Remembering Skip Koss

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of Skip Koss last week. If you ever had the opportunity to meet Skip, you know that he forgot more about aircraft batteries than the rest of us could ever hope to learn. Skip worked for Concorde Batteries until his retirement in 2017. He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to batteries. I can't begin to imagine how many fellow A&Ps and pilots he had helped over the years.

Skip graciously helped me anytime I needed to do some research on the topic of aircraft batteries. He also took time to chat and update me on anything battery-related any time I would see him.

One such time was when I was walking around the show floor at Aero Friedrichshafen in 2006. As I walked up to Concorde Battery's booth, I saw that Skip was there, so I decided to stop and say hi. There wasn't anyone at the booth at that moment, and he invited me to have a seat and offered me a bottled water. He started to share his thoughts on an aircraft crash that the NTSB had just ruled on. The crash was a result of a battery failure. The pilot requested a GPU start because of a dead battery. The aircraft took off, but crashed shortly thereafter. The NTSB ruled that the battery didn't get enough of a charge with the GPU start. The alternator couldn't keep up with reguired charging for normal operation. Skip took the time to stress how important proper battery maintenance was.

As we were wrapping up our conversation, a young man walked up to the booth. I didn't want to interrupt Skip's time talking with a customer. I said, "Thank you for your time," shook his hand and got up. As I started to leave, the young man looked at me and asked, "Are you Joe Escobar?" "Yes," I replied. "It's YOU I would like to talk to," he said. I looked over to Skip, and he had what I would describe as a bewildered look on his face. 

As it turned out, the young man was a fairly new AME who worked at a nearby airport. He wanted to share how much he enjoyed the magazine, and also asked for advice for a successful career in aviation maintenance. We chatted for around 20 minutes.

If only he would have known how much more he could have learned in those 20 minutes talking to Skip about aircraft batteries!

I am thankful to have known Skip. I have missed seeing him at trade shows and conferences since his retirement. Thoughts go out to his family, friends and aviation associates. 

You can learn more about Skip's career by clicking on Concorde Battery's news release HERE.

Thanks for reading.

Joe Escobar

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