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Remembering Reinaldo Beyer

Competition Aerobatics

The aerobatic community was saddened by the loss of Advanced World Aerobatic Team member Reinaldo Beyer on September 8. According to initial reports, Beyer was attempting to bail out of his aircraft after suffering a mechanical failure, but his parachute failed to deploy in time.

Beyer's name may be familiar because he had recently contributed to Sport Aerobatics magazine. One of his stories is reproduced in its entirety in this issue in order to highlight his wonderful sense of humor and to show just how dedicated to the sport he truly was.

Beyer was an accomplished cardiologist, but his passion for flying was a lifelong one. The following details of his life are from the USA Advanced Aerobatic Team website: "His first flight was at age 3 in his uncle's Piper TriPacer. As many kids have done, he built and flew (and crashed) many airplane models during his childhood. He still enjoyed flying RC airplanes and gliders.

"He started flying gliders at age 16 in his native Chile. He got introduced to aerobatics in gliders, flying the Blanik L-13 and Pilatus B-4 as a teenager. He initially obtained his power-airplane rating mostly to tow gliders.

"He competed in soaring contests in higher-performance sailplanes and had some memorable flights for his silver, gold, and diamond soaring badges. He acquired experience as a glider instructor and tow pilot for several years.

"Time and financial constraints during medical training forced a hiatus in flying for a very long time. He engaged in competitive small sailboat racing for several years. His wife, knowing how important flying was for him, presented him with the gift of a pilot refresher course. After having an established medical career as an interventional cardiologist in San Diego, the couple bought a Mooney 201 and later a Mooney Bravo.

"His enjoyment of aerobatics prompted him to take an aerobatic course as a flight review. He started competing in a Decathlon, which led to him later buying a Pitts S-2C in which he competed in Sportsman and Intermediate categories. An Extra 300L met his demands for the advanced category."

Reinaldo was team captain of the Advanced World Aerobatic Team in 2010, and he finished 33rd in this year's FAI World Advanced Aerobatic Championships.

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