Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Memoriam: John Lane

If you know anything about aviation in the Dayton/Cincinnati area, you probably have at least heard about John Lane. He flew for decades, served as a Designated Pilot Examiner, was a recipient of the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and founded what is known today as Lebanon/Warren County Airport (I68) in 1956. Today we are sad to hear he has passed away at the age of 87.

I met him in person a couple times and have heard countless other stories about his skill and personality. He was at home inside an airplane, an incredible pilot - and was rumored to have occasionally introduced a student to spins in a 172 on their checkrides. Outside the cockpit he was one of the nicest people you have ever met, always friendly and willing to chat. They ran a great article about him in the Cincinnati paper last December - I encourage you to read it.

Blue skies and tailwinds, John.
In the rear seat of the restored 1946 Aeronca Champ sat John Lane, carrying with him virtually the entire history of aviation in Warren County.
Lane, 87, was on board the single prop airplane last summer as license examiner for Alaina Kappner, who was celebrating her 17th birthday by earning her sports pilot license at the Warren County Airport near Lebanon.
There was a circle of life tinge to the pairing of the young schoolgirl and the veteran instructor, who essentially built the airport from scratch – with a little star-power help along the way.


  1. Indeed. We lost a giant of a man, and we are the poorer for it. God Bless John Lane.

  2. Nice post Steve. John Lane was one of a kind. He lived a great life and was respected by everyone in the aviation community (and yes that was a great article a few months ago).

  3. I got my CFI from John Lane 20 years ago. We used to fly on Saturday mornings. What I remember most was doing spin training with John in his Cessna 150. He was a great pilot. I will always remember training with John on those Saturday mornings. John was what aviation is all about.