Few names are more recognizable to Beechcraft owners than Neil Pobanz, who served for nearly 20 years as a technical advisor to the American Bonanza Society. Pobanz made many contributions to general aviation, including service as an FAA safety team leader, mentor, and tireless aviation advocate. Pobanz died May 26, surrounded by family, following complications from a week-long hospital stay. He was 73.
A 2006 inductee in the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame, Pobanz was a fixture for many years at EAA AirVenture, where he volunteered in the emergency repair barn. He was also a Civil Air Patrol leader, a ground instructor, and manager of Marshal County Airport in Lacon, Ill., since 1985. He previously owned and operated an FBO at the airport, which was recognized under his management as the state’s GA airport of the year.
“It was a rare day he was not at the Lacon, Ill., airport to help pilots or just be a welcoming ambassador for aviation,” wrote ABS Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Tom Turner in a remembrance. “He was also very active in local emergency preparedness and Illinois state aviation boards. Neil will be greatly missed.”