The shock waves sent through the aviation industry at the news of James Hoblyn’s untimely death continue to rock our office. How could someone so vibrant and fit be gone so suddenly? Nothing about the news seems right or fair.

As president of Bombardier Customer Services and Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft, Mr. Hoblyn championed the Amazing Customer Experience initiative for all of Bombardier Aerospace, aftermarket services for business, commercial, specialized and amphibious aircraft. A tall order. But he was a tall man. To know, Mr. Hoblyn was to look up to him.

We first met Mr. Hoblyn in the late ‘90s when he joined Bombardier Aerospace and interacted with him when he was serving as managing director of Flexjet Europe (now Skyjet International). He continued to serve in positions of increasing responsibility: VP, marketing sales operations and asset management for Regional Aircraft; VP, contracts, flight demonstration operations, marketing, sales support, strategic planning and product planning; SVP for Bombardier Business Aircraft customer experience. Whatever the challenge, Mr. Hoblyn rose to meet it. And he brought others along with him.

We will be joining our friends at Bombardier in a moment of silence Thursday, July 7 at 9:00 (CDT). Together, we remember a man not soon forgotten.