AEA Elects New Chairman, Vice Chairman, Board Members

The new AEA chairman is Gary Harpster and David Loso is the new vice chairman.


Mike LaConto, the director of avionics sales and service for Epps Aviation in Atlanta, Ga., was re-elected for a second three-year term. He was first elected to the AEA board of directors in 2010. Upon joining Epps in 1998, he worked as an A&P and then moved into the avionics department in 1999. He obtained GROL certification with radar endorsement from the Federal Communications Commission. He furthered his training and education as an autopilot specialist by obtaining certificates in electronic and computer networking from Clayton State University. LaConto has received his NCATT certifications (Aviation Electronics Technician, Communication, NAV and FOE) and A&P with inspection authorization.

Since 2007, LaConto has served as a member of the AEA Government and Industry Affairs Committee. He is on the Education & Training Advisory Committee for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Atlanta, and he is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Rick Peavley

Rick Peavley, the president of Vero Beach Avionics Inc. in Vero Beach, Fla., was re-elected for his third three-year term. He has served on the AEA board of directors since 2007, and also serves on the AEA Government and Industry Affairs Committee. Peavley began his aviation career in 1969, courtesy of the U.S. Navy. He attended the University of Kansas studying electrical engineering and worked for King Radio Corp. as a test technician. Following a three-year stint in Anchorage, Alaska, with Air Logistics, he transferred to Petroleum Air Services, a joint venture with Air Logistics, in Cairo, Egypt.

Moving back to the U.S. after two years, Peavley was the avionics manager for Crescent Airways in Hollywood, Fla., before moving to Sun Aviation Inc. in Vero Beach, as avionics manager. After nine years with Sun Aviation, he left to open his own avionics shop.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, the director of avionics for Banyan Air Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was elected to the board for the first time. Wilson has worked in the aviation industry for more than 34 years. He began his career in the U.S. Navy where he served for seven years performing line troubleshooting on various aircraft; then transferred to the Depot level where he troubleshot the black boxes to component level. Following his service, Wilson moved to South Florida as a radar bench technician and line troubleshooter. Prior to joining Banyan six years ago, he served in supervisory or management positions at Bombardier, Raytheon and Jet Aviation.

Wilson currently serves on advisory boards for Rockwell Collins, Satcom Direct and Aircell. He is a contributing editor for World Aircraft Sales magazine, focusing his articles on emerging technologies and has been a guest speaker on this subject at numerous conferences, both domestic and international.

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