Jerome Lederer, whose life was dedicated to aviation safety, died February 6. He was 101. In the mid-1920s, he was instrumental in determining why so many U.S. Air Mail Service pilots died in survivable crashes. As director of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board Safety Bureau in the early ‘40s, he was key to getting flight data recorders on commercial airliners. In 1946, he formed the Flight Safety Foundation.
Jean Ross Howard Phelan, one the world’s first female helicopter pilots and a driving force behind the international group Whirly-Girls, has died. She was 87. She earned her helicopter rating in 1954 through the personal intervention of Larry Bell. The next year, she formed the Whirly-Girls, made up of female helicopter pilots.
Joe Ivar Soloy, a leader in the engineering, development and installation of turbine conversion kits for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, died February 1. He was 78. He started Soloy Corp. in 1970 to develop turbine kits for reciprocating engine aircraft, including the Bell 47 and Hiller UH-12E.