BizAvJets USA Fall 2021

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A BizAvJets Inc./In FlightUSA Joint Publication • Volume 1, Number 3 • Fall 2021

Apex Aviation Las Vegas: Business Aircraft Desert Oasis

Aviation Artistry in One Word: G’Larri

NBAA President Ed Bolen at AirVenture

Mark Robertson: Nevada Candidate of Business Aviation District



Spring 2021


Recently completed paint & interior installation for Gulfstream G550 at our Chino, California facility.


Doug Crowther Business Development Director Cell: (714) 469-0515 Office: (909) 606-6319 E-Mail:

Threshold Aviation Group

8352 Kimball Ave., Hangar #3 Chino, CA 91708

Fall 2021

A Letter from the Publishers Dear Readers,

We hope you are enjoying the fall flying season before the winter weather hits. Fall is a great time for business aviation, and we are looking forward to seeing many of you at the NBAA BACE Oct. 12-14. BACE is a great opportunity to network with like-minded pilots, owners, and employees, and it is sure to be a great educational experience for all who attend. In this issue of the quarterly BizAvJets USA, we are proud to feature Apex Aviation’s Scott Bullock and how he founded Las Vegas area MRO located at Henderson Executive Airport, the location of the upcoming NBAA convention aircraft static display.

This issue also features an interview with Ed Bolen of NBAA. We were fortunate to be able to interview Bolen during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and learned a lot about what this organization does to protect private aviation worldwide. There are many articles that we hope you enjoy, like our interview with artist Gerald Larribas. You’ll want to get a piece of his creative luggage once you see it. And don’t forget to read about what Orbis is doing to save lives in the air. In wishing you a happy fall, we hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to fly private, interact with NBAA at BACE, and tour your local jet center. Business aviation offers many opportunities for employment, business, and individual freedom and fun. See you at BACE! Sincerely,

Annamarie Buonocore and Elijah Stepp Co-Publishers BizAvJets USA

P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650)358-9908, Fax (650) 358-9254 Co-Publishers Annamarie Buonocore and Eli Stepp Managing Editor Vickie Buonocore Production Editor Steve Pastis Associate Editor Paul T. Glessner Columnists John Goglia, Mark DiLullo and Matt Odenbrett Advertising Sales Paul T. Glessner ( Business matters, advertising and editorial concerns should be addressed to In Flight USA, P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, Calif. 94402 or by calling (650) 358-9908–fax (650) 358-9254. Copyright © 2008-2021 In Flight Publishing. BizAvJets USA is not responsible for any action taken by any person as a result of reading any part of any issue. The pieces are written for information, entertainment and suggestion – not recommendation. The pursuit of flight or any action reflected by this paper is the responsibility of the individual and not of this paper, its staff or contributors. Opinions expressed are those of the individual author, and not necessarily those of BizAvJets USA. All editorial and advertising matter in this edition is copyrighted. Reproduction in any way is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. BizAvJets USA is not liable or in any way responsible for the condition or airworthiness of any aircraft advertised for sale in any edition. By law the airworthiness of any aircraft sold is the responsibility of the seller and buyer.



Fall 2021

Pumping Up Business and Aviation: An Interview with Ed Bolen of NBAA By Annamarie Buonocore Aviation is made up of organizations that come together for the greater good. These organizations represent the interests of pilots, aviation enthusiasts, aviation business owners, and employees in the air, on the ground, and in the workplace. One organization that is working diligently to improve aviation and how it is used in the business world is NBAA (The National Business Aviation Association). This organization is bringing new talent into the industry and is advocating for the use of business aircraft to improve commerce worldwide. NBAA was involved in this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and is working on its own convention for Oct. of 2021. This year, BizAvJets USA (and In Flight USA) was fortunate to have a discussion with Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA. Bolen has been in the Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA, responds to a industry for decades and has been a prominent aviation question from BizAvJets USA Co-Publisher Annamarie industry leader as head of NBAA. Here are some of the Buonocore. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) highlights of our conversation with Bolen, and we look supported numerous humanitarian activities, such as forward to seeing you in October! flying cancer patients to treatment centers and reuniting BAJUSA: How long have you been with NBAA? combat veterans with their families. We want people to EB: I started with NBAA in 2004. I started three weeks see that business aviation gets people where they need before the NBAA annual convention in Las Vegas. It to go, and we want them to see how it benefits the econwas kind of a whirlwind at the start, and it has been a omy and society as a whole. wonderful ride all the way through. BAJUSA: What are some notable companies in your BAJUSA: What are your goals as the leader of this or- organization? ganization? EB: We have more than 10,000 companies of all sizes EB: NBAA’s mission is to foster an environment that that we represent every business imaginable: construcenables business aviation to thrive in the United States tion, retail, medical, manufacturing, etc. All of these and around the world. So, we look at anything and say, companies are enormously diverse, but they have one ‘If we accomplish that, how will it help our industry?’ thing in common: They rely on aviation to meet at least ‘If something unfortunate happens, how will it hurt our some of their transportation needs. Whether they’re industry?’ We develop our priorities around those two manufacturing windows in Iowa or metal products in questions. One of the key things that we always recog- Minnesota, they depend on business aviation to gain nize is that it’s important for the public to understand access to the global marketplace. what business aviation really is about. Companies that BAJUSA: What are your plans for the remainder of needed general aviation aircraft to get people and prod- this year? ucts where they needed to go created NBAA nearly 75 years ago. For us, it has been about on-demand mo- EB: This year our big event –NBAA-BACE – is takbility. Companies have been achieving this goal with ing place in Las Vegas Oct. 12, 13, and 14. It will be airplanes and helicopters. The industry has been get- an absolute celebration of all things business aviation. ting people where they need to be when they need to Business aviation is everything from large companies be there. In the process, it has created jobs, fostered operating international flights to small companies opeconomic development, and has helped companies be erating piston-powered aircraft or helicopters. Busiefficient and productive. Business aviation has also ness aviation is an enormously broad industry that is all Continued on Page 27

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Saving Money on Taxes and Coping with Foreign Taxation:

The VAT IT USA, Inc. Story By Annamarie Buonocore

Perhaps one of the most neglected topics in business aviation is how to deal with taxation, whether that is domestic taxation when purchasing or selling an aircraft, or coping with foreign taxation when flying an aircraft outside of the United States. Not to be cliché, but the two certainties of life are death and taxes. Taxation is not an area where you should guess or fly by the seat of your pants. It is crucial to turn to professionals. That is why BizAvJets USA is proud to feature this informative interview with the pros at VAT IT USA, Inc.

and transportation, etc. This 20 percent VAT is claimable. Typically, we will look at all the expenses incurred on a trip and apply the country rules to see which expenses that have VAT on them can be recovered. Each country has its own set of rules and that’s where we are strong – we know all the rules! We will work with the foreign tax office to ensure our clients receive the maximum VAT recovered.

VAT IT: In a nutshell, we at VAT IT recover foreign taxes. Value Added Tax (or VAT) can be recovered on foreign business expenses incurred by companies based in the USA and Canada. In the aviation industry, VAT is charged on all ground-handling services; this would include cleaning services, catering, landing fees, hangar fees, etc. MOT (Mineral Oil Tax) is charged in some cases in specific countries on aviation fuel. This tax can be also known as excises tax and in certain counties can be reclaimed. The company has been around for 21 years and we have specialized in the aviation industry over the last 12 years.

VAT IT: To be honest, they are all a nightmare in their own right. That is why a company like VAT IT is in existence. With all the cultural and language barriers, it is so difficult to understand foreign tax laws in every country. We are here to help.

BAJ: Tell me about what you do at VAT IT.

BAJ: Where are you based?

BAJ: What would you say is the most difficult country to deal with tax wise?

BAJ: The acronym IT is in your name. Are you more technology focused than your competitors?

VAT IT: Over the years, we have developed our own VAT cloud and a full API. With our own API, we can integrate and extract our clients’ expense data, and invoice images and submit them to foreign tax authorities for refund. We can do free cost analyses, as well, for a variety of clients.

