I've had the pleasure of knowing and flying with Lynn Weller for many years, and was as shocked and stunned as anyone to hear of his tragic accident on 13 October 2011. I had the pleasure of flying with Lynn in his early soaring days, and watched him grow in knowledge and capability as he earned his Commercial and Flight Instructor ratings over the years.
As we both progressed in the sport of soaring, Lynn was always the first to help with a sailplane issue, or to help with cross-country support or help rigging the club's or other pilot's sailplanes. Lynn had a dream to acquire a high performance two-place sailplane, where he could enjoy the sport of soaring and share it with others. That dream became a reality for Lynn, as he was able to acquire a new DG-1000 in late 2003. I checked out in a DG-1000 in Lake Tahoe, and brought that knowledge back to sign off Lynn in his personal DG-1000 in November 2003.
Lynn and his DG-1000 became Northwest Eagle Soaring, as he spent innumerable weekends exposing hundreds and hundreds of people to the joy of soaring. Lynn continued to instruct in the Boeing and Evergreen Soaring clubs, while always being the one to help out with problems and provide knowledge and experience to students. Lynn and I enjoyed team cross-country flying at Ephrata, and learned the ropes of soaring contest competition in his beautiful ship.
If you knew Lynn on the ground, you would say he had a quiet, personal character. But in the air, Lynn was in his element, enjoying the feel of his bird in the rising thermals, very much at one with the airplane and able to sense the tiniest bit of lift or change in the character of the sky. In our team flying, we always handed off the controls after climbing to the next thermal, teaching and learning each other's subtle techniques on every flight.
Lynn's dedication and work ethic are legendary, and I often remember him as the first person on the airfield, and often the last to leave at the end of the day. He was constantly volunteering at the Museum of Flight, the Northwest Aviation Expo and other venues to promote soaring.
Lynn - as a friend and aviator, I salute you. We know you'll be marking a thermal for us from above. You will be missed!