Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson - USN Retired, served as a Fighter Pilot, Test Pilot, and Navy Astronaut before joining Southwest Airlines as a Pilot in 1996. He flew 5 missions aboard the Space Shuttles CHALLENGER, COLUMBIA, ATLANTIS & ENDEAVOUR, once as Co-Pilot and 4 times as the Mission Commander. He was awarded numerous decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003, the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2011, the Spacecamp Hall of Fame in 2012, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tom Clements - Tom has been flying and instructing in King Airs for over forty years, first at the Beechcraft factory and, since 1979, with his own company, Flight Review, Inc. Along the way, he has been a corporate pilot and has flown world-wide. Tom has over 23,000 hours with more than 15,000 in King Airs. He is type-rated in the BE-300, BE-1900, Learjet, DC-3. He is a Gold Seal CFI. He is the author of The King Air Book and the Director of Training for the King Air Academy. He and his wife, Pam, live in Cave Creek, Arizona, and spend summer months in Westcliffe, Colorado.
Bud McElroy - Bud has been involved in Turboprop and Jet aircraft maintenance for 37 years. His career has centered around the King Air and Learjet product line. As DOM for a part 91 operator flying B200 and Learjet35A while in Arkansas. Later moving to Grand Junction Colorado to perform 12 year and 12,000 hour inspections on Learjet’s. Later becoming the Learjet Program Manager at WestStar Aviation KGJT. Having grown up in Mississippi and wanting to return, Bud found a place at Trace Aviation as Quality Assurance Manager where he has been for the past 6 years. License’s held A&P, IA, Private Pilot.
Dr. David Strahle- Dr. Strahle’s early interest in aviation, beginning in 1965, led to his becoming an avid pilot and flight instructor. By the age of 21, he had already taught numerous people to fly. Expanding on his extensive aviation background, Dr. Strahle graduated cum laude with a degree in aerospace technology in 1972, which included studies in aeronautics and advanced computer systems. During his senior year, his research paper won first place at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Research Forum. It presented a new concept for identifying and tracking thunderstorms, which was installed nationwide in 2000.
Paul Jones - Paul has been involved with the PT6 engines since 1969 beginning with the PT6-6. He began his career with Beechcraft in Indianapolis Indiana and worked as a PT6 specialist and technical representative for all PT6 models on the King Airs. In 1980 he joined Aviall, now Dallas Airmotive working as a Director of Sales and Service until 1991. In 1991 he formed Specialty Turbine Service in Pittsburgh more commonly known as STS. Utilizing all the engine overhaul, hot section and repair experience gained over the years STS now assists corporate and private operators in evaluating engines for potential purchase and managing major engine events through the overhaul and repair process.
Jack Braly - After graduating with an MS in Physics from Colorado State University, Mr. Braly went to work for Martin Marietta in Denver. While there he worked on various NASA space programs. In 1978 Mr. Braly joined Beech Aircraft as a manager of the plant which produced the piston aircraft. He held various positions in his career including VP or Production, VP or Manufacturing, SVP of Operations and in 1990 was promoted to President. Over 25 models were put into production during this time and production reached a King Air every five hours and a Bonanza every four. Jack is an active MEI pilot with 4000+ hrs and currently owns an F90.
Dean Benedict - Beech hired Dean in 1975, straight out of A&P school. He cut his teeth on the earliest 90s and “grew up” with the 200, the B200 and subsequent models. He went from line mechanic to facility manager, but customers never let him stray far from his toolbox or their aircraft. In 1985, as DOM for a corporate flight department, he maintained King Airs, Barons, a turbine Beaver (converted by Dean) and an Aerobat. These gave way to Citations, Bell and Astar helicopters, and assorted twins and singles. In 18 years, no flights were missed for maintenance reasons. Meanwhile, customers from his Beech days dogged him on evenings and weekends. Finally, Dean opened his own shop. Word spread quickly and Honest Air Inc. became the place to take your King Air for maintenance. “Excellence at a Fair Price” was the motto. After a lease buyout by the landlord, Honest Air closed its doors in March 2016. In his new venture, BeechMedic LLC, Dean consults with owners, pilots, managers and mechanics on all their King Air concerns.
Bob Godshall - Bob is Manager of Turboprops at Textron Aviation / Beechcraft and has the pulse of the field when it comes to King Air related maintenance issues, upcoming service documents, and design changes. He has worked for Beechcraft for 29 years. Worked in the aviation industry with Beechcraft products for over 33 years. Bob continues to maintain his A&P and IA and represents a long history with the Beechcraft product lines. This session will provide technical updates on service bulletins, fleet issues, upgrades and programs in process on the King Air Series.
Paul Sneden - Paul has been involved with General Aviation since 1972 in numerous roles including aircrew and maintenance. After spending early years serving as a co-pilot and maintenance manager for an E90 King Air, a four-year hiatus with the US Air Force gave him the formal training for both instruction and Avionics. Paul has a diverse background including Line Maintenance, Avionics, Project Management, and Quality Assurance. He has been instructing in King Airs, Aircraft Wiring, and Maintenance FARs since 2006.