Looking to expand its franchise and better serve some of its members, the National Business Aviation Association announced plans last April to hold an event aimed specifically at the owners and operators of light business aircraft, a category the association loosely defines as those weighing less than 20,000 pounds. In the intervening months the world economy has been racked by convulsions, and NBAA’s LBA exhibition & conference, scheduled for this month in San Diego, was one of the victims, along with the association’s ABACE event in Asia slated for last month.
The LBA event will be absorbed into the big annual convention and meeting, to be held in October in Orlando, and while the event for the owner-flown crowd might have failed to stand on its own two feet this year, this segment of business aviation still provides unrivaled transportation to its practitioners, and will likely attract more interest as people and companies consider scaling back their transportation costs in lean times.
The eight people we profile in these pages operate a broad variety of aircraft in the LBA segment, from a piston twin to turboprops and small business jets. These people all share two common attributes: they enjoy flying (most up front, a couple in the cabin), and they recognize the huge advantage they hold over business travelers who drive or cling to the failing airline model and all its frustrations, inefficiencies and wasted time. We encourage you to pass this feature on to anyone considering taking the plunge into business aviation, just as these eight people took the step that launched their journeys of a thousand miles (NBAA IFR reserves, 100-nm alternate).