Aviation luminary and long-time PAMA member Skip Koss passed away on March 19, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. Skip was 83 years young.
Skip started his aviation career at Detroit City Airport in the summer of 1949 where he enthusiastically washed and polished airplanes and swept hangar floors. He went on to attend Aero Mechanics High School and worked at the City Airport with every free moment because nothing could keep him away from airplanes. At 17, Skip passed his written exams for his FAA mechanic certificate but he had to wait until 18 to take his practical’s.
Skip went on to work for General Motors Air Transport section for 13 years as a Licensed A&P before becoming the DOM for Midwestern Airlines, Omni Aircraft Sales and Sunstream Jet Center. It was upon joining Aero Quality as the Sales Manager in 1973 where Skip began to foster his legendary knowledge of batteries, and worked closely with engineering expert Joe Mibelli of JFM Engineering, to develop the “Superseder”, the first charger analyzer that could charge and discharge high currents at low voltage.
After some time as Manager of OEM Sales at Teledyne Battery Products and later Marathon Power Technology, Skip joined Concorde Battery Corporation where he embraced the concept of lead acid batteries and took on the difficult task of convincing operators of the safety and merits of the new technology. His longstanding relationship with Lockheed’s Burbank Skunk Works facility allowed him the opportunity to introduce lead acid batteries which, unbeknownst to Skip until much later, were soon replacing the older technology batteries on the then classified F-117A Stealth being deployed in the Persian Gulf War.
This success opened the door to many more military applications and ultimately the commercial aviation markets, all of which Skip cultivated over his 30 years with Concorde.
Skip’s business prowess, eagerness to share his boundless knowledge and genuine caring spirit earned him celebrity status amongst his colleagues, customers, fellow PAMA members and all aviation
enthusiasts. Skip’s passion for aviation was second to none and he contributed much to the industry.
Skip was an active member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the FAA Aerospace
Committee for the development of US aircraft battery specifications, the EAA, and SoCal and National PAMA, donating endless hours to the education of mechanics and pilots.
Skip received the highest honor from the FAA in 2009 when he was awarded the prestigious Charles E. Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award by in recognition of his contributions to building and maintaining the safest aviation system in the world through practicing and promoting safe aircraft maintenance for 50 consecutive years. Skip was a visionary, a great industry leader and a friend to all he met. He will be dearly missed.
A Celebration of Life is being organized. Information will be made available through Concorde Battery as details are finalized.
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