Francis Donaldson Plans To Step Down As LAA Chief Engineer


 

Francis Donaldson BTech, CEng, FRAeS

 

 

After more than 30 years in post, Francis Donaldson has announced plans to relinquish the post of LAA Chief Engineer later this year. Francis will become involved in other external projects, but will remain contracted to the Association to provide specialist services and expertise on a consultancy basis.

 

The change is set to come into effect from late 2021, following the appointment of an Engineering Director to manage and oversee the activities of the LAA Engineering Department. A recruitment advert for the new post will appear shortly.

 

“I have overseen the Engineering Department of the LAA/PFA through a period of enormous change. When originally recruited, back in 1990 there were no RVs or Rotax 912s on the PFA fleet, the Europa was just a glint in Ivan Shaw’s eye, and Mrs Thatcher was the Prime Minister. Pre e-mail and pre-internet, the Engineering Department’s total assets were two engineers, one secretary, three telephones, a typewriter, a FAX machine plus a small number of filing cabinets. Contrast that with today’s scenario with nine engineers and two admin staff, plus external Quality Manager, external Contract Design Engineer, and an external Chief Test Pilot, looking after a fleet of four times the size and aircraft of greatly enhanced size and complexity” said Francis. “I’m looking forward to, at the end of the year, moving into an advisory role in order to provide continuity and technical expertise, while giving myself the freedom to do other things, not least finishing the rebuilds on my two aeroplanes, and doing some flying !”

 

“It inevitably marks the end of an era both for Francis and the LAA, but the good news is that Francis will be continuing to work with us in future years,” says LAA CEO Steve Slater. “Francis is perhaps the most familiar name and face to many LAA members and has acted as a guide and mentor to many since 1990. His depth of knowledge, both theoretical and practical, is unrivalled and we owe Francis a huge debt of gratitude for his past work, as well as looking forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”

 

Light Aircraft Association

4th May 2021