The son of an Air Force fighter pilot, Rod Lewis was an amateur mechanic long before he was a pilot and an oilman. As a child, he fondly recalls playing with airplane parts and tools that mechanics would leave lying around the air base hangars. He started building models of WWII fighters and bombers, dreaming of flying the real thing one day. Rod inherited his father’s passion for thrills and as a young adult he spent time riding motorcycles and modifying car engines to make the cars go faster. Soon he was in the air taking flight instruction. From his first plane purchased in 1981, an old hand-cranked Aeronca Chief, his collection would grow over 38 years to include 48 aircraft, most of them the classic WWII warbirds that fly as the Lewis Air Legends, branded in 2008. As an accomplished fixed and rotary wing pilot, Rod is qualified in both jet and prop driven aircraft. He personally flies each and every one of his aircraft, but the old fighters and bombers are his favorites, like Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning rescued after 50 years from 268 feet of Greenland ice, the only survivor of the Lost Squadron, restored to near-factory condition. For business trips, he currently flies a Dassault Falcon 7X. In 1978, Rod went to work in the oil industry, starting as a gauger. He bought his first well in 1982, and the international oil and gas empire that is now Lewis Energy Group was born. Today Lewis Energy employees over 1,500 people and has operations in Texas, Louisiana, Mexico and Colombia. A believer in giving back to the community, Rod is passionate about philanthropic causes such as education, cancer research and children’s services. He supports organizations both locally and nationally through his family foundation and Lewis Energy Group. When this pilot and captain of industry has a moment to spare, he spends time hunting, fishing, boating and traveling. He also serves as a Board Emeritus for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
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