Meridian Honors New Jersey Aviators into Hall of Fame

Col. Arthur Martone accepts his induction into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame.

On Monday, November 12, 2018, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey held its 44th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Fiesta Ballroom in Wood-Ridge, NJ. This tribute dinner honors local aviation pioneers and subsidizes the Hall of Fame and Museum, on Fred Wehran Drive in Teterboro, NJ. It is one of the museum’s biggest fund-raising events of the year.

Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey preserves Garden State’s distinguished, two-century aviation and space heritage. Men and women, whose outstanding aeronautical achievements have brought worldwide recognition to the state, are inducted into the Hall of Fame every year.

The Meridian team arrived in good spirits for this prodigious event.

Meridian is a proud supporter of the museum and attends the Hall of Fame induction dinner every year. Ken Forester Sr., who founded Meridian with Bob Hewitt back in 1946, was inducted in 2008. His son, Meridian CEO, Ken Forester Jr., was among those who attended the ceremony for the company.

This event recognized four individuals, connected to New Jersey, who have each contributed to advancing human flight.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees!

You can read their bios below.

Emil Buehler (1899-1983)

The Emil Buehler Trust was established in 1984 to perpetuate the memory of Emil Buehler and his commitment to aviation science and technology. Aviation visionary, architect and engineer. Emil Buehler was born 1899 in Alpirsbach, a small town in Germany. He first experienced flying at age 17 as a pilot in the World War I German navy. Following the war, he graduated from the University of Stuttgart with degrees in architecture and engineering – moving to America within the year to pursue his career. A pioneer in aeronautics as well as a designer of buildings, Mr. Buehler was actively involved in many of the significant aviation events that took place in New Jersey during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. He operated his own school of aeronautics at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, ran a seaplane base on the Hudson River, and later designed and personally supervised the construction of an aviation facility at the Executive Airport in Fort Lauderdale.  His aeronautic involvements also included funding the development of a wind tunnel with Mach 3 capability – allowing the testing of space vehicles in design configurations at speeds up to three times the speed of sound. The internationally-known Emil Buehler Mach 3 wind tunnel is located at Rutgers, the State of New Jersey university, which in 1974 conferred on Emil Buehler the title of Eminent Engineer. His legacy of philanthropic commitment extends to a number of leading educational institutions, including Bergen Community College. Mr. Buehler died in 1983.

Linda Fritsche Castner (1947-          )

Born and raised on Alexandria Field Airport, Linda Fritsche Castner’s legacy is as a pioneer in developing and implementing non-traditional outreach programs at public-use airports.  She’s been a private pilot since she was 17 and is an Advanced Ground Instructor. Her company “Up, Up, and Away in Hunterdon, Inc.” provides innovative, aviation-themed content to participants as diverse as Pre-K students through corporate and academic professionals.  Castner is a passionate advocate for the latent potential small airports have to become valued community assets for STEM education. Among Linda’s aviation accomplishments she is Co-Owner/Operator of Alexandria Field (N85), Master Aviation Educator (since 2015). The MAE is an achievement that few ever earn.  She is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Association Board of Directors.  Linda produced the Magic of Alexandria Balloon Festival for ten years (1989-1998) donating $210,000 to charities. She has written numerous articles and aviation program grants.  The largest was in 2010 the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education program grant for a total of $150,000 for which she served as the Program Director.

Huntley Lawrence (1963-          )

Growing up in Queens, NY, next to LaGuardia Airport, Huntley developed a passion for aviation.  As a young man, he attended an aviation program offered at Public School 127, and those early years were foundational in his lifelong passion for aviation.  As a student at August Martin High School, Huntley selected a curriculum that provided him the opportunity to learn and excel in all aspects of aviation.  His passion for aviation continued as a student at Florida Institute of Technology.  He worked for the Port Authority as an intern while still in high school, and began his full-time career with the agency after his graduation from FIT.  In the years that followed, Huntley held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in airport operations at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia airports.  Following 9/11, the Short Hills, NJ resident helped manage the transition at Newark Liberty from civilian security under the FAA to oversight by the newly created U.S. Transportation Security Administration.  He became General Manager for New Jersey Airports in 2011, Deputy Director of Aviation in 2014, and Director of Aviation in January 2017.  As Director, Huntley is responsible for managing one of the world’s largest airport systems, comprising JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, Teterboro, and New York Stewart International airports.  The airport system serves tens of millions of passengers annually while supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic activity for the New York/New Jersey region.

