Pilots: Big Mac pilot

Flying to his franchises

December 1, 2013

reggie webb

“Every single time I leave the ground, I’m looking forward to the next time,” says Reginald “Reggie” Webb, owner of a Lancair IV-P. Webb owns and operates 14 McDonald’s franchises in Southern California, and his business interests takes him all across the country. “When I have to travel,” he says, “my first choice is to fly my own airplane. Last year alone, I logged about 200 hours.”

Webb started flying in 1989 after a friend gave him a ride in a Cessna 182. He was hooked. “I just wanted to take on the challenge of flying,” he said. Webb earned his certificates, and eventually one of the pilots in the Cessna 182—which was owned by two partners—left the partnership, so Webb bought into it. Later, he moved on to a Piper Comanche 260.

But Webb wanted more speed, efficiency, and beauty in the airplane he owned. So he purchased a partially built Lancair in 2005 and completed it with the help of Lancair builder Roger Huffman. “I learned so much in the building process, and really, it’s wonderful being the manufacturer,” says Webb. “I also built the airplane to fit me. For example, the side stick is exactly the right height.” Webb completed the Lancair in 2007, and the airplane was everything he hoped it would be. Cruising at about 230 knots, it has a 1,000-mile range, perfect for flights to the Midwest and the East Coast.

Webb; wife, Rene; and grown children Karim, Kiana, and Kyle go on flying vacations. “My family flies with me, although not all at once—the Lancair only has four seats—mostly on short trips such as Las Vegas and Sedona,” he says. So far, his children have not taken up flying, but Kiana and Kyle would like to when time permits. Kiana is president of the family business, Karim has two Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, and Kyle is in the McDonald’s training program.

Webb plans to fly his Lancair to South America early in 2014, a trip he has been planning for many years. Even after 24 years of flying, Webb remains passionate about aviation. “I’ve never been in the air and had a problem I thought about,” he says. “There’s just so much to do in the cockpit, and it’s just so awe-inspiring. Sometimes, I think it’s unbelievable it’s me up there. But I’m glad it is.”

Logbook

Who | Reginald “Reggie” Webb

Flight time | 1,075 hours

Ratings | Private pilot, instrument-rated

Aircraft | Lancair IV-P

Airport | Learned to fly at Brackett Field in California