It’s that time of the year when AIN’s editors cast our collective mind back over the people and the events that captured our attention through the past 12 months and inspired the thousands of manuscript pages that filled our 2004 issues. Despite (or because of) the U.S.’s preoccupation with a repeat of 9/11, it didn’t happen, and the turnaround in the fortunes of the U.S. economy (and in turn business aviation) finally took hold after about three years of relative hardship. People made headlines, as usual, for all the right and wrong reasons, a situation seen clearly at NBAA with the April departure of its much ballyhooed president after just nine months on the job and the subsequent recruitment of GAMA’s leader as her replacement. The guru of homebuilders sent a man into space and Mother Nature wrought her fury on the Southeast. NetJets pilots held out for a bigger slice of the fractional pie, and a changing of the guard shook the upper echelons at Bombardier just last month. Entrepreneurs and casualties fueled headlines in the VLJ field, and a Japanese giant stayed as inscrutable as ever on plans for its small turbofan and airframe.