Verne Jobst Gone West

Verne Jobst died peacefully in McHenry,
 Illinois on February 13, 2024, at the age of 92.
Verne Jobst was one of IAC’s longest-serving 
presidents, holding office from 1973 to 1978. 
At that time, the IAC was set on a rapid growth path, 
and this was encouraged, enhanced, and made
possible by Verne’s energy and relentless devotion 
to the IAC and the sport. He loved the club, what it represented, the people in it. They loved him 
as well.

In 1970, Verne was one of the earliest members of the IAC having joined in the first few weeks of the club’s formation. He went on to make a significant impact on the development of the IAC in its formative years.
IAC’s first official publication was at first a newsletter, but in the fall of 1971 Sport Aerobatics magazine was published for the first time. Verne was its first editor and continued in that position until the fall of 1973. Starting from scratch, and with a big emphasis on the people involved in this dynamic sport, Verne operated independently and much on his own to bring articles and photographs to this fledging publication. Without Verne’s energy and enthusiasm, it would have been difficult to bring the magazine to life.

1973 Verne Jobst transitions into the IAC presidency.
(Photo: Left to right)
Verne, Bob Heuer, 
Mike Heuer (incoming Vice President), and
Bob Davis (Outgoing Vice President).

When Bob Heuer (IAC’s first president) retired in 1973, Verne was persuaded to take over as the club’s second president, an office in which he served for five years. During that time, the IAC’s chapter network expanded, the contest schedule bloomed, and the membership grew. Much of the IAC’s growth during this time was due to Verne’s leadership, incredible skill in communication; both in writing, by telephone, and in person.
Although the president’s responsibilities affected his ability to fly as much as he loved, Verne was an active competition pilot in the Advanced category flying a Pitts Special S-1S (N714H).

1974 IAC Rules Committee.
Verne on the fence, far left.

In 1971, Verne sat down with Bob Davis and Mike Heuer to create the rules for IAC’s Achievement Awards program. The program recognizes pilots for their aerobatic skills, both outside and within competition. Today, the number of pilots who have been awarded the achievement award patches, pins and decals number in the thousands.

While still president of IAC, Verne undertook what he would agree was one of the highlights of his aviation career; he became the principal pilot on the replica “Spirit of St. Louis” that EAA had built from scratch. Beginning in the summer of 1977, Verne undertook a 48-state tour of the USA which followed the footsteps of Charles Lindbergh’s tour of the country in 1927. Today, Verne holds the record of having more hours logged in the replica than any other pilot. Later he toured with the airplane in Mexico, Canada, and France. He even landed at the Le Bourget airport just as Lindbergh had done on May 21, 1927.

After leaving the presidency in 1978, Verne continued on the IAC board of directors, and also joined the EAA board where he served for many years. Additionally, he headed up the airshow operation at EAA AirVenture for 33 years and was always on hand to fly museum aircraft.

1978: The IAC Board of Directors. Verne seated second from right.

Verne was inducted into the IAC Hall of Fame in 2020. See the induction ceremony video.