Colonel Arthur E. Martone (1923-          )

Colonel Arthur E. Martone a life-long New Jersey resident, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and completed his training in 1943 as a fighter pilot. The colonel flew 166 combat mission during WWII. Flying a  P-40 on his 166th mission, ironically on June 6th, 1944, Arthur was shot down eighty-miles behind enemy lines in Monte Cristo, Italy. Bailing out, although injured he was found and kept alive by Italian Partisans until American troops retook the area. For his service, Colonel Martone was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.  He was honorably discharged in November of 1945. In 1947, Colonel Martone joined the Air National Guard, the 119th Fighter Squadron flying P-47s. Arthur was recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict.  After the end of the Korean War, he assigned to the 141st Tactical Fighter Squadron, McGuire AFB  flying  F-84S; being recalled to active duty in 1961-1962 serving in France with the 141st Tactical Squadron flying 2,811 sorties.  IN 1969, Arthur was promoted to Colonel. While at McGuire he served in many staff positions including eight-years as Director of Operations and Special Assistant to the Commander of the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing. In June of 1980, after serving with great distinction Colonel Martone retired. In 1986, he was honored with his name being placed on the F-84 he flew at a dedication aboard the USS Intrepid.  In retirement, the Colonel was a member of the Monmouth Flying Club serving as Treasurer and President for ten years. He is still active as a speaker.

 

 

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Meridian Hayward Voted CAA Preferred FBO at HWD

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company, is pleased to announce that its West Coast fixed base operator (FBO), Meridian Hayward, was voted the Corporate Aircraft Association’s (CAA) Preferred FBO at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA. CAA is a membership-based organization that is dedicated to enhancing the operating efficiencies of corporate flight departments. A “CAA Preferred” FBO represents a combination of good service and fair pricing for its members, serviced by the most highly qualified personnel and FBO management in the industry.

A CAA Preferred FBO must be voted into the program. In order to be eligible, it must receive at least 35 votes from participating CAA Fuel Program Members. If there are multiple FBOs at an airport, the one receiving the most votes is named the CAA Preferred FBO. The winner is then tendered a three-year, exclusive contract at its airport.

The voting period for HWD ran from October 1 – 7, 2018, and results were announced on Monday, October 8. Meridian Hayward General Manager, Carlos Rodriguez, was excited by the news: “The entire Meridian team is ecstatic over this designation because it will give us the opportunity to show loyal CAA members that we provide outstanding customer service at very competitive pricing. With both of our FBO locations CAA Preferred facilities, we can now fully serve our CAA customers on both coasts.”

Meridian Teterboro has been the CAA Preferred FBO at Teterboro Airport since 1996. The CAA Preferred FBO designation for Meridian Hayward will officially begin at HWD on November 1, 2018.

 

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Meridian Plays for a Good Cause in 30th Annual PAMA Golf Outing

Team Meridian Poses for a photo at the 30th Annual PAMA Golf Outing

On Monday, October 29, Meridian Jet Center was proud to support the 30th Annual Ed Furst Sr. Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing, which was held at the beautiful Crystal Springs Golf Club in Hamburg, NJ. Meridian was a proud hole sponsor, while also sending a foursome of golfers to represent the company. The event drew 112 golfers and included a 4-person scramble, lunch, dinner, and an awards reception following the tournament.

The golf outing traditionally follows the first Teterboro PAMA meeting of the season, which was held the previous evening at Graycliff Restaurant in Moonachie, NJ. The Meridian team included John Langschultz (VP of Maintenance), Bob Kennedy, (Jet Center Sales), Brian Fee and Gino DiMartino, Account Manager with Aerotek Aviation. While the foursome did not win the tournament, they did take home the award for “Most Honest Team,” which the Meridian Maintenance Department considers a better outcome than victory.

Meridian has been a longtime sponsor from the very beginning, 30 years ago. John Langschultz has been on the golf committee for the entire 30 years. The PAMA golf outing was renamed after Ed Furst, Sr. passed away suddenly in 2001. Today, his son, Ed Furst, Jr. organizes the event each year.

The annual golf outing is hosted by the Teterboro Chapter of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association and provides educational opportunities to students attending the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in conjunction with FlightSafety. According to chapter President Ed Furst Jr., “The PAMA chapter has had a long-standing relationship with the school. Every student benefits from the latest donation by PAMA and FlightSafety. The chapter is leasing FlightSafety’s popular Principles of Troubleshooting training program for the school for a three-year period. Each year we would donate scholarship funds to one or two students – but our board members were looking for something that would benefit the whole student body.” Teterboro PAMA and FL Aviation based in Morristown, NJ, had established the scholarship in memory of Tom Geiger, former Director of Maintenance at FL Aviation. The golf outing helps to raise the funds needed to keep the program going.

John Langschultz says, “We are proud to participate in this event because it positively impacts all of the students. Since these young men and women are the future of our industry, we all benefit in the long run. It’s really a great cause.”

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