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Fri, Jul 13, 2018

ANN's 'Who's Who' At Oshkosh: Roland Delhomme

Introducing Staff, Stringers, Videographers, And People Who Make It All Work

Anyone who's ever been to Oshkosh knows that there are hundreds of events and activities as well as tens of thousands of people that descend (some quite literally) on Wittman Regional Airport in mid-summer. While we have a very hard-working and dedicated staff, ANN could not provide you with the extensive information we do without the help of some equally ... some might say more ... dedicated volunteers who give a week of their time to make sure you have the best possible coverage of the show. As we lead up to this year's edition of AirVenture, we'll be introducing you to the people that make all of that possible.

Roland Delhomme: Stringer/Photographer

'Raised by wolves in Tactical Air Command' is how Roland describes his early years; at age 5, he used to have run of the base where his father was stationed.  Spoiled by fighter pilots who encouraged his love of airplanes and fascination with the sky, he credits them with impetus to fly. A two time survivor of lightning, and many close brushes with tornadoes,  he explains his current penchant for engaging the weather before it engages him: It's my turn now."  He has been called upon to teach weather avoidance and risk management to a charter outfit with DoD and NASA contracts, and has on ground chase, done a close intercept of an F5 tornado. A harsh critic of government fraud, waste and abuse and the sometimes cozy relationship between FAA HQ and industry, he is committed to seeing US aviation and aerospace reach its fullest potential. On the status of US aerospace and aviation, he says: "The first email I ever sent was to Jim Campbell, over the outrageous treatment Bob Hoover suffered at the hands of a system exploited by abusers within; we have too much too offer the world for aviation in this country to be anything less than the world standard."

At age 5, his first cockpit belonged to fighter ace Billy G. Edens, who was flying the F-100 Super Sabre during his last tour; Roland says it was easier for the Colonel to keep him occupied and let the office run smoothly than let him pester his dad for more flying pubs and training docs. "I learned to read by poring over every manual, doc and pub I got my hands on from the base and asking what everything meant." Ruined for life by airplanes, sonic booms and  flying culture, Roland, the son of a 20 year USAF veteran, followed his father's footsteps into the USAF and later the Civil Air Patrol, twice serving in CAP as a deputy squadron commander, and holding qualifications as an ORM instructor, safety officer, flight release officer and ground team leader. "My father came here after WWII and joined the USAF to honor those young airmen his family in France helped to escape captivity. At the end of his career, he was serving under some of the same airmen who fought in the skies of his childhood. It is a privilege to keep their legacies and stories alive, as having lost many of my family to that war, they were my extended family growing up."

A private pilot and soaring nut with a love of aerobatics and warbirds, Roland also holds a Part 121 Dispatch ticket, and spends as much time as possible shepherding new pilots in their careers, adding much to their understanding of weather threats. A National Weather Service Advanced Skywarn spotter, he is often found documenting severe weather for his ongoing research in flight decision psychology, in which he delves into the structure of error and examines personal, organizational ethics' role in decision making.

When not fishing, cycling or chasing weather, Roland and his better half, Katherine, have been active with missionary group ITEC's Maverick Flying Car program. They call Jacksonville Florida home, where he serves as technologist for a small, stealthy startup company using sensors to map the architecture of error in high risk environments.



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