Phenomenal Conference Sets Records
PHENOMENAL 2014 has just concluded at the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Resort, and by all accounts it was a great conference. Two conferences, actually -- for the first time, Embraer Executive Jets held its annual Phenom Executive Operators Conference in conjunction with PHENOMENAL, and the combined event set records for attendance --215 registrants; number of airplanes -- 33 at KCOE, Pappy Boyington Field; sponsorship -- 13 companies; and number of exhibitors -- 30.
Click image for 360 degree panorama
To a person everyone agreed that having the two conferences together is the way to go, so that is the plan for 2015.
Thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors for making the conference possible financially. Owners and opertors were not charged to attend, and sponsorship and exhibitor fees and auction proceeds helped make up the difference.
We need to coordinate with Embraer on a compatible date and venue for the 2015 combined conference, and we will announce the time and place as soon as we are able.
The event began with golfing and a Welcome Reception Wednesday and, of course, the only day in an otherwise spectacular weather week that featured rain was Wednesday. The pairings experienced some weather-related attrition, but those who did tee off enjoyed improving weather, a nifty Shambles format, and a great course, and prizes for the winners. Keith, Kristina, and Ryan Christensen were the top-scoring team with an 80, led by Ryan with a 69, the lowest individual score.
That evening everyone boarded the Coeur d'Alene for a sunset cruise to the Hagedorne Center and the conference Welcome Reception. Halfway through the cruise there was a surprise -- Jay Obernolte's Phenom 300 flown by Jay and his wife Heather, and Keith Christensen's Phenom 100 flown by his son Ryan with Greg Oswald crewing, streaked past the boat in a low-level flyby. On the second pass Ryan pulled and banked sharply out of the formation in a Missing Man tribute to Jim Frost, the founding president of the Phenom Jet Association, who died unexpectedly last February.
Betsy Frost attended the conference and was on the boat to see the flyby tribute. At the Phenom Jet Association dinner Thursday evening Keith Christensen showed a poignant collection of photos of Jim and Betsy, who took the first delivery of a Phenom in the United States and later flew it around the world. Betsy then took the microphone to give her own funny, sad, and memorable tribute to her husband. Jim was a special person indeed -- a passionate aviator, a leader by example, and loved by all. He will be missed.
But there was one more flyby to come. As soon as the two Phenoms cleared the area the new Embraer Legacy 500 appeared and pilots Sidney Rodrigues and Wesley Finamore banked steeply around the boat, showing its handsome planform to all. Embraer brought the Legacy, which is on the verge of FAA certification, to the conference for static display at Pappy Boyington Field. A very impressive airplane. Thanks, Embraer.
Click image for 360 degree panorama
The two conferences featured many worthwhile presentations on a variety of topics. We've put them in the "Events" section of the website for you to view. Go here to view the PHENOMENAL and EEOC presentations:
The annual PHENOMENAL conference is the best way to learn about all things Phenom, from service bulletins and upgrades and hands-on pilot procedures and techniques, to products and services to enhance your ownership. It's also where you'll meet lots of other Phenom owners, operators, and pilots to share knowledge and experiences. Don't miss PHENOMENAL/EEOC 2015.
Two New Directors and Re-Elects One
Phenom Jet Association members have re-elected Lou Meiners Jr. to a three-year term on the Phenom Jet Association Board of Directors, while David O'Maley and Hans Barbachano have been elected to inaugural three-year terms.
The new board met for the first time at the beginning of the Coeur d'Alene conference, and elected Keith Christensen as President of the Board. Keith was elected by the previous board last April to serve the unexpired term of Jim Frost, which concluded at the 2014 conference.
David is the owner-pilot of a Phenom 300, and Hans is the owner-pilot of a Phenom 100, as is Lou. The three sitting directors, whose terms expire at the 2015 annual conference, are Keith Christensen (Phenom 100), Olivier Demacon (Phenom 300), and Stephen Smith (Phenom 300).
Founding Director Retires from Phenom Board
If you are reading this then you frequent the Phenom Jet Association website. Hopefully you've explored the many information and product and service resources residing on this extensive site. How about the myPhenom flight calculator app? If you are a Phenom 100 or 300 pilot, you probably use this great free member benefit on every flight.
If you use either or both of these basic services, you can thank Ron Gruner. Ron, a founding director of the Association, decided not to run for re-election, and his term expired at the conference. Ron has devoted untold hours and labor to the Phenom Jet Association. He created and manages the website, and he created and manages myPhenom. He will continue to work with the Association as we transition to new website and myPhenom management, but he is intent on slowing down a bit and enjoying life with his lovely wife, Nancy.
Ron's brilliant technical knowledge, the passion he feels for his Phenom 100, and his sometimes contrarian but always insightful opinions will be sorely missed by the board, by the executive director, and by every past, present, and future member of the Phenom Jet Association.
Thank you, Ron, for your service to the Association.
Ron and Nancy celebrating another successful landing.