Northern LA Field Director: David Lewis
Email David: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call David: 318-880-7787
David Lewis got his start in aviation at a very young age. His father was an Aeronautical Engineer who designed guidance systems on missiles and transport aircraft. From a young age David was exposed to aviation thru the EAA. He attended almost all yearly gatherings at AirVenture Oshkosh.
In 1983 David started his flying lessons at Capitol Drive Airport in Brookfield, Wisconsin. His training continued when he joined the US Army as a Warrant Officer right out of High School. His Army career took him from Ft Rucker to Ft Campbell to Ft Eustis to Korea and Germany.
David attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and obtained a Business Management and Professional Aeronautics Degrees in 1992, during which time he continued to pursue fixed wing ratings by getting his BGI, Commercial ASEL, AMEL, Instrument and CFI. Many operators benefited from his talents until Mesa Airlines hired him as a pilot for the BE1900D and CRJ. The opportunity to expand his career came when he accepted a pilot position with the US Marshal Service to fly Boeing 737s and MD-80 aircraft for the transportation of prisoners and illegal aliens throughout the Americas. David’s career took another turn when he flew King Airs in Afghanistan supporting the Military. Currently he flies S-76 Helicopters for PHI in the Gulf of Mexico.
David has logged over 19,000 hours of flight time and is type rated in the BE300, BE1900, B737, CL-65, DC-9 with an Airline Transport Pilot Multi Engine Airplane and Rotorcraft including a fixed wing CFI, CFII, MEI and CFI Rotorcraft ratings. To his merit, he is the Lead FAAST Representative for Louisiana. As a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol, he created the Surrogate Predator Program that supports training of soldiers at Fort Polk. This program is the largest program that CAP has been involved with since WW2 and has been expanded to 2 other locations nationwide.
Among all of his credentials, David’s true love of flying was realized when he purchased his 1952 PA-19 (Army L-18C). Within 1 year David put the “Mistress” on floats and life has never been the same.
Soon after, Cubs Floats and Fun started operations at the Pineville, LA airport (2L0). This school was created to bring the world of seaplane flying to all pilots, not as a seaplane “mill”, but a truly one-on-one life-changing experience. “This is so much FUN!” is the repeated consensus of all his students.
David is highly active at his local airport and was able to secure additional funding for a new seawall and ramp through the support of past students and the State of Louisiana. To this day David continues to encourage new students and enjoys opening the world of seaplane flying to anyone whenever he gets the chance. If you attend the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, head over to the seaplane base where you can find him and the “Mistress”.
David is married to Sandra Lewis, who was at first skeptical of the “Mistress” until she experienced the enjoyment of landing in the water just to take a dip and greet the curious onlookers. David has 2 children: Erika, who is the mother to his only granddaughter, Gabbi, and David C (DC or JR), who shares his dad’s love of aviation and is also a seaplane pilot, CFI. The entire family loves to get away in the “Mistress” and enjoy the many lakes and rivers around the south.
Field Director: Lyle Panepinto
Email Lyle: email@example.com
Lyle's father Phillip Panepinto was the founder of Southern Seaplane Inc. Growing up in the family business, Lyle's interest in flying began at a very early age. At the age of 17, Lyle got his private license in a C-172 on floats. He acquired his land rating when he got his commercial certificate. Lyle has been flying for Southern Seaplane for over 40 years. logging in over 17,000 seaplane hours. In 2007, he and his wife Rhonda, purchased the family business from his father and brother making them sole owners of Southern Seaplane Inc. Currently Lyle is the President and Director of Operations for Southern Seaplane Inc. Lyle is also currently check airman for the FAA and has recently completed initial part 1 for the Designated Pilot Examiner.
Lyle has earned the following Certificates and Ratings: Airline Transport Certificate, Airplane Multi-Engine Land, Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Flight Instructor, Instrument Airplane, Company Instructor Pilot and Check Airman, Seaplane Industry Check Airman for the FAA (on C-180, C0185, C-206, and DHC-2 amphibians), and Designated Pilot Examiner (Initial part1 complete). Lyle is also the Founder/Director of the Seaplane Institute. He has been a member of the Seaplane Pilots Association since 1976, is the SPA Board of Directors Vice President, and is currently the SPA Field Director for Louisiana.