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Mourning the Loss of Richard McSpadden

It was with heavy hearts that we the learned of the loss of AOPA’s Richard McSpadden, EAA 1274897, who was an AOPA senior vice president and led the AOPA Air Safety Institute. Early reports are that Richard was flying right seat in a Cessna Cardinal which crashed shortly after takeoff in Lake Placid, New York, on October 1. While few details were immediately known about the accident, which also claimed the life of former NFL tight end Russ Francis, we do know a great deal about Richard and his impact on aviation safety.

“I had the great pleasure of working with Richard as he and I shared the industry co-chair role of the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC),” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s VP of advocacy and safety. “Over the past five years of working together on the GAJSC, Richard was always the consummate aviation professional. His extensive military and general aviation background provided a unique perspective on general aviation safety and allowed him to provide valuable insights and analysis. He would regularly challenge the status quo. Richard’s quest for improving the GA accident rate, coupled with his personable and humble demeanor, resulted in a team environment with a colleague that will be missed by all of us.”

We at EAA mourn the loss of Richard and extend our condolences to his family, coworkers, and friends at AOPA and throughout the industry.

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