous flight, and artificial intelligence. I am truly blessed to have been a part of this journey for the past 50 years. I wonder what the next 50 years will bring.”
AEA members voted to also honor Dewey Conroy of Pacific Coast Avionics as AEA Member of the Year, and Melbourne, Florida-based Avidyne as Associate Member of the Year.