LOBO Landing Las Vegas Retrospective

By Your LOBO Board

The 2021 LOBO Landing took place in Henderson, Nevada on April 22 through April 24. There were about 100-110 attendees, including 65 pilots, 31 partners (spouses), 14 sponsor personnel, and 3 keynote speakers and their partners. For the first time, 9 of our LOBO Named Instructors were on hand! LOBO would like to thank all who attended, presented, sponsored and supported this first in-person gathering since October of 2019. Attendees were able to connect with each other and with many of the companies which supply and support our members. Representatives from Aerotronics, Advanced Aviation, AirFrames, Inc., Evolution Aircraft Co., Flightmetrics, Gallagher Aviation Insurance, Lancair International, Barrett Precision Engines, and Garmin were on hand to meet and discuss current and future products and services with our members. In addition, sponsors Pratt and Whitney Canada and Ladd Gardner Aviation insurance provided financial support. There were between 35 and 40 Lancair and Evolution aircraft flown in by members, and several attendees flew other aircraft in as well.

Aeronautical Decision Making

ADM was the theme of this years meeting, and the three keynote speakers, as well as several other presenters brought home the message. Captain Stewart Harro, Director of Safety for Federal Express Air Operations, offered perspective on how to change pilot attitudes towards increased safety. He discussed a specific case within Fedex which had caused several losses due to tail strikes on their MD11 aircraft, culminating in a fatal crash in Japan that killed two pilots. Fedex has managed to reduce the accidents in this fleet by promoting a culture of safety within the pilot community. Increased training, awareness of the special characteristics of each aircraft, and rewarding pilots for good decision making have led to a substantial reduction in losses. Pete Zaccagnino, CEO of High Performance Aircraft Racing group, has been training Lancair and Evo owners since 2003. He discussed pilot attitudes and techniques for keeping your flights "in the green." By addressing even the smallest of anomalies immediately before and during flights, you manage the risk by taking action instead of hoping things will improve. Pete used his meteorology background and his international flying experience to offer several examples of good and poor decision making. Sean D. Tucker, the legendary aerobatic pilot and 2008 Aviation Hall of Fame recipient, spoke to the group at the Saturday night banquet about flying safely for 40 years in an extremely risky business. In just a few weeks his famous red biplane will be hung "upside down" in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. He discussed his decision to retire from solo aerobatics and continue mentoring others in a most entertaining way. In addtion to our keynote speakers, members Steven Bradford and Mike Slotten shared insights on their flights which ended safely after emergency declarations. Both credited effective training and timely decisions in helping them land safely.

LOBO Partner in Command Soars to New Heights

The Partner in Command program returned for this Landing and proved to be one of the most appreciated sessions of the gathering. Veteran army pilot Matt Speare briefed the Partners on what to do if your pilot becomes incapacitated in flight. In addition to an informative ground session, the Partners received a laminated checklist and instruction on its use. The following day, those who wished were able to get a one-on-one session in their own or a similar aircraft with one of the LOBO Named Instructors. Members volunteered their aircraft that were parked in the Lone Mountain Aviation hangar and connected to an APU. The Partners were briefed on basic flight maneuvers and the use of their autopilot. They then practiced "live" radio communications with a "real" Houston Center air traffic controller, Leslie Rust (wife of LOBO named instructor Chris Rust)! Leslie was instrumental in increasing the partners' confidence in speaking on the radio while the LOBO Named Instructors showed them how to keep the aircraft under control. The feedback on the program was very positive, with many partners actually practicing their new knowledge on the flight home. Thank you especially to Leslie Rust and to those who volunteered and set up their aircraft for this event. Based on the very positive feedback, we'll likely continue these "hands on" events for our FlyGirls in the future.

