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I was embraced with great sadness when I heard that Ernie, W1BFA, passed away in the beginning of this year.
Believe it or not, Ernie had been a steady and welcoming signal on the 20 meter band, starting up his Air Traffic Control net, at 14279, every day, at 6am CET or 05:00UTC.
I never met Ernie but got to QSO with him starting back in the late '80s (together with KB1XN, Frank, whom I visited twice) and pretty much every month since then.
If ever I needed to know the propagation between Europe and the US all I needed to do is look out for his signal at 14279 and know what the band was like.
Over the years, I know he often fought with K1MAN (who hasn't?) for splatter issues due to the latter's 14275 "bulletin" transmissions. He loved and often spoke of his wife Phyllis, who passed away a few years previously. He had many friends in Europe, and especially the UK and Ireland.
Ernie was one of the air traffic controllers fired by Ronald Reagan so he never much to say about the ex-president.
Ernie was delightful to talk to and I will surely miss him.
I know at some point will all join him and hope he is peaceful and happy wherever he may be.
Contributed by: Peter Vekinis (KC1QF)
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