BAJ: What do you say to people who think they can VAT IT: We have 38 offices around the world including handle this themselves? a large processing operation in South Africa, making us VAT IT: It is difficult and time consuming to manage one of the largest VAT reclaim companies. Our North the VAT savings yourself. If you do not have a fiscal American operation is headquartered out of Virginia. representative in each country, it will make the process That is where we are based. that much more difficult. In many countries you need BAJ: How exactly do you help aircraft owners and pi- a registered office if you want to make a claim. Most companies do not have that. If you do not provide the lots? correct completed supporting documentation to the tax VAT IT: We help Part 91, Part 121 and Part 135 opera- office with the claim, they will not refund it. Millions tors. For example, there might be a company that flies a of dollars go unclaimed every year. We are getting forprivate jet (Part 91) to the UK. They will do business in eign taxes paid back onto American companies’ bottom the UK for a couple days. In the UK there is a 20 per- lines. You only have one year to make a claim in most cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all services. This will cases. We are always up against the clock. Many people include crew expenses, such as accommodation, meals, Continued on Page 32


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Out Of This World Service!


Maintenance | Avionics | Paint | Interiors


Fall 2021


The Flying Eye Hospital MD-10 taking off (Photo courtesy of Orbis)

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital By Paul T. Glessner, M.S.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is unlike any plane you’ve seen before. A state-of-the-art teaching facility complete with operating room, classroom and recovery room, this amazing aircraft has been an example of the marriage between medicine and aviation since 1982. Orbis is a global nonprofit organization that has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness there are 43 million people living with blindness, and 295 million with moderate-to-severe vision loss, 77 percent of which is completely avoidable. The Orbis Flying Hospital has trained more than 10,000 doctors, given more than 13 million eye exams and 350,000 eye surgeries from 2012 to 2017. I had the opportunity to see inside this one-of-akind MD-10 first hand at EAA’s AirVenture July 25. I checked in with Orbis representatives for my 1 p.m. face to face, err, mask to mask appointment. I was met by Bruce L. Johnson, Director of Aircraft Operations and Maintenance. He explained how ‘pallets’ comprise

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Surgery Room (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) the interior of aircraft. They make their own oxygen, water that kills every bacteria known to man and has separate cooling, water and power systems to be stand alone. This aircraft does not perform surgeries in flight. Its main charter is to educate from afar as well. While surgeries are performed once on the ground after the operations team has set the plane up on the tarmac, again, with generators the aircraft brings along to make it self-sufficient, the converted MD-10 cargo plane is a fully accredited teaching hospital, equipped with a state-of-the-art operating room, laser treatment room, simulation center, classroom and AV suite, that conducts training programs across the globe. On board the plane, Orbis uses simulation to teach and train eye care teams around the world using virtual reality, artificial eyes and mannequins. Simulation The Orbis MD-10 at EAA’s Airventure (Photo by Paul has proven even more vital during a global pandemic T. Glessner) Continued on Page 9


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Apex Aviation (KHND)

1410 Jet Stream Drive, Suite 100, Henderson, NV 89052 Veteran Owned, Veteran Proud! Contact us today. 1-702-735-APEX

Fall 2021


Sterilization and Patient Pre and Post Op Rooms (Photos by Paul T. Glessner)

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital...

Continued from Page 7

as opportunities for hands-on training have decreased. The ‘classroom’s” reach can get to some 200 hospital locations throughout the world as a patient is being operated on onboard Orbis. This is a phenomenal reach by medical teaching standards. Ms. Louise Harris is Orbis’ Chief of Global Communications and Marketing. She along with Bruce were a treasure trove of history regarding Orbis and the Flying Eye Hospital. There is a great video seen at news/2021/microsoft-flight-simulator that shows a collage of insightful pictures of this unique plane’s im- The Orbis MD-10 Cockpit (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) pact. Note: it was only logical that Microsoft teamed Up front, Captain Gary Dyson gave me a tour of with Orbis to simulate all aspects of this plane; learn the beautiful state-of-the-art cockpit. It is this enhanceall at the same link. ment amongst many others that made this DC-10, an MD-10; no third crew-member acting as a flight-engineer. Gary was a long-time FedEx pilot that transitioned from that company to Orbis to Captain the Flying Eye Hospital into the future. FedEx donated the MD-10 and much of that rework to make it the aircraft it is today. Learn more at The classroom is set up to not only show those in attendance at whatever locale the plane may be sitting but projected to some 200 various classrooms across the globe. The operating room is state-of-the-art. “We started before the internet. Now, I do a surgery and it’s broadcast in 73 countries around the world, people tune in to see how it’s done, and I can teach The Patient Care & Laser Room (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) Continued on Page 26


Covid 19 Travel Restrictions; Quarantine or Imprisonment? By Matthew Odenbrett

Travel these days is particularly challenging because different governments have dealt with the Covid Pandemic in very different ways. The United States has reopened fully, but other countries remain in lockdown. This haphazard, crazy-quilt approach makes things very difficult for flight crews, as I found out to my annoyance recently. In mid-July of 2021 I flew a Gulfstream IV into Terrance B Lettsome International airport (TUPJ) on the Island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. We flew in empty, and my crew and I were to spend the night in Tortola, and then take a charter of people back to Los Angeles. Due to Covid concerns in the British Virgin Islands, they had been under lockdown for a considerable period of time and had only recently reopened their islands to tourists. Travel to the islands was possible, but only under what I considered their draconian and arbitrary restrictions. Even before we left the USA, my crew and I had to each submit a negative Covid-19 test prior to being permitted to fly to Tortola (TUPJ). Once there, we were to submit to another Covid-19 test on arrival. I failed to understand why we needed to have two separate Covid tests within 24 hours of each other, except to employ people on the island. Now according to BVI’s tourism website, even fully vaccinated people are required to submit to this process, and then all are required to quarantine until the BVI’s test results return with a negative result. Since my crew and I were only staying one night, we were to quarantine at our hotel. Ok, says I, whatever it takes to get the job done. Little did I know what was in store for us. Our arrival was as uneventful as can be for a large Gulfstream IV to land on a strip that only has 4300 feet of available landing distance. We taxied to our designated parking spot on the ramp, secured our airplane for the night, and then our handler had us don our facemasks and took us over to the Covid testing facility on the ramp to be tested while she cleared us through Customs. The requirement for us to don facemasks on a wide-open ramp with no one else within 200 meters was disconcerting to us, since the entire USA had dropped mask requirements a few months before. I knew this was the harbinger of bad things to come. Now the fun began. I had had Covid-19 back in May of 2021, and I had brought a copy of my Covid antibodies test result with me. Because of this proof of antibodies I have declined

Fall 2021

to be vaccinated on the grounds that I have natural immunity. My FO Alexandra and Cabin Attendant Lauren have not had Covid and have not been vaxx’d for their own reasons. When we declared our unvaccinated status to the officials, the change in their attitude was palpable. We may as well have been infected with the Bubonic Plague for all they cared! We were told in a very officious and unfriendly manner that we would be ‘allowed’ to remain on their island for one night only. However, we would have to not only quarantine in our hotel rooms – room service only and no visits to the beach – we would also be required to wear a green hospital-style wristband that identified us as unvaxx’d – and – we would be required to carry a GPS tracking device with us at all times until we departed! As this was being explained to me, I kept thinking to myself, “Holy Crap! I just walked into a prison!” At least they didn’t attach the tracking devices to our ankles. Still, I very much felt like a prisoner, and I considered their restrictions amounted to imprisonment. This is a strange way to treat people who are coming to your island and are looking to engage in commerce with you. I wanted very much to voice my objections, but I knew that they would fall on deaf ears, and since we were all guests in this country I could get us expelled if I did raise a stink so I bit my tongue to the point of bleeding and allowed them to continue to treat me like a felon. At least they weren’t trying to literally put handcuffs on me, but the psychological effect of the wristband and tracking device made me feel as if they were. Alex, Lauren, and I were placed into our local transportation to our hotel and off we went. Despite the van having a plexiglass partition between us and the driver thick enough to stop bullets we were still required to wear our masks, and the effect on us was similar to being transported on a prison bus. These draconian restrictions were already getting under my skin, and they chafed at my sensibilities. We arrived at our hotel, which was set in a breathtaking bay nestled in between some steep mountains, and our driver waited at the front desk until he was certain that the hotel would really accept us for the night. Checking into our hotel was also a unique experience. Despite the hotel being a series of bungalows along a beach, the front desk staff may as well have been accepting new arrivals for incarceration. The lady at the front desk looked over our papers from customs, Continued on Page 24

