William Lacy Furmage, march 2006: Tony Davis was the first trick rider to pull a 540 aerial, during a show at the Grand National BMX Race, Ohio in 1982.
Josh White interview, American Freestyler november 1987.
American Freestyler: When did you go for your first 540 and what happened ?
Josh White: I read that Andy Patterson (racer) was doing 360 on a quarterpipe. I said "No way !" I kept trying it and trying it and I couldn't do it because I couldn't land backward. I knew it'd be easier if I landed forward. So I tried it, spinning a little harder. Surprisingly, it took me about five tries to pull one off because I'd been trying 360's for so long.

American Freestyler: So far as you know, you were the first to do a 540 ?
Josh White: As far as I know yes. However, you can never claim a trick, because someone else could have been trying it in some other part of the world at the same time.

American Freestyler: When was that ?
Josh White: The end of 1984.
Woody Itson interview, Transworld BMX november 2003.
Transworld BMX: On being the first rider to do a 540 on a ramp ?
Woody Itson: I learned it by accident, because I was doing 360s and I went up the wall a little fast. I spun around so fast that I hit my coaster brake and swung around and fell and thought, "I wonder if that's possible ?" One day, I was doing a show, and I went for it and made it. I could get around twice and land backwards, but I couldn't get a 900.
Ryan Nyquist 1999: "I think I kind of pushed that a little bit where it's never really gone before, whether it be one-handed X-up 540's, one-footed X-up 540's, or double-truck 540's."