Landing Sponsors Provide Insights

Sponsors provide financial support to our LOBO Landings. In return, LOBO enables sponsors to make presentations we believe are of interest to our members. This year, the sponsors provided especially good and relevant technical information, as well as showing members what services they can provide to the Lancair and Evolution community. For the first time in several years, Bob Wolstenholme (EVO Corporation) attended and spoke to the EVO owners about the company and his vision for future enhancements. Roxanne Zavala, the new Marketing Manager for Lancair International, gave a short presentation about her work to continue to upgrade the parts ordering system and to improve service to Lancair owners. Speakers Aaron Brook (Advanced Aviation), Matt Brannon (Flightmetrics) and Brad Simmons (Airframes, Inc.) gave informative talks on what their build shops can do with modifications, maintenance and special products they have developed to improve performance and function of our aircraft. Jason Smith from Aerotronics demonstrated a panel development and quoting system, enlightening us on how pricing works and the many components needed to build a panel. Michelle Maschmidt from Gallagher Aviation Insurance held a round table discussion about the current aviation insurance market. In addition, we held two remote presentations on engine management by Pratt and Whitney's Peter Wilkinson and Continental Aero's Bradley Tirpak. We brought them in via Zoom because of the critical service and support they provide to our members; they were not permitted to make the trip in person. Don Sak provided a great summary on LancairTalk of Peter's presentation.

Lancair logo

LOBO Members Share Their Knowledge

We are extremely grateful to the LOBO members who share their knowledge each year at the Landing. They present without any compensation and have volunteered their time to benefit us all. We especially thank Tom Sullivan for his presentation on Cold Weather Flying, Tomas Holbrook for his insights into flying in Alaska, technical wizard Chris Zavatson for multiple talks on Angle of Attack, hydraulics, landing gear maintenance and maintenance tips for second and subsequent Lancair owners. We were sorry that Brian Sagi was unable to make it to Las Vegas; his talk on considerations for buying a Lancair will be one we may try to do virtually. Mentioned above, Mike Slotten and Steven Bradford gave very informative talks on emergencies they handled successfully.

LOBO Ground Training and Wings

FAA representative Alan McKinney came by and answered questions from many of the flight instructors about Wings, FAA rules regarding test flights and other issues. His presence was much appreciated. He helped arrange Wings credit for the LOBO ground training sessions. Each aircraft type had a specific briefing by a LOBO Named Instructor. Thanks to Jay Elliott (200,300 series), Ray Hecker (Legacy), Chris Rust (IV series & ES) and David Robinson (EVO) for these Wings credit-qualifing training sessions!

LOBO Flygirls Activities

In addition to the Partner in Command sessions, the LOBO Flygirls enjoyed a private shopping trip to local stores Brighton and Soft Surroundings, a poolside catered lunch at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, casino gaming lessons, and a Las Vegas bus tour. When they weren't busy with these activities, the Resort spa and pool were available. We were pleased to see that many FlyGirls also attended the technical sessions to learn more about their aircraft. We appreciate that our FlyGirl partners were such active participants in the LOBO Landing! Judy Pastusek prepared the FlyGirls' agenda and "goodies" for this Landing. She spends a lot of time arranging these activities, and we are extremely grateful for her help. Consider bringing your FlyGirl to the next Landing!

Friday Night Hangar Party

LOBO members gathered at the brand new and beautiful Lone Mountain Aviation hangar at the Henderson Airport on Friday evening for beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres provided by local restaurant, The Landing. During the evening, the inaugural Homebuilt Tool Contest took place. Barry Knotts won $100 worth of tools donated by Cleaveland Tool, and runner up Bob Pastusek won a few bottles of CamGuard, donated by Aircraft Specialties. Thanks to judges Chris Zavatson and Craig Gainza, who took home Lancair logo golf balls and hats for judging. We hope this contest becomes a LOBO tradition. More on Barry's winning tool soon!

Saturday Night Banquet

As in the past, our Saturday evening banquet capped the conference. After a three course dinner,  retired board member and LOBO founder, Mark Sletten was presented (in absentia) a plaque commemorating his 12 years of service to LOBO. Mark  developed and ran the LOBO website, created and distributed the LOBO E-News, and handled website communications between LOBO and our 1000+ members for the past many years. Mark will be sorely missed, and we are currently seeking a volunteer to help with the website and member communications. During the LOBO business meeting on Saturday morning, a new board member, Tom Sullivan was unanimously elected by the membership. Tom brings business experience, builder expertise, and a strong work ethic to your Board. 

