The Association of Professional Warbird Operators (APWO) was formed with the mission of keeping a level of professionalism across all Warbird operations. The new group wants to continue safely flying Warbirds with a viable and transparent set of guidelines and create a safe environment through education and professional action.
The group noted that the high visibility of Warbird accidents in recent years has affected owners and operators. The APWO was formed to give members a safe place to convene and voice collective wisdom in a professional and open manner. The plan is to use this combined knowledge to educate and increase the level of competency among members, ensuring the safety and survivability of the aircrews and the aircraft.
The APWO intends to become a valuable resource for all those in the Warbird community. Owners, operators, museums and airshows can all benefit from the community being built by the APWO. The new group has endorsements from notable figures like the CEO and President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), CEO and Chairman of EAA Jack Pelton and VP and Executive Director of the Heritage Flight Museum Greg Anders.
John "Lites" Leenhouts, a retired Naval aviator recently retired after serving as the President and Ceo of the Aerospace Center for Excellence for ten years. Greg Gibson, a brand management and marketing expert with a background in sales and marketing for auto racing, wireless technology and aviation is serving as the Vice President and COO. The board has already formed with industry members from organizations like the FAA and EAA.Membership benefitsThe organization is working on benefits for members, like a program that will enable Warbird owner or operators wishing to fly in an airshow the opportunity to have their aircraft evaluated in a centralized location around the country. The APWO will have active and ongoing communication with the FAA and the insurance industry to represent the best interests of its members.
Members can expect a group to advocate on their behalf and provide a space for all members of the group and Warbird community. APWO is still negotiating with industry providers for special pricing and discounts for members.
The primary focus of the group is to prioritize safety and professionalism for Warbird owners and operators. Find out more information on the APWO website today.