Lawyer Pilot's Bar Association

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LPBA Summer 2003 Meeting
Big Cedar Lodge
Branson, MO

Convention Program - Including Speakers and Presentation Titles

Ozark Mountain Adventure

The Lawyer Pilots Bar Association held its summer 2003 meeting at Big Cedar Lodge in the Ozark Mountains near Branson, Missouri. About 110 members and guests enjoyed the mountain views, excellent facilities and great friends.

Big Cedar is a resort owned by Pro Bass Shops and is a most unique complex featuring rustic cabins, unique light fixtures and a decorating style utilizing animals, birds and fish from the area. Taxidermists do not go hungry in southwestern Missouri!

Our Wednesday night welcome party featured a 5 piece bluegrass band, Barbecue and a spectacular sunset viewed from the balcony. LPBA President Ed McConwell welcomed everyone and we were off to a great start. Special Thanks go to LPBA membership director Katie McConwell Moore for putting together such a great event.

Our Three-day Continuing Legal Education program was interesting and informative. On day one, Bill Blackard thoroughly confused and frightened us with his explainations of the tax laws regulating the use of aircraft. Captain Mark Goodrich provided a hard look at the response to Sept 11, as viewed from a cost/benifit perspective.

On day two, Spencer Ferrier, our enthusiastic member from Australia, provided a look at the development of the Australian legal system. His talk concluded with the Australian perspective of our war on terror. Courtney Nason, an expert on the aviation insurance market, briefed us on the state of the industry. He painted an unhappy picture for those who have to purchase aviation insurance, but pointed out the market has gone through this phase of a cycle before. John Yodice provided a much-needed update on airspace restrictions since Sept 11. Nonsense NOTAMS, new agencies and the unfortunate impact all of this has on general aviation was discussed. License revocation without prior notice or probable cause was one example mentioned as the architects of our aviation regulations mishandle the Sept 11 aftermath.

On Friday night many members of our group ventured into downtown Branson to see what all the fuss was about. Actually, a few of us got out of the bus and walked the last mile, having had our fill of Branson's infamous traffic jams. We attended the Dixie Stampede, a show produced by one of Dolly Partons companies. A dinner theater experience featuring horse riding exhibitions, animal races, audience participation and a bloodless reenactment of the American Civil War. The show ended with fireworks and American flags accompanied by recorded patriotic tunes sung by Miss Dolly. An enjoyable evening in a town world famous for overdone spectacles.

Saturday morning brought an early wakeup call for the spot landing contest. Point Lookout Airport (PLK), all 3,600 feet of it, is built on top of a mountain and features 500 foot drop-offs at the end of each runway. A few months before our arrival, Country star and pilot Mickey Gilley ran his Beech model 95 off the departure end of RWY 29. He was not injured, and you can read about it in the NTSB factual report. Wanting to avoid problems with density altitude and our participants preferring to avoid the searing afternoon heat, we elected to hold the event at daybreak.

Many thanks to Chuck Morrow for arriving early and meeting with airport officials who opened the gates and permitted vehicle access to the end of RWY 11. Airboss Jim Pokorny and ATC specialist Carla Eason soon had the event set up, and incoming LPBA president Tim Miller flew his Beechcraft around the pattern, landed, and declared the airport was "possibly VFR". A crew of over 25 observers arrived and we were ready for action.

At 6:47am the first aircraft was airborne, and the last of our field of 5 landed at 7:26am, giving us plenty of time to clean up the mess and get back in time for our CLE program at 9am. The flying demonstration (not a contest) went off without any problems, incidents or accidents. LPBA chooses challenging locations for these events, and our 2003 spot landing events brought us from a wet grass strip at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fl to Point Lookout's aircraft carrier style runway. Airboss Jim Pokorny placed the line a mere 400 feet from the downdraft plagued "fantail", just to keep things interesting.

The contestants, and their results are as follows:

Ed Booth,Jr.: Piper Arrow N56EB - First place overall.
Vincent Allen: Piper Warrior N9807C - Second Place overall, winner of the "normally aspirated, single engine, fixed gear category".
Gary Evans: Twin Commander N799CE - Third place overall, winner of the "normally aspriated twin engine category".
Tim Miller: Bonanza N36HL - Fourth Place overall, winner of the "Bonanza that is neither owned or flown by a physician category".
John Yodice: Twin Cessna N6830L - Fifth place overall, winner of the "turbocharged twin engine category".
The Tennis competition was run by Bill Wimsatt "The King of Jungle Tennis". The entire Rowedder Family took most of the honors from the Big Cedar Lodge tennis courts.
Our Champions were as follows:
First Place was won by Tracey (Mom) and Alex (Son) Rowedder
Runner-up was Deanes (Dad) and Alicia (daughter) Rowedder
Best of Show was garnered by Joyce Yokum and Ron Hofer
The Official Photographer was Bill Yokum, who promised to send Photos to
Ed Booth via the LPBA Web Page.

Golf and Trap Shooting events were also held.

Day three of our CLE program featured Gary Allen of the United States Department of Justice, Torts Branch, teaching that avoiding ethical dilemmas is no different that steering around the towering cumulus buildups. The unsavory behavior of attorneys who should have known better was analyzed in detail. Former NTSB chairman James E. Hall gave us an update on the workings of the NTSB. He described how accident findings and causes are resolved, and why some cases are scheduled for special review. We concluded with our business meeting, discussing future programs and who will lead them.

We spent many of our afternoons on Table Rock Lake. The marina at Big Cedar was busy during our stay, and the pontoon boats were out every afternoon. Diving off the tall limestone cliffs was fun, and the lake was a nice break from the hot mid-July temperatures.

Our meeting concluded with our Saturday Night Banquet. Awards were given and Tim Miller was installed as our 2003-2004 President. Special thanks went out to the entire McConwell family for their efforts in making Ed's term as our 2002-2003 President a very successful one.

LPBA President Tim Miller has big plans for the coming year. Join us at our Meeting in Tucson, Arizona on January 14-18, 2004.

Photographs by Ed and Palmer Booth

Click Here for Photo Gallery