First Flight Society announces 2022 Board of Directors.

Orville Wright makes the first powered, controlled flight on Earth as his brother Wilbur looks on in Kill Devil Hills on Dec. 17, 1903. [photo by John Daniels of U.S. Life-Saving Station Kill Devil Hills/courtesy Library of Congress]

The First Flight Society has announced its Board of Directors for 2022, most of whom are from North Carolina.

The newly-elected Executive Committee consists of President Mike Fonseca, 1st Vice President Dr. Charles Davidson, 2nd Vice President William “Bill” Douglas, Treasurer H. Taylor Sugg, and Secretary Paul Carr

The rest of the 2022 board consists of Peter Bruemmer, Tony Bruno, Sara Lou Copeland, Danny Couch, M. Roy Daniels, III, David Daniels, Judith Fearing, Orestes Gooden, Barbara Gourley, Todd Huvard, Paul Wright Jameson, Penny Leary Smith, William Nelson, Doug Seay, Mike Smith, and Peregrine White.

Mike Smith is a former president of the 94-year-old Society that started out as the Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association.

The FFS plans an annual celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on Wright Brothers Day, December 17th mandated by their bylaws to memorialize the work of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC. First Flight Society also celebrates National Aviation Day on August 19th which is also Orville Wright’s birthday.

Without the First Flight Society there would not be a Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association, later named First Flight Society, began as a group of local businessmen who successfully petitioned the US Congress to fund and build a monument to the Wright Brothers’ 1903 achievement.

They created the Paul E Garber Shrine in 1966 to honor individuals and groups for achieving significant “firsts” in aviation development since 1903. (Charles Lindbergh, Tuskegee Airmen, Mary Feik, John Glenn, Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures) and most recently astronaut Sally K Ride, among others.

First Flight Society promotes aviation education through an Aviation Education Committee to expand the knowledge of the Wright Brothers’ legacy by bringing aviation education programs to students in Dare County. They also offer an annual FFS Scholarship through Outer Banks Community Foundation for students pursuing aviation education in North Carolina.

More information about the First Flight Society can be found at and