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Aviation jackets, bags and luggage by Gerald Larribas

Aviation Artistic Creations in One Word: “G’LARRI”

By Eli Stepp At BizAvJets USA Magazine, we are often introduced to professionals in other industries who connect with business aviation. We are very pleased to have come to know prolific international artist, designer, and visionary Gerald Larribas. Background Larribas has many accolades in the art world and related professions. He is a University of New Mexico graduate with Bachelor degrees in Art Education and Music Education. He is also an honor student graduate of the Technical Vocational Institute in the field of Graphic Communications, Print Advertising, and Photography. Mr. Larribas opened and promoted his own company, Visual Image Inc. where he launched his now famous “Desperado” imagery, which includes original paintings, designer jewelry, designer clothing, and custom handcrafted cowboy boots. His very first pair of boots are in the permanent collection in the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Larribas began designing and manufacturing jewelry in sterling silver and gold which became a line of fine jewelry with a high-impact style in western art. From the Dyansen Gallery in New York City, to Pierre Cardin in Paris, France, his fine art and prints, jewelry line, women’s fashions, and stylized cowboy boots have become a permanent part of Americana Art. He has opened, owned, and been a part of multiple galleries such as Laribas Contemporary Gallery (Albuquerque, NM and Gerald Larribas creations add artistic flair to travel. Santa Fe, NM) and Windchime Champagne Gallery (Photo courtesy of Gerald Larribas) (Albuquerque, NM) among others. exhibit. His Art display there was also a tribute to FerIn 2014, Larribas founded ARKA Sun Lion, Artistic ruccio Lamborghini. In 2020, Larribas was commisSolar Design Technologies LLC. In 2018, Larribas was sioned to create a painting depicting the Covid-19 Plight the nationally acclaimed and featured artist at a presti- and how it has effected all our lives. His painting titled gious art exhibit in Modena, Italy honoring Ferruccio “Free Me” was greatly received and admired. In 2021, Lamborghini’s contribution to the auto world. In 2019, Larribas launched his “Fly Right” aviation-themed The SuperNationals Premier Auto Show in Albuquer- product line. que, NM, featured Larribas and his “Way of the Bull” Continued on Page 12



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Continued from Page 11 We caught up with Larribas to speak with him regarding his new connection with the aviation community.

BAJUSA: Your biographical background is impressive. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

GL: I come from an Air Force family and I was pretty much brought up in the Air Force aviation arena. My father was also a fire fighter. He would always tell me to “fly right,” which I did my best to achieve. BAJUSA: Would you say your Father’s words “fly right” influenced your current artistic creations?

GL: Absolutely. His words are the inspiration of my recently launched “Fly Right” aviation- themed product line. In our travels as an Air Force family, my mother and father emphasized music and art and because of their influence I was really born into the arts. BAJUSA: That is wonderful. What age would you say your artistic abilities were revealed?

GL: I actually started producing art at the very early age of three. In my school and college years, I seemed to consistently garner the attention of art teachers. During those formative years, I was also performing musically Gerald Larribas aviation-themed luggage (Photo courin addition to my art creations. tesy of Gerald Larribas) BAJUSA: It is evident you are clearly multi-talented. to the creation of aviation-themed products. How did you transition into an artistic professional? BAJUSA: Was this the catalyst to launch your aviaGL: I began to learn about business in addition to ar- tion-themed product line? tistic product design. The Air Force also asked me to GL: That is correct. We are very excited to have recentcreate art work as well. I began to build my career to ly launched our aviation product line of luggage, bags, include “Desperado” imagery which took off as a moveand bomber jackets. ment to include night club designs. I then started my own art galleries, owning four galleries over the years in BAJUSA: That is very exciting! Where can your products be acquired? New Mexico and international cities as well.

BAJUSA: That sounds very exciting! What came next? GL: My product line can be acquired via www.glarri. store online. I am also currently working with Shopify GL: I became involved with exotic automobile art to create a “Virtual Art Gallery” enabling a visitor to which morphed into a completely new business specvisit the gallery and view all the available artwork there. trum where I was honored to meet Valentino Balboni, BAJUSA: How many pieces are in the aviation product the powerful driver for Lamborghini, among others. line? What are those products? BAJUSA: Meeting Valentino Balboni must have been an outstanding experience. How did you become con- GL: At this point approximately seven pieces to date which are bags, jackets, and luggage. We are currently nected to business aviation? adding more. GL: Many of the people I have met in past years fly private. After leaving the Italy Art Exhibit in Modena, hon- BAJUSA: Do you have limited run artwork? oring Ferruccio Lamborghini’s contribution to the auto GL: Yes. Art purchasers often choose artwork creations world, I returned to the U.S. and I ended up meeting that have not been over-produced. Paintings are one exDesert Jet representatives in Palm Springs, CA. They Continued on Page 34 expressed interest in aviation-related products. This led

Fall 2021

How I Came to Own One of the Largest Private Jet Air Forces


By Mark DiLullo In the early summer of 2007, a pilot friend and I were discussing what we missed most about our military days; we both agreed it was flying fighter aircraft. Sure, flying the most cutting edge Gulfstream Corporate Jets was fun, but there was nothing like strapping into a high-performance aircraft. During my time in the Air Force, I had primarily flown the T-38 Talon, a twin-engine, high-performance, supersonic aircraft. In the days since my time in service, I had flown a friend’s “civilian fighters” including an L-29 Delfin, an L-39 Albatros and some vintage WWII fighters. During our conversation, my friend mentioned to me that there were eight L-39s in Alaska going to be auctioned off in the later part of the summer. I was My private jet air force less one. (Photo courtesy of intrigued. Figuring I could get my own L-39 at a good Mark DiLullo) price and do a little “fun flying,” the wheels started The next morning, I got on the phone and started spinning. This came to an abrupt halt when my friend discussing the idea with colleagues I had done aircraft mentioned that they were being sold as a lot. As I lay purchases with in the past. I had brokered a lot of airin bed that night, the wheels in my brain began spinning craft deals up until this point in my career, but this deal again, this time in overdrive. If I could borrow some was going to be different; in addition to the fun aspect, money or get some investors, I could work a deal to flip I needed to have a business plan to get some of my guys seven of the aircraft and keep one as my commission! Continued on Page 14

L-39 makes for a formidable jet trainer. (Photo courtesy of Mark DiLullo)


How I Came to Own...

Fall 2021

Continued from Page 13 onboard. Fortunately for me, in the early 2000s aircraft manufacturers were beginning to introduce new lines of smaller corporate jets. The Honda Jet, Piper Jet, Embraer Phenom, and the Cessna Citation Jet were just beginning production or selling pre-orders; fortuitously, the FAA had just issued a ruling that these new smaller jets could be certified as “Single Pilot Aircraft” if the pilot underwent an Unusual Attitude Recovery Training Course, AKA: “Upset Training.” I began researching the FAA’s requirements for Upset Training and formulating a business model of providing training using the L-39 as the venue. The L-39 seemed to fit the bill for this type of training, especially since the majority of L-39s produced (C models) were developed as trainers. The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros was developed by the Czechoslovakian firm in the late Mark’s call sign is “Lucky.” (Photo courtesy of Mark Dilullo) 1960s to replace the aging L-29 Delfin as the Soviet platform overall. Union’s primary jet trainer. Its single engine Ivchenko I spoke with my local FAA Flight Standards District AI-25 turbofan produces approximately 3,800 pounds Office (FSDO) about my intentions and was surprised of thrust. Being a trainer aircraft, it was fairly easy to at their positive outlook at the proposed training profly, forgiving, and safe with several redundant systems gram I was pitching. I should probably mention that built in. It is a responsive and agile aircraft with tan- I am an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) and I dem seating, has good cockpit visibility, and is a stable have a very good relationship with the FAA and my local FSDO. My plan was coming together; it was time to talk with the money guys and get some partners. I called several associates that I had done airplane deals with in the past and who I knew were also airplane guys, meaning they enjoyed flying about as much as they did making money. Within a short time, I had several investors onboard. When you mention flying and owning a jet-fighter aircraft to most pilots, the Top Gun thing takes over and the intro music starts playing in their heads. They also liked the Upset Training incorporation, as some had deposits down on the new smaller corporate jets and would need the training themselves. The fallback plan would be to flip the eight L-39s. We anxiously awaited the day of the auction, which was conducted live over the phone. We were bidding against one other client who I later learned was someone I knew who had a warbird operation at Chino Airport (KCNO). We won the bid and were the proud owners of eight L-39 aircraft. Four were “C” trainer models and four were “ZA” models the Czechs had modified into light attack models. I sent a friend to Ted Stevens International Airport (PANC) in Anchorage, AK. He was familiar with the aircraft and would evaluate them and determine what maintenance was needed to make Continued on Page 18

