by don sak
Hello to all Lancair owners, enthusiasts, and LOBO members. I am fairly new to aviation, having become a pilot in 2005 and joining the Lancair family in 2011. Because I'm new, I want to learn as much as possible about my Evolution and other Lancair aircraft. So far, I've learned the most from other owners and builders, with suppliers and manufacturers a close second.
I've found the Evolution Owner’s Newsletter by Doug Meyer to be an invaluable resource for information, but it's only a quarterly publication. The LOBO website is also a good source of information with news about issues affecting the Lancair community, upcoming events and helpful how-to articles.
A New Way To Talk
Aside from those sources, the Lancair Mail List has been the traditional means for individual Lancairians to keep in touch with each other. Which brings me to my subject: the LancairTalk.net forum. This new communication tool is the result of a collaborative effort between LML founder Marv Kaye with assistance from Legacy owner Paul Miller. A large number of Lancair "Founders" have generously donated money and guidance on how the new site should operate. Founders are acknowledged on the new site. LancairTalk founders said Marv's LML has been invaluable, but they wanted a more modern online communication tool while preserving the historical message database. Many members have come forward to offer custom graphics, software testing and more, so this is a community effort.
The purpose of the new LancairTalk forum is simple: to facilitate communication among members of the Lancair community. Forum users can get quick answers, helpful hints and engage in discussions on matters that are relevant to the community. I believe LancairTalk.net will be a real asset to LOBO and Lancair--if we all make a point of using it often.
What About The LML?
Ultimately, Lancairtalk.net will replace the LML system. The desire is to get away from email and use web-based content to allow access by computers, phones, tablets and other platforms. Once the new site is working well and all LML users are transferred over, the LML system will be shut off in an orderly manner. All archived messages and attachments saved at the LML will be retained on LancairTalk.net, whose modern search functions will make this invaluable historical data far easier to access.
Marv has all the current email addresses of all LML subscribers, which we'll use to create a profile at LancairTalk. To go along with each of those emails we need the individual's name, the type of Lancair they are building or flying and any special awards or acknowledgements they have achieved. In addition, we want to encourage fleet vendors and suppliers to join; we'll need names and company affiliation to add to their profiles. The current plan is to contact all current LML users to obtain the necessary data and provide directions for moving to the new site. As of today, about 7% of LML users have profiles at LancairTalk.net and are testing the new site. Anyone who wants to move early can do so very easily by emailing Paul now at admin [at] lancairtalk.net and providing your first & last name, Lancair type building or flying, a list of special awards (if any) and/or company affiliation if you are a supplier to the community.
How Do You Use It?
All users should be able to access the new site using a variety of devices. A daily email digest of current topics will be available for those who want that feature. Lots of other features are available and will continue to be added.
Paul, who is LancairTalk's site administrator, asked me to share the following information to help you become an active participant.
Posting rules require everyone to exercise basic courtesy, avoid gratuitous profanity and keep posts topical to Lancair building, flying or related topics. The site allows users to report questionable or offensive posts. Depending on the circumstances, users who break the rules can receive a warning or be banned entirely. The software offers an enormous array of features to deal with such situations, most of which we hope not to need.
The site has virtually unlimited storage space for posts, pictures, videos, links, documents and other materials. This feature should prove a tremendous benefit as users become more comfortable sharing multimedia content.
The software we are using is very flexible, featuring regular updates and the ability to customize for the Lancair group. The primary benefit for the Lancair community is that users will continue to have a communication venue while eliminating the need for a single individual (Marv has done this for the LML) to review and approve each message that gets posted. Security and anti-spam features are built in. Users can be organized in groups, topic- and/or subject-based forums can be created, moderators can move, merge, edit materials and more. The search function is very powerful. Users can elect to be notified any time someone posts a reply to one of their posts. Private messaging is available. A buy/sell area will allow users to transact with just a nominal $2 fee. Performance is a high priority. Graphics can be customized throughout the entire site. Old LML messages and attachments will be imported for reference and can be edited to bring old information up-to-date. A wide range of permissions allows almost any combination of access to areas and forums. A mobile version already exists for use by smaller platforms like iPhones and tablets. Best of all, the tremendous flexibility of the software will allow us to make structural changes to the site as it matures.
The forum will offer all the features and conveniences of the best online communication tools. User will have options to use emoticons, include attachments, save drafts before making posts public, to edit posts and more. Once a user makes a post public it will be available for immediate viewing by those online and will drive a notification for those who've configured their settings appropriately. Further, we encourage vendors to assist users with information about their products and services, and in turn provide space for them to show their stuff. All of this should make it easier for users to get help and result in more timely replies. Users can browse the site and easily find unread posts, posts not yet viewed, posts not replied to and more.
Users have a lot of control over their profile and what they wish to see. Cross browser support is built in. A large backup volunteer group supports the software and Lancair users can contribute suggestions, graphics and customization ideas to make it unique.
To make it easier for visitors to find, LOBO has made a link available, which you can find on the top menu.
I hope everyone in the Lancair community will reach out and post as much and often as possible so we can all benefit from each other’s building and flying experiences, spend less time finding critical information and more time just enjoying the aircraft we have chosen.Don Sak is a LOBO member and owner of Lancair Evolution N675DS. donsak2 [at] verizon.net (Click here) to send Don an email.