Spread Your Wings at AirVenture

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Gene "Bever" Borne

Reserve, Louisiana

My first taste of aviation was at age 8 with my dad in a low-wing Piper. That was also around the time I inherited the nickname “Bever” from my participation in the BSA. In 1976 I was exposed to what was then called “foot-launched” powered hang gliding. An 8 HP engine mounted on a simple lightweight flying machine. It was chaos from that point on. I became a dealer for the Eipper-Formance product line and there was no looking back. In 1978, we attended a powered hang glider competition in Appleton, Wisconsin. The following weekend we were at the Oshkosh Fly-In. A few months after that fly-in, Paul Poberezny invited a group of key players to his office in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He very accurately predicted the future of the EAA and the ultralight movement. A very humble man with a direct and stern view of sport aviation. I was honored to join his grassroots organization.

In the early 80s I was a principal partner at several ultralight (type) design/manufacturing companies while still operating our Quicksilver dealership. That was the time that I realized this hobby would evolve into a “real” business and career. The creation of FAR Part 103 was enacted and we finally had a legitimate “purpose.” 25 years later, I was an active participant in the development of the new SP/LSA rules.

Now, with thousands of flight hours in my logbook, most of which are from the right seat of open cockpit ultralight-type aircraft, I still have the passion to promote what started this unique industry. The acronyms started with USHGA Hang IV Hang Gliding Instructor, then SEL, SES, Tail Wheel, USUA Ultralight Instructor, SPCFI, DAR, and a hands-on working relationship with the FAA and NTSB. The state of Louisiana was one of the few states that implemented an operations and training syllabus for the ultralight vehicles. I was part of that evolution and was exposed to positive government interaction.

As a GA Airport Advisory Group president for 12 years I learned the importance of airport operations, regulations, and the co-mingling of various types of aircraft and personalities.

In 2015 we (Air-Tech, Inc.) relocated the production of the Quicksilver aircraft line to our facility in Reserve, Louisiana. On a daily basis, I deal with people all over the planet and understand the complex issues facing today's ultralight existence.

Gene "Bever" Borne

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