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NBAA Static Display - Henderson Executive Airport (Photo by Eli Stepp)

Mark Robertson: Nevada Congressional Candidate of a Business Aviation District By Eli Stepp

BizAvJets USA is fortunate to meet BAJUSA: Mr. Robertson thank professionals from various walks of you for meeting with us today. We aplife who have experienced business preciate your time. aviation in one form or another. PeriMR: My pleasure. I appreciate the odically, we meet someone who not opportunity. only has past aviation experience, but also has potential impact on the busiBAJUSA: Why have you chosen ness aviation industry. Recently we to run for congress? met with Nevada Congressional CanMR: In all honesty, I do not like didate Mark Robertson who made time the direction our nation is heading. I to speak with us. am displeased our country seems to be Background sliding into socialism. In lieu of hoping Candidate Robertson is running someone should do something about it, for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd district, I decided to run for congress. I want Mark Robertson Nevada 3rd which incidentally hosts the National Business Aviation’s static display at District Congressional Candi- children and grandchildren to have the Henderson Executive airport. He is a date (Photo Courtesy of Mark same experiences and opportunities I had growing up in our nation. 30-year U.S. Army veteran who enlist- Robertson) ed as a private and retired as a colonel. He has been BAJUSA: Does your family support your decision deployed to ten different foreign countries, including to run for Congress? combat tours in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq. (During MR: Absolutely. My wife and I talked and prayed an Iraq combat tour, his son served near him.) Robertabout the decision to run. When we shared the decison has been married for 38 years. He and his wife have four children who grew up in southern Nevada. sion with our children, my son said “Dad, don’t do it He has a degree in finance and has owned a financial because you and mom will have people you don’t even planning business which he has since sold. He has also know, say terrible things about you.” I reassured him Continued on Page 19 taught business at University of Nevada Las Vegas.


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Global Express at Apex Aviation (Photo courtesy of Apex Aviation)

Apex Aviation Las Vegas: An Oasis for Business Aircraft By Eli Stepp

BizAvJets USA has become aware of an outstanding business aviation maintenance facility headquartered at the Henderson Executive Airport (KHND) in Southern Nevada, on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The MRO we speak of is Apex Aviation. Background Apex Aviation is an FAA approved Part 145 Repair Station (License #9VNR950B) serving the corporate/ business aviation industries. This organization has one location in the Las Vegas area, which includes a 40,000plus square foot state-of-the-art facility at the Henderson Executive Airport (KHND), which also houses their corporate offices. Their location has five service hangars, three at 6,000 sq. ft. each, one 10,000 sq. ft. and one 12,000 sq. ft. hangar. It is equipped to handle aircraft as big as the

Apex Aviation Avionics Services (Photo courtesy of Apex Aviation)

Scott Bullock, CEO/Founder Apex Aviation (Photo by Jerry Whetstone)

Bombardier Global Express Jet. Apex Aviation provides aircraft maintenance, major repairs, major alterations, modifications, avionic upgrades/installations, overhauls for turbine aircraft, turboprop aircraft, and rotor aircraft. Their typical business aircraft maintenance and inspection/repair include Eclipse, Gulfstream, Beechcraft, Cessna Citation, Embraer, Bombardier and Lear Jet business aircraft. Apex Aviation also maintains an AOG Go-Team which is a global mobile repair team with no borders. They have traveled as far south as Australia and as far north as Siberia. (Literally.) Scott Bullock is President and CEO. His leadership and vision of strategic growth sets Apex Aviation apart Continued on Page 28


How I Came to Own... Continued from Page 14

the aircraft airworthy and fly them to Southern California. The backstory on these aircraft reads like a spy mystery. In short, an aviation entrepreneur based in Alaska had a business idea to acquire Soviet-built aircraft and contract with the U.S. Air Force and Navy to conduct Adversary, Aggressor and Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT). He purchased several aircraft, including the eight L-39s, and purchased two soviet UB-16-S7U rocket launchers. The launchers each contained 16 tubes which held 57mm (2 ½”) rockets. At about this time, a Mid-West company was repossessing some L-39MSs (prototypes of the later L-59 model) they had sold to the same Alaskan company. One of the L-39MSs was involved in a fatal incident while on approach into Ketchikan International Airport (PAKT), killing the pilot and injuring several people on the ground. During the investigation, the purchase of the rocket launchers was uncovered and prompted a raid on the business by just about every government ABC agency imaginable. Several charges were filed, including possession of unregistered military rocket launchers along with other allegations. These incidents did

Utilized by BizAvJets

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not gain favor with the Alaskan people who wanted the aircraft out of Alaska. Mounting legal problems and financial debt led to the airplanes being auctioned off. During the raid, the L-39s and several other aircraft were seized and transported by flatbed to another Alaskan airport. Some superficial damage occurred in transport, primarily scratches and some small dents from the ratchet strap buckles used to tie the aircraft down during transportation on the flatbeds. Overall, the aircraft were in good shape. In part two, we’ll delve into the logistics involved with ferrying eight jet fighters from Anchorage to Chino, Calif., the race against time and the quickly approaching Alaskan winter. Mark DiLullo is the founder and Director of Operations of Threshold Aviation Group. He has 20,000 + flight hours and is rated in 32 jet aircraft, ranging from the Boeing 747 to the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter. He can be contacted at

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Mark Robertson...


Continued from Page 15 and my entire family that since I served in Afghanistan, ation charity organizations? Kuwait, and Iraq where people took real shots at me, I MR: I am familiar that there are non-profit orgaam sure I can take whatever Washington throws at me. nizations taking advantage of the generosity of private It really is a huge sacrifice for the whole family. I am aircraft owner/operators providing voluntary services, grateful for their support. such as transporting cancer patients to locations for BAJUSA: When did you announce your candida- medical treatments, as well as other charitable purposcy? es, at no cost to the passenger. I am pleased to see such organizations serving others. MR: January 2021 BAJUSA: Are you interested in attending the OcBAJUSA: Have you experienced business aviation tober 2021 NBAA conference? in your career? MR: I am very interested in attending. I am also MR: Yes. When I was the director of a supply chain at Nevada Power Company, (now NV Energy) General excited the NBAA aircraft static display will be right Electric was a strategic partner that owned a transform- here in Nevada’s 3rd district at Henderson Executive er plant which they desired NV Energy to utilize. GE Airport.

provided a private jet to travel to their plant for an onBAJUSA: From your experience, would you say site inspection, which fit well with our tight schedule. the average public perspective of business aviation is The private flight had a positive impact on the business negative, positive, or neutral? deal. If memory serves correctly, the aircraft was a 12 MR: I really can’t say for sure, however, I know passenger jet. there are challenges in any small business, and many BAJUSA: Are you familiar with National Business aircraft owner-operators are small business owners. Aviation Association? (NBAA) Small business owners often face challenges specific MR: I was introduced to the NBAA not long ago to their business size. I realize taxes and fees at airports and certainly recognize the organization as a major can have huge impact on the bottom line of small busibusiness aviation industry association. I have just be- nesses, who operate business aircraft.

gun to research their service to the industry, and look BAJUSA: You may be aware there are indications forward to learning more about the NBAA overall. of a business pilot and business aviation maintenance BAJUSA: Should you become elected, do you see personnel shortage. Would you see yourself promoting yourself interfacing with organizations like the NBAA? young people to join the aviation profession as congressional representative, should you be elected? MR: Most definitely. In fact, one of the committees MR: Yes. As a matter of fact, I have two adult chilthat has my interest is the commerce committee. I am dren who teach in high school career technical educaconfident I would be interfacing with multiple business tion fields, preparing young people for a technical caaviation organizations in that role. reer. We as a people and government should be funding BAJUSA: Do you believe business aviation will those types of programs in all areas needing technical have a positive impact on Nevada’s 3rd Congressional personnel, to include business aviation. district in the future? (Where you are running for conBAJUSA: Is there anything else you would like to gress?) add? MR: You bet I do! In fact, I recently learned that MR: I personally appreciate business aviation, and a single business aircraft can bring a $2.5 million ecoall industries that help businesses grow. I am a capitalnomic impact to an airport and the local community. It also creates jobs and increased tourism, which is clear- ist at heart and believe in free enterprise with limited ly important to a location such as the Las Vegas area. I government to allow entrepreneurs and businesses to would also like to say in addition to business aviation, I thrive. For more information about what else I believe, have keen interest in all industries that provide jobs, op- please visit portunities, and economic benefit to this district I wish BAJUSA: Candidate Robertson, thank you for to serve. your time. BAJUSA: Are you familiar with any business avi-

MR: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.


