I regret having to inform you that Mickey Bednar, known as AirNikon on Airliners.net, passed away last week. Mike was part of our Head Screener crew and the photographer on Airliners.net with the most photos accepted - 9,999 of them.
Mike was one of the first aviation photographers I came in contact with back in 1995 or 96 before I started Airliners.net. Back then, I ran a small site called "Pictures of modern airliners" where I collected photos of airliners that I found throughout the web. As a result of getting contacted by Mike and a handful of other photographers, I started a section called "Your Photos" where photographers could send in their own work to be displayed on the site. This section is what later evolved into Airliners.net. Mickey Bednar's amazing photography and enthusiasm for the hobby played an important part in growing Airliners.net during those early years. If you search through the photo database you will find many photos by Mike among the first hundreds of photos accepted to Airliners.net.
Mickey Bednar stayed loyal to Airliners.net through all these years and was a valuable support in times of turmoil. I remember the supportive emails he sent when things were tough. Here's an example from back in 2000 when the critique on upload standards was overwhelming. His "pep talk" really meant a lot to me.
It's a big loss for Airliners.net and a big loss for the aviation photography community.