Another fallen star of the Romanian aviation! The aviation community is in tears. Dan Ștefănescu was a top class pilot engineer, who fascinated us with his evolutions. There is so much left to learn from him. At the Aerobatic Yakers Aerodrome, pilots came to achieve flying techniques to manage critical situations. After theory, they practiced with Dan in his Yak-52. I met there a F-4 US pilot, Vietnam veteran. He explained why did he take Dan’s course, in spite of his many flight hours: after retirement he started to fly smaller airplanes. He had an incident in a flat spin, and taking some luck to get out, and now he wanted to learn the recovering technique from a master. The supply of pilot courses worldwide in plentiful, but just a few regard the high class flying. The Safety Demo courses of the Bănești Aerodrome saved many pilot lives and allowed many pilots to improve their flying technique in limit manoeuvres. The Aerobatic Yakers aerodrome is located close to the Aurel Vlaicu monument. When I was flying with Dan over the monument, in spite of the loud engine noise, I felt in the headphones the emotion in his voice, speaking of Aurel Vlaicu, about his accident when attempting to cross Carpathians in flight. The legacy of Aurel Vlaicu was the passion for flight, combining high class flying with aeronautical engineering, and winning world class pilot competitions, in times when only the most powerful nations participated. We consider that Dan Ștefănescu is a modern Aurel Vlaicu: top class pilot and engineer, inventor and leader, but also patriot. Let us preserve from Dan Ștefănescu this flame of passion for aviation, and honour his memory, of a man of integrity, brave, patriot, willing to teach others but also to learn more. The competence and professionalism of Dan Ștefănescu were epical, so this accident on 26 March 2022 is impossible to explain for our aviation community. Dan Ștefănescu was a way opener, a creator of value, and a successful entrepreneur. Why the best of us have to leave us so early?

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