We are deeply saddened by the news that Mr. Brad Marzari, affectionately known as “Launchpad”, has left this world. He was a well-known personality in an aviation world and a popular blogger. Unfortunately, his Focke-Wulf FWP 149D single-engine plane crashed a couple of miles short of the runway at Killeen’s Skylark Field and he didn’t survive the crash.

We will always remember Brad, the big loud boisterous American who turned up at our AirVenture display booth and brought us chocolates. His tragic passing is not lightened by the fact that it came about doing something he loved and was always ready to share.

He will be greatly missed by everybody.

Brad referred to himself as the Airplane Geeks’ “reporter at large.” Both a common news phrase while also humorously acknowledging his grand stature of a man.

We had a great relationship with Brad. He was always willing to assist anything to do with Pipistrel and he was always ready to help out at events such as AirVenture, AERO Friedrichshafen, Sun’N’Fun and others. He has been associated with our representative SALSA Aviation, a Pipistrel aircraft re-seller and a sales associate.

Every year at AirVenture Brad hosted a pizza party at the Pipistrel display area together with the Pipistrel-USA, the so-called “Pod-a-Palooza” gathering for media creators and generators, open to all accredited media, podcasters, podcast listeners, aviators, Pipistrel supporters and any aviation enthusiasts who dropped by. He invested a lot of time and effort into these events each year. The event grew year by year, not only in popularity but also in sponsorships. With each year, more and more companies would come out to provide door prizes and giveaways. It’s practically become an official AirVenture meal!

Pod-a-Palooza party in the year 2017

With barely 2 weeks before the start of AirVenture 2021, the crew of Airplane Geeks proposed to keep the event alive for 2021 in Brad’s memory.