In Flight USA Staff Enjoys Great AirVenture Experience

Fall 2021

By Annamarie Buonocore and Paul T. Glessner, M.S.

EAA AirVenture is truly a pilgrimage for those in aviation. Whether you are a pilot, aircraft mechanic, aviation writer, or aviation enthusiast, you should try to make it to Oshkosh, Wisc. at least once in your life.

A Tribute to America started the day’s activities. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner)

AB: Two years ago, I had the pleasure of attending AirVenture for the first time, but I only had two days to explore a show that was much bigger than I thought. In 2020, the show was cancelled, so this year, one of our editors, Paul T. Glessner and I decided to attend the show for five days. This is our report back on our experience at this year’s premiere aviation event. PTG: I attended AirVenture in 2000 to see the Concorde aircraft up close again after flying in the cockpit twice from JFK to Heathrow and back six days later as AirVenture’s charter that year was – speed. Unfortunately, it had its horrific crash just days earlier in Paris and the Concorde would not make the show. I had a blast then even though the Concorde was part of my ‘schedule.’ There is so much to take in – my displeasure was short lived. I was invited in 2017 by the great EAA benefactor, Tracy Forrest, whom I met at the Living Legends of Aviation and who has since passed away, and he had ‘all’ the dinner and event credentials and wristbands one could imagine in a brown Manila envelope that he handed me after picking me up personally from Appleton Airport. That OSH17 was incredible and hard to surpass but pulling G’s with the AeroShell team this year helped. AB: First things first, I felt that the show was very normal. It did not feel all that different from the pre-Covid

show I attended back in 2019. The layout was very much the same and so was the schedule of events. There were quite a few highlights, which I will touch on below, but it is important to note that this show was as successful as it was before the pandemic hit. Hundreds of thousands of people still attended, many camped on the grounds, and mask policies were not strict. Those who attended seemed to be having a good time, and as for our experience here on staff, I would not change a thing. PTG: I was so pleased at how relaxed the mask policy was given much of the AirVenture content is held outside or in open-air venues regarding workshops. Attendance was high and everyone is your friend, besides the place is spic and span clean. AB: One of our favorite exhibits from this year’s show was the Orbis Flying Hospital. See page 7 in this edition of BizAvJets USA or online at for the full story on this organization and all it does. The Orbis Flying Hospital is a huge jet that carries a full-service hospital. Inside it is fully equipped with blood labs, hospital beds, areas for administering medication, and a nurse’s station. Tours of the hospital were given about every 30 minutes or so, and our own, Paul T. Glessner, was fortunate to get the media tour. While the tour is short, staff members tell the whole story of how the flying hospital is used in humanitarian missions to airlift people to the best medical treatment. A big emphasis of the Orbis Flying Hospital is on eye care and vision. The hospital goes into disadvantaged parts of the world to make sure that people receive the best eye care while also training medical personal all over the globe simultaneously via live webinars. For more information, visit Continued on Page 21

Orbis MD-10. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner)

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Great AirVenture Experience...


Continued from Page 20 PTG: I got to meet with the head of operations, the chief pilot and chief of communications and marketing. They were so proud of their MD-10 and all that comprises it. Another great insider view of the Orbis MD-10, besides the one seen on their website, is seen through the ‘eyes’ of James Bond, err, Daniel Craig in this YouTube video: Enjoy. AB: Another highlight of our trip to Oshkosh was not only seeing and interviewing the AeroShell Aerobatic team but taking a special media flight with them! As our readers know, our July issue featured AeroLEDs and AeroShell on the front cover. We had the opportunity to interview the formation’s lead, Jimmy Fordham, and to fly in a four-ship formation in their T-6 aircraft. Jimmy and the team were nice enough to give us a demo flight so that we could see how it felt to fly in an aerobatic formation. We experienced up to two Gs and I went upside-down for the first time. I was a little apprehensive, but it was not as scary as I thought. The movements happened so fast that it was hard to even know when we were going upside down. Overall, it was an enjoyable flight and one that I would be comfortable doing again. For more information about the AeroShell team, visit

Annamarie in a demo flight with the AeroShell team. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) PTG: Okay, the movement happened so fast for Annamarie because she had her head down… keeping her from getting sick. I am just saying. I have been to +6/-4.5 in my days flying… Both Annamarie and I have flown with the Condor Squadron out of Van Nuys airport and their four ship is benign compared to what Jimmy, Steve and team pull-off. It is controlled fantasy of flight given how close we were as we maneuvered through rolls and loops.

Paul T. Glessner (BizAvJets USA), Steve Gustafson (Left Wing), Mark Henley (team lead), Brian Regan (right wing), Jimmy Fordham (slot) and Annamarie Buonocore (BizAvJets USA). (Photo courtesy EAA) AB: Perhaps one of the best AirVenture experiences is attending forums and briefings on important flight-related topics. During the show, I attended two AOPA forums, one on legislation affecting flight instruction and another on avionics compliance. Both were engaging, and we thank AOPA for their support of this show and making this event what it is. If you missed this year’s show, don’t worry. AOPA offers seminars and webinars year round. For more information, visit . PTG: I attended many aerodynamic seminars given by Ron Blum, past chief engineer for Mooney Aircraft and many years with Cessna flight test. Informative to say the least. Attended a workshop for anyone interested in entering the airlines, given by the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA) which was well attended. There is a forum or seminar or workshop for everything – aviation at AirVenture. Period.

USAF Special Operations Command (AFSOC) CV-22 Osprey in hover in front of the AirVenture crowd (Photo by Paul T. Glessner) AB: While many people attend AirVenture to explore the different vendors that are present, it is above all an airshow, and the day and nighttime performances make the experience what it is. This year, the staff had the opportunity to watch several day performances and the mid-week night show that was moved to Thursday due Continued on Page 25


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Marty Abbott’s 1200hp Turbine Legend (Photo courtesy of Marty Abbott)

John Fonville Laid to Rest

BizAvJets USA Associate Editor Paul T. Glessner, was in the “write” place at the right time. Paul was spending some time at AirVenture with his Turbine Legend friend, Marty Abbott, that he previously met at Montgomery Field, San Diego many months earlier when that day’s jovial atmosphere led to a very somber situation. All in the picture are connected to EAA’s Air Venture Cup. John Fonville's ashes were laid to rest on EAA's Homebuilt area's main lawn Wednesday, July 28 by his son, Neil, in front of friends and family. John's father was a jeweler and bought a television back in 1958 at a jewelry convention. There was an issue in getting the television so John's father took a Luscombe in trade and both Neil's father and grandfather learned Pictured (l-r) are: James Fonville (grandson), Neil Fonville (son), Woody to fly. Neil learned to fly in 1980 and currently Menear, Keith Phillips, Monty Abbott, Tuck McAtee, Chad Coldberg, Jim owns a 1992 Mooney Bravo based in McKin- Cianci and Paul T. Glessner (In-Flight USA Editor). All in the picture are ney, Tex. John attended AirVenture religious- connected EAA’s Airventure Cup. John Fonville’s ashes were laid to rest ly for some 30 years until his sudden death in on EAA’s Homebuilt area’s main lawn Wednesda, July 28. (Photograph by Mrs. Coldberg.) April 2013. Unfortunately, and in hindsight, Neil never attended bonded not only him and his son but to new found friends this incredible pilot/plane event with his father due to associated with John. life's commitments. So, Neil and his son, James, made a BTW, Marty won the Airventure Cup Cross-Country pact to attend AirVenture going forward. Race with an average speed of 372mph in his Turbine Neil notes that aviation has been the glue that has Legend in the turbine class category.