Auction chairman Colyn Case did a remarkable and time consuming job soliciting, pricing and organizing our silent auction. He made sure all donated items sold at great prices; hopefully to those of you in need of the many useful things he offered. In the end, the auction grossed over $17,000, the most raised in recent times. Congratulations Colyn, and thank you for a job well done. The funds will go toward continued development of the training records tracking system, TRUST, described below.

LOBO Training and Safety Initiatives

LOBO's new Director of Safety and Training, Jeff Edison, kicked off this year's Landing with a review of Lancair/EVO safety initiatives and issues on Thursday morning. A key focus was the ten-fold decrease in fatal and reportable accidents within our LOBO membership over the past 12 years! Jeff could not identify one specific reason for this dramatic improvment in safety, but attributed it to improved/increased pilot proficiency training; and specifically to significant efforts by LOBO, HPAR, EPS and other Lancair/EVO training providers to provide better and more consistent training. He also recognized the acceptance of responsibility by Lancair/EVO owners, and especially our LOBO members, to educate themselves on service, maintenance and training needed to safely operate these aircraft. It is your Board's opinion that our current members are demonstrating significantly better Aeronautical Decision Making than the full group of all Lancair/EVO pilots; with the result that our members have about 1/3 the reportable accidents/incidents of the fleet as a whole. Keep it up!!

On Thursday afternoon, Jeff and Bob Pastusek demonstrated a prototype of LOBO's Training Record for Users of Standard Training (TRUST) on-line training tracking system. This is the most significant (and expensive) undertaking your Board has initiated in fulfillment of the LOBO Charter, and we hope the new TRUST system will significantly improve both transition and recurrent training by making it easier for both instructors and trainees to select, review and accomplish instructor and FAA-approved syllabus items/events. The TRUST system is designed to provide each trainee with a biennial flight review (BFR), and (if applicable) an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC), high altitude endorsement and complex aircraft endorsement as part of any transition or recurrent training, using FAA performance standards for these events. This Cloud/IPad-based tool provides an instant reference to the standards and requirements, and virtually eliminates the extensive paperwork we have required for LOBO training since 2008. It will significantly reduce both the instructor and trainee time required to schedule, set up and conduct ground and flight training. Jeff demonstrated the concept of TRUST operation and specific elements of the IPad part of the system, based on the current Lancair IV-series syllabus. The lead LOBO Named Instructors for each Lancair/EVO model are now developing or refining the training manuals and syllabi for all other Lancair/EVO models. We hope to have TRUST System Version 1.0 available for use by AirVenture this summer, and have received very positive support from our LOBO Named Instructors for this effort.

We are planning ahead for LOBO Landing 2022

Currently the LOBO Board is looking for sites to host the next Landing in early October of 2022. Possible cities under consideration are Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN, and Dayton, OH. The meeting will move eastward in order to offer our central and eastern members a shorter journey for this event. We need volunteers to help organize and plan this next gathering; if you are at all interested in helping, please contact Sandy Gainza.


Thanks again to all who contributed their time and effort to make the 2021 Landing such a successful event! Shout outs to Jim Scales, Shane and Kristin Bangert for welcoming attendees and shuttling folks back and forth. Thanks to Donna Scales for her photography skills to document the event. Your Board selected officers among the elected members as follows: President - George Rosel, Secretary - Bob Pastusek, Treasurer - Steven Bradford, Director Events and Development - Sandy Gainza, Director Safety and Training - Jeff Edison, Member at Large - Tom Sullivan. We all look forward to working with you to make LOBO the most effective organization possible. Our success depends on your participation, so please don't hesitate to send us your thoughts, and please get involved if there is a project you would like to help with. Thank you.