National Warbird Operators Conference Sets Attendance Record

    When the event planners chose Dayton, Ohio to be the host city for the 2007 National Warbird Operators Conference (NWOC), they hoped the draw of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Wright brothers’ connection to Dayton would help fill the venue. They were right. More than 200 warbird owners, operators, mechanics, and enthusiasts packed the Dayton Marriott Hotel during NWOC, February 22-25.

    Presented by Cannon Aviation Insurance, NWOC 2007 included an agenda packed with information on FAA regulations, aircraft maintenance, safety, insurance, and specific aircraft types. Plenty of time was available for networking, which is an important part of the conference.

    Dr. Warren Silberman, a conference favorite, led the FAA aero medical discussion, giving pilots important information regarding maintaining their medical certification. He discussed medical conditions that could put a pilot’s medical certification in jeopardy. Dr. Silberman also encouraged attendees to visit in order to submit their FAA medical applications online.

    A new FAA safety initiative was introduced at NWOC on Friday afternoon. Representing the new FAA Safety Team (FAAST) were Kris Palcho and Mark Kimmel from the Great Lakes Region. They outlined a proactive focus for FAA safety programs. For details, visit

    John Duncan from the FAA Flight Standards Service in Washington D.C. discussed the process of obtaining a rating in warbird-type aircraft. Tim Jackson, a designated pilot examiner, followed up with a session entitled, “Your Warbird Check Ride,” aimed at helping pilots better prepare for their check rides.

    The Friday lunch speaker was local aviation photographer and historian, Dan Patterson. His new book series “Aviation Century” was outlined, featuring some outstanding aviation photography. After lunch, Rick Siegfried and Jud Nogle gave updates on the T-6 and T-34 airworthiness directives.

    To close out the Friday afternoon sessions, Bob Cannon moderated the Insurance Panel Discussion, with representatives from Cannon Aviation Insurance, U.S. Specialty Insurance Company, Air Capital Insurance, and Specialty Aviation Underwriters. The panel focused on pilot proficiency requirements, loss rates, and concluded with a lively question & answer period. Anthony Bacewitz of USSIC mentioned the fact that warbird pilots who participate in the EAA Warbirds of America Insurance Program have a 20% better safety record than those who do not participate in the program. For details on the program, visit

    On Saturday morning the Engines Seminar featured large radial engines with Precision Engines’ Bob Dalton, Dave Cort, and Ben Visser. Sam Thompson of Tulsa Aircraft Engines led the small radial engine discussion, and Joe Yancy covered the Allison V-1710 engines.

    Cliff Wilewski from Heritage Aero discussed the airframe portion of the maintenance sessions. His talk focused on the inspection process. He shared some very interesting photos of airframe parts and related issues that were discovered during the maintenance inspection process. He reminded the warbird owners and operators to be on the lookout for corrosion, worn hoses, frayed wiring, and other damaged parts.

    For the past few years, Doug Rozendaal has presented an interesting session to the NWOC crowd called “Pilot Safety & Culture.” Always an outstanding session, Doug reminded pilots the person that is best able to influence warbird safety is the person you see in the mirror. Changing our attitudes to reflect a culture of safe operations can only help reduce the number of warbird incidents and accidents.

    The Saturday lunch speaker was General Metcalf from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. He outlined the museum’s mission and gave attendees a good preview to the Saturday evening activities. After lunch, Allen Bretz covered the subject of fuels, oils, and additives.

    One of NWOC’s more popular attractions is the aircraft breakout sessions. The following groups were represented - T-6, T- 28, T-34, Bomber, Fighter, Jet, YAK/CJ, and Liaison aircraft. The smaller groups allowed for excellent interaction and sharing of specific information. As one attendee described it, “There is a lot of material to cover. We could actually spend an entire day with our group. I consider the aircraft breakout session as one of my favorite parts of NWOC.”

    The Saturday evening program featured a private reception and sightseeing at the National Museum of the USAF. It was a perfect way to wind down the conference - great food, great aircraft, shared with friends. Hats off to the museum staff who made the NWOC attendees feel right at home.

    On Sunday morning, the various aircraft breakout session leaders gave a short recap of the issues discussed. A “survivors breakfast” was served and most attendees were headed for home before lunch. At the conference wrap-up, moderator Mark Clark announced NWOC 2008 would be held in Palm Springs, California.

    The 2007 NWOC planning crew included Bob Cannon, Mark Clark, Wendee DeBusk, Ray Dieckman, Bill Fischer, Rick Siegfried, and Eric Van Hoff.

    2007 NWOC sponsors:

    Presenting Sponsor - Cannon Aviation Insurance.

    Elite Sponsors - Specialty Aviation Underwriters and U.S. Specialty Insurance Company.

    Choice Sponsors—Air Capital Insurance, Cincinnati Warbirds, Courtesy Aircraft Sales, Precision Engines.

    Support Sponsors—Air Assets International, Cascade Warbirds, Commemorative Air Force, EAA Warbirds of America, North American Trainer Association, TMC Pacific Model Works, Warbird Digest.

    Hats off to all the planners, sponsors and attendees. Next year’s event is scheduled for February 21-24, 2008 in Palm Springs, California. For more information on the National Warbird Operator Conference visit



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