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1993 VECTOR W8 (SN#016) (Photo courtesy of Derek Agchay)

Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance Announces 2021 Showcase of Automotive Excellence

The prestigious Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance (LVCE), presented by Towbin Motorcars of Las Vegas, has announced it will again bring more than 100 of the most famous magnificent collector cars to the entertainment capital of the world. The LVCE founder and chairman, Stuart Sobek, hopes to form some future alliance with NBAA, in the hopes of solidifying the bond between collector car owners and the world of private and business aircraft; many people who own one often also own the other. That alliance could bring great added synergy to two significant Las Vegas events. What relationship would a Concours d’Elegance have with airplanes? Many of the cars have aerospace engineering and manufacturing techniques. For example, the early 90’s VECTOR W8 (originally marketed as a fighter jet for the street) was manufactured with many aspects from the aerospace industry from its gauges to its construction. Now in its second year, the “crème de la crème” of automobile shows, the 2021 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for Oct. 21-24, also announced an exciting new venue and opening day soiree called Concours d’Avant. The concours will feature several of the world’s most magnificent collector cars and more than 15 classes of cars ranging from 1903 to today’s latest

showstoppers. “We initially set out to ensure that our inaugural event would earn its rightful place among the famed concours showings and competitions from around the world,” noted Sobek, “and we achieved our goal. Now we are focused on elevating our second year to even greater heights.” Sobek’s 2021 planning includes a new show venue that blends 70-years of famed Concours elegance with one of today’s most up-to-the-minute sports facilities – the Las Vegas Ballpark in Summerlin. The relationship to aircraft lineage continues with the venue. The recently completed $150 million stadium, owned by Howard Hughes Corporation, features a lush grass infield for spectator viewing and the league’s largest Daktronics LED video screen overhead with nearly 4,000 square feet of visual display (measuring 31 x 126 feet) for exciting close-up coverage of the world’s most beautiful classic cars drawn from exclusive private collections and famous automotive museums. It’s no coincidence that the shape of the grandstand is designed to look like an aircraft fuselage with wings, paying tribute to Hughes Aircraft and Howard Hughes’ love of flying. Finally, and most importantly, Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance is further taking flight through its ties to the Continued on Page 27


Covid Restrictions... Continued from Page 10

and then made a few phone calls. Finally, she returned and announced to us - in a pleasant but officious manner, the terms of our incarceration. “Sir and madams, we will accept you for one night and one night only. However, you must agree to remain in your rooms or on the patios of your bungalows. You may not go to the pool, and you may not go to the beach. The restaurant is open for takeout only, but you are allowed to call room service and order your meals for both this evening and breakfast tomorrow morning. Do you accept these conditions?” Well, at least we had a place to stay. “Yes,” I replied for all of us. I then thanked our driver for staying with us, advised him what time we wanted to be retrieved from our prison the next day, and tipped him for his time. Even as I was tipping my driver I thought to myself, “What inmate tips the man who just drove him to his prison?” A porter loaded our luggage onto a golf cart, and we were wheeled off to our cells – er, rooms. By this point, the heat and humidity had combined to make me sweat so much into my facemask that I was having difficulty breathing through it, but I said nothing. Still, the beauty of the place was enough to take our breaths away anyhow. As we rolled closer to our bungalows we engaged in light chatter. “I think I will take a stroll to the beach this evening for a swim and watch the sunset,” said Lauren. “Sounds nice.” I replied in an uncommitted fashion. This wasn’t the smartest thing to say in front of the porter, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say to distract him. We were delivered to our bungalows, and that’s when the restrictions became even more apparent. No room key had been offered to us. “Excuse me sir, do you have a room key for our rooms?” I asked. “No sir,” the porter replied, “we do not supply a room key since you are unvaccinated and are quarantined to your rooms.” “Seriously?” “Yes sir. You can lock your room once inside.” I swore under my breath. “Very well. What time does the hotel restaurant close?” “Seven p.m. sir. The whole island has a seven p.m. curfew. Everyone is to be in their rooms by that time.” The analogy to a prison was really getting to be too much for me, but I still kept my tongue bit down. Afterall, it wasn’t this man’s fault. “Ok, thank you very much.” I went into my room and began unpacking my bags.

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I was changing into my Bermuda shorts when the hotel phone in my room rang. Strange, I haven’t asked for anything. Why are they calling me? I went to my phone and answered it, “This is Matt.” “Hello Mattchew, this is the front desk. It has been reported to us that you were overheard discussing going to the beach this evening. We wish to remind you that as a condition of staying with us you are all to remain in your rooms until you check out tomorrow.” Jesus Christ, Mary, Martha, and all the saints! Not only have I landed in a prison, but the prison snitches have already started reporting on us! Or did I and my crew just land in some Dystopian Soviet Union or East German gulag? I decided to play dumb, “Really? I don’t recall anyone saying anything about going to the beach.” “Well Mattchew, it was reported to us.” The lady at the front desk insisted on calling me Mattchew. Cute, but not endearing enough to remove my irritation at being placed in solitary confinement. “Ok, ok. I won’t go to the beach. I understand.” “Thank you Mattchew.” I hung up. In the end I didn’t go to the beach, but Lauren did. The lady at the Front Desk had phoned all of us to remind us of the terms of our incarceration. Once Lauren had received this information, she did what any good inmate would do – she found a way to evade the prison guards and proctors. Her green wristband was on loose enough that she slipped it off her wrist, and she went to the beach like any good prisoner evading capture would do. I too slipped my wristband off, but Alex and I did not go to the beach. I only wished to have a symbolic gesture of defiance against an – in my view – unreasonable and unlawful detainment. I will not go into the politics of Covid or the relative merits of vaccinations, but a couple things stand out in my head. The first is that despite the CDC saying that we who have had Covid and have positive antibodies should be treated the same as those who are vaxx’d – no one is doing so. This is a glaring oversight considering how many millions of us have had Covid and recovered, and it makes me suspect that our medical system is way too interested in financial gain (they get paid by the Federal Government to vaccinate whether a person needs the vaccine or not) over the actual needs of their patients. Second, countries that have such draconian lockdowns and quarantine restrictions as the British Virgin Islands are needlessly hurting their economies by continuing to impose them in such an arbitrary fashion. The hysteria-induced panic that has driven these quarContinued on Page 26

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Great AirVenture Experience... Continued from Page 21 to problematic weather and a second nighttime show Saturday evening. This year, we got to see the Aeroshell Aerobatic team, Rob Holland, a drone light show, and Kevin Coleman. Every show had its unique series of twists and turns, and the music and lighting effects made it amazing. We look forward to returning next year and to interviewing more performers. Continue to stay tuned at to see our interviews with performers. PTG: There is a plane in the air every moment it seems from morning to night, literally. AirVenture has basically four traffic patterns, arrivals, airshow, LSA aircraft and the helicopter ride/tour flights. Your neck can get sore from all the twisting and turning at times. I enjoy watching all the planes coming in prior to show start. AB: This year, I was at AirVenture long enough to explore parts I hadn’t seen on the last trip, including the seaplane base. This is not one of the most accessible parts of AirVenture. One has to get on a shuttle, then another shuttle, and then finally a bus that leaves the main campus and goes to a wooded area. Then one has to walk through that wooded area to the seaplane base. This is a great experience, as it is a beautiful area on the water with gorgeous seaplanes and boats. The area features picnic tables, its own food court, and several seaplane vendors. It is a great place to relax and take the edge off after a long day of watching shows and meeting vendors. I will definitely be visiting this part of AirVenture on my next trip.


the movie, “Flying Boat.” The movie premiered at Theatre in the Woods on Sunday night at the start of the show and was then featured again at a local theater in Oshkosh on Wednesday night. Our staff was able to attend both viewings and even had an interview with producer, Dirk Braun, which we featured on our August cover of In Flight USA. The movie is about the Albatross Flying Boat, a giant seaplane that was used for air travel prior to WWII built by Grumman Aircraft. The film interviews various owners and pilots who have flown in an Albatross. Braun was very enthusiastic about the film and made sure to answer any questions we had. If you have not had a chance to see “Flying Boat,” we highly recommend that you see it. For more information, visit

Robert DeLaurentis, Dirk Braun and Dick Rutan at Movie Night (Photo by Paul T. Glessner)

PTG: As Annamarie stated, the film followed a handful of owners where some had to renovate derelict models and highlighted how the venerable Albatross airplane had made their flying vacations dreams come true. To glide as a boat, of sorts, up to an island where the only footprints are that of native animals was captivating. Great footage and well presented; definitely worth seeing.

