James Maxwell

Promoted attaching seat belts and harnesses to aircraft; National Agricultural Aviation Association President’s Citation 1972, NAAA Outstanding Service award 1974; NAAA Vice-President 1974; NAAA President 1975, Agrinaut award 1981.

James L. Maxwell’s list of achievements in agricultural aviation is long. In 1961 he was instrumental with working with the FAA for the attachment of seat belts and shoulder harnesses to the airframe of aircraft. In 1970 he introduced the agricultural aviation industry to the halls of Congress through the offices of Senators Eastland and Bowen. He received the NAAA Presidential Award in 1972 for this effort.

In 1971 Maxwell convinced the then called National Aerial Applicators Association, they should align themselves more with agriculture resulting in the name change to National Agricultural Aviation Association.

In 1972 Maxwell implemented relief of Sales Tax in Mississippi for out-of-state purchases of agricultural aircraft; 1973 he worked with the EPA on the development of issuing a Section 18; 1974 he introduced Senator Robert Crook to all 50 states to correct inequities in Workmans Compensation regs.

Maxwell served on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Energy Office in 1974, thus obtaining 100% of current needs of aviation fuel for ag aviation, before it was granted to agriculture.

During his tenure as NAAA president in 1975, he moved the offices of the NAAA to Washington, DC. , while still serving Mississippi on its Advisory Committee for certification of aerial applicators. Also, during this time, Maxwell was appointed to the committee responsible for locating a site for the NAAHOF museum; eventually in 1981 serving on the Foundation Board of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and National Agricultural Aviation Museum.

Maxwell was involved in an exchange agreement with the USSR and the USA in 1975 and 1976 simply named Item 6 Ag Aviation. In 1976 he received FAA’s Excellence of Performance Award.

In 1977 Maxwell formed NAAA’s PAC and received MsAAA’s Distinguished Service Award. Mississippi AAA further recognized James Maxwell in 1982 with its E.O. Champion “Operator of the Year” Award and again in 1983 with its Cy Emery Award. Maxwell is noted and credited as a founder of the National Agricultural Aviation “Hall of Fame” and was responsible for the original financial aid for its formation.

NAAHOF Inductees is a series of articles featuring the inductees to the National Agricultural Aviation Museum’s Hall of Fame. Although some of the information is limited, including in some cases unknown induction years, it is the best compilation available from The National Agricultural Aviation Museum, the NAAHOF Nominations Board of Directors, the NAA Museum Board of Directors and Mabry Anderson’s book, Low and Slow.
Each month AgAir Update will feature one or more individuals honored in the National Agricultural Aviation’s Hall of Fame, how many, depending on the information available about the individual. Enjoy reading about the history and the history makers of ag aviation.