|Hometown: Willow, Alaska
Hometown Airport: PAUO
Occupation: Flight Instructor
Education: BS Air Commerce
Pilot Certificates: ATP, CFI, CFII, SEL, SES, MEL, AGI, IGI, HELICOPER, GLIDER
Airplanes Flying/Flown: J3, DC9, B737, F4 Phantom, AH-1G Cobra, various light singles and twins
Education Specialty: tailwheel, spin/upset, basic aerobatics, off-airport, floats,skis
Q & A
|What drew you to aviation? The US Army. It sounded better than carrying a rifle. A better question is what drew me to general aviation. Attending airshows as a military pilot and watching Bevo Howard, Mary Gafney, and Art Scholl perform. When I finished flying the F4, I would go home and fly my J3.
How long have you been involved in aviation education? Over 40 years, but mostly training pilots in the Army and Navy. After I retired in 1992, and moved to Alaska (the flyingest state in the country), I got more involved with teaching in small aircraft.
What’s your favorite part of what you do in aviation education? Showing an experienced pilot something that they had not been exposed to before, just basic stick and rudder stuff, extreme slips and skids, or spins, and seeing them become a more safe pilot.
What’s your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education? Seeing other Alaska pilots, some personal friends, destroy their airplanes, and sometimes kill themselves, for lack of a few hundred dollars worth of training.
Do you have a memorable aviation experience you’d like to share? Watching the tracers come up and flash by the canopy like flaming footballs while firing rockets and miniguns on a night mission in Vietnam when I was 20 years old. Or a night catshot off the USS Coral Sea in an F4 Phantom in the Indian Ocean. Or calling the new flight attendants up front to see the St. Elmo’s on the windscreen, or to look at the beautiful lights of a city on a dark night. I won’t talk about the mid-air.
Why did you join SAFE? To belong to a group of like-minded aviation professionals who are passionate about flying and passing on their hard earned knowledge to others, in order to make them safer pilots.
What would you like to see change in aviation? I like Rich Stowell’s idea, to encourage a system offering separate paths, one for aspiring airline pilots, and the other for those who just want to experience the joy of flight, with little government interference.
Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished? Airlines could hire their pilots right out of college, like other countries do, and send them to an airline academy.
Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you’d like to mention? No, but I am enjoying passing on my skills to US Dept of the Interior pilots here in Alaska.
Who are your role models in aviation? How does Kirby Chambliss do that stuff?