AB/PTG: For our great experience at AirVenture, we must pay tribute to our vendors. Some that we enjoyed seeing were Hartwig, Pacific Oil Cooler, Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast Avionics, Wisconsin Aviation, Schweiss J-3 Cub preparing to depart Seaplane Base. (Photo by Doors, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, and High Aces AviPaul T. Glessner) ation Gallery. All of them did a great job, answered our PTG: It was my first time to the EAA Seaplane base. questions, and sold us great products at great prices. We I must say that I would not know how to best navigate look forward to meeting more vendors next year! the waterways of sorts if I were flying in at this moment but there definitely seems to be a method to it all. The AB: As we finish our reflections of this great experitall shady trees and water gave a most relaxing and en- ence, I wanted to mention that we had the opportunity to joyable vibe to the whole visit. I was glad that EAA’s visit the EAA Museum this year. The museum featured concession stands were present at the base as well; great speakers everyday all day, including prominent figures in aviation such as Dick Rutan. The museum also offers brats! an extensive gift shop, floor exhibits of warbirds and the AB: As many who attended this year’s show will tell history of aviation, and two theaters. Not only was the you, one of the greatest highlights was the premiere of Continued on Page 30


Fall 2021

Overview of the Orbis MD-10 interior (Illustration courtesy of Orbis)

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital...

Paul T. Glessner, M.S. is both an FAA certificated commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine Continued from Page 9 ratings, SIC G-IV and an aerospace them like they’re sitting in the aircraft watching over engineer with 30+ years of expemy shoulder,” said Dr. Rudy Wagner, Orbis Volunteer rience having worked for Boeing, Doctor. Lockheed, Grumman Aerospace, Readers can follow this link for a captivating, inthe F-22 CTF and the F-35 ITF and teractive tour of the Orbis Flying Hospital: www.orothers in flying/handling qualities, aerodynamics and flight testing. Paul currently works for General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems in San Diego. hospital-take-a-tour

Covid Restrictions... Continued from Page 24

antines and lockdowns has drawn all the petty tyrants in government and elsewhere out of the woodwork and they are wreaking havoc upon everyone in their quest to “Do Good.” Clearly these people have never heard the phrase, “The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” My stay in the British Virgin Islands left me with a very bad taste in my mouth, and I have no desire to ever return there. While it may be a very beautiful and benevolent prison, it is still a prison. Free people do not voluntarily imprison themselves, and when I begin trav-

eling with my family on my own dime, I will find some destination where we can actually enjoy ourselves. Matthew Odenbrett is a 12,000 hour ATP and CFII with Gulfstream IV and Citation type ratings. During his 22 year career, Matthew has served as Chief Pilot, Check Airman, and Flight Department Manager for various companies. Matthew currently serves as Captain on a Gulfstream IV for a charter company, and is a Contract Captain on both the GIV and Pilatus PC-12.

Fall 2021


Pictured above left are the F-117 Nighthawk and the VECTOR W8; the company car? Above right, Paul T. Glessner poses quickly after stopping the VECTOR WX-3 Avtech in front of Los Angeles City Hall; police are just “gobsmacked.” (Photos by Gerald A. Wiegert)

2021 Showcase of Automotive Excellence...

Continued from Page 23

charity, Miracle Flights, the Las Vegas-based nonprofit that utilizes and provides free air transportation to children and adults who need help reaching specialized medical care far from “In every respect, Concours d’Elegance is the crème de la crème of automobile shows. It transcends basic motoring history and instead, elevates truly outstanding

Interview with Ed Bolen...

Continued from Page 4 about getting people where they need to be when they need to be there. Our convention will be a celebration of technology and innovation. We will focus on key issues like workforce development, sustainability, and security. Products and services that impact all of those things will be on display. It will be a high-energy event that I think people will be glad they had the opportunity to attend and experience.

motoring history and instead, elevates truly outstanding and amazing vehicles to a captivating art form,” notes Sobek. Continuing, he notes, “Perhaps a ‘Concours d’Avion’ is in the future for Las Vegas!” For further information about the 2021 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance, visit or call 702-992-0512.

oping a pipeline of talent. The importance of reaching out and bringing in people who are underrepresented in our industry today is a top priority. We want to reach out to schools and work with a whole new generation of people coming into the industry.

BAJUSA: Do you recommend anything for people who want to find jobs in aviation?

EB: We hope that they will interact with NBAA. We have student memberships available, and we try to hold BAJUSA: What is the job market looking like post-pan- events that welcome students. At our NBAA-BACE demic? convention in October, we’ll have a Student Day where EB: It’s interesting. Early in 2020 before we all under- we can bring young people in and prepare them for the stood Covid, everybody recognized that there were real job market and the multitude of opportunities available challenges on the workforce front. We needed pilots, in business aviation. We encourage them to network technicians, and others to come into the industry so we in our industry and find scholarships, internships, and could attract and retain the best and the brightest. Then mentors to help them along the way. the pandemic hit, and it felt like the bottom kind of fell BAJUSA: Thank you, Ed, for your time and this inout. Commercial airlines laid off thousands of pilots, sightful interview and BizAvJets USA looks forward to and flight hours were down across the board. But in seeing you at NBAA’s BACE! less than a year, everything has rebounded. We are back For more information, visit where we were, recognizing the importance of devel-


Fall 2021

Beechcraft 1900 at Apex Aviation (Photo courtesy of Apex Aviation)

Apex Aviation...

Continued from Page 17

from the competition with the help of Apex Aviation personnel and their extensive collaborative experience. The list of aircraft maintenance and repair services provided by Apex Aviation includes major overhauls, engine hot section inspections, warranty work (OEM), air conditioning, avionics upgrades and new installations. Founded in March 2014, Apex started with a 6,000 sq. ft. facility and three employees. In 2015, Apex Aviation acquired the assets of Kings Avionics-Henderson and retained its employees. In April 2016, Apex Aviation purchased Honest Air of Boulder City. As a result, the maintenance and avionics technicians from all three entities merged to form the exemplary team they have today. We are pleased CEO Scott Bullock found time to speak with us during his busy schedule. We recently sat down with him for an interview. BAJUSA: Scott, thank you for your time today. Would you share your personal background with us?

SB: I am happy to share. I joined the Air Force at 19 years old and provided 20 years of service. After my military service, my first civilian aviation employment was with Eclipse Aviation in Albuquerque, NM. I started with Eclipse in 2007. BAJUSA: What was your position with Eclipse Aviation, and how long was your employment there?

SB: I worked as an A&P Technician with Eclipse. My employment ended there in 2009 when they went out of business. BAJUSA: What came next for you?

SB: Well, at that time, only two Eclipse service centers in the world were company owned. So when Eclipse Aviation went out of business in Albuquerque, those two service centers closed as well. I knew there were approximately 260 Eclipse 500 aircraft in operation at that time, with very few people who understood software driven, databus type aircraft. Therefore, I started my own Eclipse aircraft maintenance business working out of my house, employing several other Eclipse experienced maintenance technicians (who were also laid off from Eclipse Aviation). I am not sure how we became well known, but our business phone started ringing off the hook! BAJUSA:Wow that is great! How long were you providing Eclipse Aircraft Maintenance there in Albuquerque?

SB: Approximately six to seven months, as later in 2009, a new investment group acquired Eclipse Aviation assets and re-branded as Eclipse Aerospace. Eclipse Aerospace representatives met with us and offered to authorize our small company as an Eclipse Gold service center, which we accepted. However, we were required Continued on Page 29

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Apex Aviation...


Continued from Page 28

to relocate away from Albuquerque.

BAJUSA: Where did you consider moving your maintenance operation?

SB: With input from investment partners, we considered the Phoenix and Las Vegas areas for relocation. After consideration and due diligence research, we chose Las Vegas to re-locate our maintenance operation.

