Ending A Rewarding Experience
by jeff edwards
It is time for me to say farewell. After eleven years at the helm of LOBO, I have decided it is time to step down as president and board member of LOBO. It has been very rewarding for me to have founded and then led LOBO for this past decade. This is a good time for me to go. The organization is on sound financial footing thanks to the hard work of other board members including currently serving members Bob Pastusek, Mark Sletten, Chris Rust, Claudette Colwell, Steve Bradford, and past members Adam Molny, Colyn Case and Bill Harrelson. LOBO would not have been possible without these people, and many others who have volunteered their time like my daughter, Jenn, and wife, Shelby who have paid the bills, balanced the accounts and kept our financial records in order, and Anne Daley, who stepped in to help organize the Landing in Sante Fe. LOBO has also benefited from the work of my administrative assistant, Jenna, who keeps our safety data up to date, and the many flight instructors who have given training to many Lancair/ Evolution owners. Our instructors are where the rubber meets the road in LOBO achieving it's mission, and I'm proud to say that not a single pilot we instructed has been involved in a fatal accident. These, and many others too numerous to mention, are the people who have worked so hard to bring you the LOBO Landings and OSH banquets, who foster relationships with the sponsors and vendors that contribute to our financial success, who work with the various alphabet groups and federal agencies, and who conduct the training to make flying your Lancair safer. Please join me in thanking all of them. Most importantly, thank you for joining our organization and supporting it through these many years.
As some of you may recall we founded LOBO in 2008 at Airventure following a fatal Legacy crash there. It was the darkest day in Lancair history for me, but it provided the impetus to start this organization. In 2008 there were 12 fatal accidents that killed 20 people in the U.S. and around the world. The FAA and the insurance industry were quite concerned about these accidents. The insurance industry was raising rates dramatically, or just non-renewing policies, and the FAA was talking about “doing something.” We formed the organization and approached the FAA and the insurance industry and asked for time to make changes. Our charter was to make flying Lancairs safer and to reduce the fatal accident rate. Our mission statement says:
LOBO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit voluntary membership organization. Its purpose is to support owners, builders and pilots of Lancair and Evolution aircraft, and to promote aviation safety within the Lancair/Evolution community and throughout the general aviation community at large. LOBO serves this mission by promoting the safe use and enjoyment of Lancair and Evolution aircraft of all models, with an emphasis on owner, builder and pilot education and training. In addition, LOBO encourages communication and cooperation among its members, and represents LOBO members with vendors, including Lancair International Inc. (the developer of these beautiful aircraft), aviation training providers, insurance providers, and businesses, manufacturers and suppliers who support Lancair and Evolution aircraft. LOBO also advocates for its members' interests with US and international regulatory agencies and the wider general aviation community.
There has not been a fatal Lancair or Evolution accident since October of last year. As you can see by the graph below, we have had some success in achieving the principal goal of our organization.
Although we have largely achieved the goal of making our community safer, safety is always an ongoing process, and we can never stop our advocacy and efforts to improve in that area. We have promoted safety, responsible flying, and good maintenance practices that have benefitted our community immensely. We operate a website and publish information to improve our safety posture. We conducted a deep dive safety review of all Lancair and Evolution accidents and incidents, and used this information to improve training.
We have helped draft two Advisory Circulars: AC 90-116 - Additional Pilot Program for Phase I Flight Test, and AC 90-109A - Transition to Unfamiliar Aircraft. Bob Pastusek contributed significantly to the EAA Flight Test Manual which was rolled out last year. I have worked with AOPA to produce a transition training webinar, and also with EAA to produce the EAA Type Club Transition Training Guide, as well as a type club best practices program.
I have worked on the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) safety project since 2011, and Bob and I and a few others have been involved with the NTSB on several Lancair accident investigations, providing insight into our community for the NTSB field investigators.
I wrote a FITS-approved training syllabus accepted by the insurance industry in 2009 to get us back on track to insurability. We also provided training via LOBO-approved flight instructors to many individuals via our LOBO training program. Our annual LOBO Landing and AirVenture Banquet have been popular for many members, giving us all time to get together to socialize and discuss Lancair/ Evolution issues important to all of us.
The bottom line is our accident rate has dropped significantly since 2008 and if we continue that trend Lancairs will again be looked upon very favorably by the larger GA community, the insurance industry and the regulators.
I encourage each of you to consider running for a board position. It has been a very rewarding time for me. If you are interested please contact a board member and express your interest. Thank you for your support these many years. I value the friendships this position has permitted me to make.