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Garmin Awarded 2022 August Raspet Award

EAA's Charlie Becker presenting the award to Garmin's Carl Wolf, who accepted on behalf of the company.

The 2022 recipient of the August Raspet Award is Garmin, awarded earlier this week. EAA recognized Garmin’s contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design and safety with the introduction of Smart Glide, a ground-breaking safety enhancement that assists pilots experiencing a power loss emergency by automating tasks, establishing best glide, navigating the aircraft, and assembling critical data, thereby reducing pilot workload and increasing the odds of a safe outcome. Smart Glide will activate Garmin autopilot in cases of emergency and “loads the selected airport’s CTAF frequency in the primary comm standby position,” according to Garmin.

Since 1960, the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award has been presented every year to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.

The award is named for the late Dr. August “Gus” Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast. Raspet was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation’s preeminent aerophysics research centers. The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, Mississippi — a tribute to all of his efforts — was completed in 1962.

The first recipient of the award was John Thorp, Lockheed engineer on the Little Dipper and Big Dipper, and designer of the Thorp Aviation Sky Skooter. Since then the list of people honored reads like a who’s who of aircraft design, including Steve Wittman and Dick VanGrunsven.

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