BAJUSA: What was the main factor of choosing Las Vegas over Phoenix?

SB: Actually, we felt our customers would enjoy a visit to Las Vegas more than Phoenix, and we anticipated Eclipse 550 Airframe inspection at Apex Aviation (Photo by Jerry Whetstone) some of them bringing their families during an aircraft maintenance event. We are BAJUSA: What are Apex Aviation’s future plans? quite happy with our choice of moving to the Las Vegas SB: We are excited about our future! We are currently area. formulating plans to implement more formal mainteBAJUSA: When did you arrive in the Las Vegas area?

nance services with larger business aircraft. This would include an official announcement of implementation SB: We moved our maintenance operation to Henderof maintenance program services such as Falcon Jet or son, Nev. in June 2010. Due to FAA being understaffed Bombardier, including factory trained personnel. Stay during that time, we were delayed in acquiring repair tuned! station certification, which we received in 2012. Our maintenance organization has been in business for ap- BAJUSA: That sounds exciting! As a last question, proximately 12 years, however, we officially re-branded since the Eclipse 500/550 is the aircraft that enabled you to launch your business, can you share what is special as Apex Aviation in the 2014/2015-time frame. about this aircraft model? BAJUSA: What model aircraft frequent your facility? SB: From a technical aspect, it is very gratifying to be SB: The Eclipse 500/550 are still very popular with us. competent with the Eclipse 500/550. This aircraft can be We are actually providing maintenance services for a difficult at times to troubleshoot as the software driven Gulfstream 650 today. We have experienced an increase design can be challenging. From a personal perspective, of providing maintenance services for larger airframes this aircraft model seems to always have great ownto include Bombardier Challenger and Global aircraft. ers who are wonderful people. Many Eclipse owners We also have Beechcraft, Cessna Citation, Embraer, and that come to our facility have become life-long friends Lear Jet aircraft in our facility as well. Demand of local which is more important, and even more gratifying. AOG services has also increased dramatically. BAJUSA: Scott, we greatly appreciate your time. BAJUSA: Avionics projects as well? You’ve provided a great reminder what really matters in SB: Yes. We are consistently providing avionics ser- any business, the relationship with others. vices. As an authorized service center for Avidyne and Our thanks to Scott Bullock. We foresee great success Garmin (among others), we are also completing full for Apex Aviation ( in the future! cockpit avionics system installs and upgrades.


Great AirVenture Experience...

Fall 2021

Continued from Page 27 museum a great place to stop and relax in the air conditioning; it was a great place to learn and have the true AirVenture experience. Visiting this museum and the warbird exhibits made the experience very worthwhile for In Flight USA and BizAvJets USA, and we hope to return next year. PTG: Yes, I saw Dick Rutan there at the museum giving a talk on his around the world flight and promoting his new book, The Next Five Minutes. Dick so graciously spoke to anyone that approached him and signed any-

Dick Rutan addresses the AirVenture audience regarding his around-the-world flight. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner)

Paul T. Glessner, Robert DeLaurentis and Dick Rutan ) (Photo courtesy Paul T. Glessner) thing that was presented. Ron Blum, again, talked about the Wright Brothers as Ron has an avid interest in the Wright Brothers. Darrell M. Collins also told his version of the brothers’ first flight. Both presentations are most captivating and not to be missed for sure. The first night, Sunday, Dick Rutan gave a great tale of flying around the world and later introduced Robert DeLaurentis to the Theater in the Woods crowd about not only flying around the world equatorially but pole to pole. Yes, pole to pole. Incredible presentations all around. Jack Pelton, CEO and Chairman of the Board of EAA, gave us the following statement: “This was perContinued on Page 31

AirVenture Fact Sheet

Attendance: Approximately 608,000 – Only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000 and within 5 percent of 2019’s record total. Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 16,378 aircraft operations in the 10-day period from July 22-31, which is an average of approximately 116 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open. Total showplanes: 3,176 included: A record 1,420 vintage aircraft registered, plus 1,089 homebuilt aircraft, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights, and 27 rotorcraft. Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors. Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours. Commercial exhibitors: 747. Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,055 sessions hosted throughout the week.

Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 18.95 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, with engagement of 1.08 million; EAA video clips during the event were viewed 3.48 million times. International guests: Despite travel restrictions that greatly limited the number of attendees from other nations, EAA still welcomed visitors from 66 countries during the week. The Gathering shines: The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted more than 500 people and raised more than $1.7 million dollars that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation. Media: 567 media representatives on-site, from four continents. Economic impact: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown), based on a 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study.

Fall 2021

Great AirVenture Experience...

Continued from Page 30 haps the most challenging set of circumstances we’ve ever faced as an organization to make the event happen. I could not be more proud of our volunteers, staff, and participants on the way they came together to exceed our expectations and make AirVenture.” Pelton continued, “We went into this year not knowing what AirVenture would look like and how big of an event was possible. The aviation community spoke loudly, though – it was ready to come to Oshkosh and we were happy that we could welcome them. Our theme was ‘The Wait is Over,’ and indeed it was. And the wait was worth it. There was joy and excitement throughout the grounds and it set the stage for the return of AirVenture, making us very excited for the future.” What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 (July 25-31, 2022)? Pelton concluded the OSH21 overview by saying, “Planning is well underway for next year’s event, including discussions during AirVenture 2021 about possible features and attractions for 2022. We also look forward to welcoming more international visitors next year to return AirVenture to a truly global reunion. In the next few months, we will be finalizing highlights in all areas to make the 69th EAA fly-in convention the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”


Jack Pelton, CEO and Chairman of the Board of EAA, gave a very positive and resounding summary of the week’s activities. (Photo by Paul T. Glessner)


Saving Money on Taxes... Continued from Page 5 drag their feet and then come to us at the last minute asking if we can get their money back. We must explain to them that they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars simply because they missed the deadline. We feel that pain as it is often a substantial amount. BAJ: Do you work in many different languages?

VAT IT: We work in English in the U.S. Our global footprint allows us to work in majority languages in the world. Alone with our technology, we have developed an AI system that can read most of the languages. We have a really strong team in our processing department. The human element combined with our technology makes us stand out in the industry.

Fall 2021

are great, both here and abroad.

BAJ: Do you also help with rebates that can save companies money?

VAT IT: Yes! We can manage FET (Federal Excise Taxes) for local Charter Companies flying within the USA. This is an additional tax savings we assist our clients (with) over and above the foreign taxes. BAJ: What is a ballpark figure of how much you would save an aircraft operator in a year?

VAT IT: On average, I would say around $20,000. It depends on where they are flying to and how often. If charter companies are flying into France or Germany, there is the excise taxes/MOT, which can triple their tax savings. Charter companies with four to five flights per BAJ: What aviation companies make good clients for year, pre-Covid, would have an estimated $80 000 or you? more. Foreign taxes are our forte! VAT IT: We work with many Part 91 business jet own- BAJ: Thank you! ers and Part 135 charter operators. We primarily deal Editor’s Note: Please see the back cover and conwith companies in the U.S. that fly to Europe or to Cantact VAT IT USA with any questions on foreign aviation ada. With Covid, we have seen a decrease in this, but people are still making those flights. Part 135s and 91s taxes, online at or telephone 757/615-2091.

1 855 6GBL AIR (413) 335-7507

Mark Parry

Certified Aircraft Appraisals & Expert Witness

Fall 2021


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Fall 2021

Continued from Page 12 ample, limited from 30-500 from the original. With the aviation product line, I am considering creating aviation product line limited series of a specific model of business aircraft on bags, luggage, and bomber jackets. BAJUSA: Will there be an opportunity to view your artwork in person soon?

GL: Yes. Actually we will be exhibiting our product lines in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance Auto Event Oct. 21-24, 2021 (

BAJUSA: One last question. Is there a specific business jet model you admire? GL: I very much like the sleek design of the Honda Jet which speaks to me as an artist.

BAJUSA: Excellent Mr. Larribas! Thank you for your time. GL: My pleasure. Please attend one of my exhibition events in the future!

BAJUSA: Mr. Larribas was certainly a pleasure to interview. We look forward to his aviation-themed products online, and in person. Our best wishes to him and “Not all bags look the same” - G’Larri. (Photo courtehis future endeavors! sy of Gerald Larribas)


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