Aviation people who influenced me

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BJC

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Dominic’s comments in the Bob Hoover thread,
The world seems to be a hard place to easily find these kind of great humans now.....I’m sure they are there!
They will never blow their own trumpets, they will away shy from recognition... but they are there!

When you find one, hold them in great care for with out their spirit we are surely lost as humans.

Bit deep maybe, but hell Im 3 beers in and soaking in a bath! 😂
spurred me to start a new thread where we can share the names of aviation people, famous or unknown, who have positively influenced us through personal contact or through their writings.

For me, there are many, but I will start with Duane Cole. I read his booklet, Roll Around a Point to improve my selt-tought aerobatics back when instructors for aerobatics were few and far between. Then I met him, and helped him do some routine maintenance on his airplane at Fond du Lac and talked aerobatics. That experience was repeated a year or two later. I really appreciated the time he took to explain a few things to me, and found him to be very pleasant. Years later, I learned from some airshow performers that Duane had a reputation for being very gruff, but I never experienced that.


BJC
 

Dana

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Duane Cole was a class act. I met him at an airshow in Pennsylvania where I had flown in in my red and white T-Craft, and he of course was performing in his red and white T-Craft, we had a nice conversation.

Richard Bach's early writings, before he went all woo-woo New Age mystic, had a big effect on the direction my own flying took.
 

BJC

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I had a conversation with Richard Bach, circa 1975, about his Rapide. That was before, as you say, he went mystic. He is different. I enjoyed all of his books.

Speaking of going mystic, have you read John Roncz’s book, An Engineer’s Guide to the Spirit World?


BJC
 

Pops

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John Roncz-- yes.

So many, and Duane Cole was one. Bevo Howard, Art Scholl, Bob Hoover, C taylor ( designer of the T craft ).
Ray Shamblin,a flight instructor since 1937 in land, seaplane, and sailplane and homebuilder that took me under his wings and started teaching me with the intention of getting all of my ratings from day one.
Ernie Jackson, gave me my first airplane ride at 13 years old and took over from Ray Shamblin after my PP. Retired B-52 pilot from 1953. ( they ganged up on me) :)
Benny Mallory- Old friend and flying buddy. Owner of Mallory airport, AF Fighter Pilot, FAA check pilot.
 

N804RV

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Ha! The guy that got me interested in anything to do with airplanes was a Navy Combat SAR crew chief named "LC" Johnson.

I started out as a typical kid, building airplane models and absolutely crazy about the Apollo space program. But, somewhere along the way all that got lost and forgotten about.

By the time I was 18, I decided to join the Navy and, when I took the ASVABs, the recruiter hard sold me on the Avionics Tech rating.

When I got to my first duty station, I met "LC". He was such a crazy, irreverent character , and a true decorated Viet Nam era war hero, I decided I wanted to be just like him. So, I volunteered to fly as an enlisted aircrewman. Because of that, I rediscovered that early childhood fascination of all things aviation and flying.

I tried to get into an "upward-mobility" program and even applied for the Navy's LDO Aviator program. But, I just did not have the school grades. So, I started flying through the Navy's flying club program.
 

Pops

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My first love of aviation was when GA started flying just after WW-2 . I would be playing out in the yard and bi-planes would be sky-writing "Coke Cola" over the town. So on the Sunday drive that we would always take, I wanted to go to the airport that was about 3 miles away. Instant airport bum.
 

Chilton

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First was Morris Pickford, my godfather, a South African who joined the RAF in WW2 and flew Short Stirling heavy bombers, retired as a Wing Commander. When I remember him he was instructing at Jersey Aero Club, lost his UK Commercial ticket for leaving wheel marks on the roof of a car parked in the wrong place at the airshow .

Another was Alex Henshaw, record breaker and war time test pilot, I was looking after a DH Dragonfly at an airshow when Alex came and asked to visit the cockpit having used one as a communications hack in the war. We spent a considerable time chatting in the plane before he left and I found him great comany, he had a reputation as a harsh man however.

Probably the most effect on my career though was John Buttler who was chief engineer where I had my first summer job, he taught me a huge amount about maintenance and about respect for the job, he had worked all over the world during his career and learned most of the stupid things apprentices could do.

Toon Ghose, instructor, curry chef, supporter of a small school in India. He was a true gentleman, and taught me a lot about aviation which did not involve flying.

Another of the industrys gentlemen was John Lewry,, tail gunner on a Wellington in WW2, shot down and imprisoned in Vichy france, post war he flew joy rides from Blackpool beach in a Fox Moth for many years and in the winter taught figure skating to young ladies in Switzerland, mayn years later having acquired a Tripacer and with his sight fading he gave me many hours of flying as a way to get airborne himself.

Sorry for the long post, memories running away with me!
 

TFF

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My Dad. Quintessential kid learning to build model airplanes in the 40-50s. Went to the Navy and worked on F9F8s in the late 50s early 60s and worked at Lockheed, Marietta GA Calculating out C5 stuff on a slide rule while going to GT. Took me to airshows and showed me how to build models.
That of course made me perk up to a couple of great uncles in WW2 one dealt with bombers in the Pacific and as an attaboy got to fly P-51s escorting B-29s. Moose to the family. B-17s to ICBMs. Another flew as FO towing gliders to Normandy, another career guy Jimmy. Another although had wings only flew enough to become a flight surgeon in the Marines. VMF 214 JM. He had at least a handle on the stories. Although my dad taught me to build models, I wanted to learn RC. Marshall helped with that along with Lester, who had the best hobby shop in the world. To keep motivated with some friendly competition, my best friends in school David and Thornton were doing the same. The last 15 years with a dream job with Wayne. Allowed me use of the company helicopter. Of course I’m simple and was fine just flying around for the fun of it on occasion, but it was there.

The famous ones are easy, they are famous.
 

Victor Bravo

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My cousin Marshall, the family stoner, who rented a 150 at Van Nuys and gave me a ride when I was 13. My mom would have killed him.
Frank Tallman, the famous movie stunt pilot, who took me for a ride in a B-25 bomber (also when I was 13). Done... instant airplane addict.
My first glider instructor, Jim Jenista, who had flown the Navy's piston engined, carrier-based, nuclear bomber, the AJ-2 Savage. First glider lesson, and we thermalled right off of tow up to 12,000 feet looking down on the 727's climbing out of Vegas. Done... instant glider addict.
Joe Greenbaum, a nice old guy and sailplane pilot, who finally talked me into following him out of gliding distance from the airport. Done, instant sailplane cross-country addict.
Ross Briegleb, US National soaring champion, who used a twig drawing in the sand at El Mirage airport, and explained to me why I was having trouble figuring out how to make my sailplane climb well. Done... instant sailplane racer.
Rick Wagner, a very talented sailplane repairman and race tuner, who taught me about how composite airplanes are built and repaired.
Fred Carlson, who started out as a wing walker in the 1920's, and was "the old guy at the airport" who watched over me as I learned how to turn a wrench.
Roger Sturgess, who taught me as much about aircraft engineering as you possibly can without calculus.
Ray Cote, the famous air race pilot, who gave me my first race pilot briefing, and said "you're new... you'll do everything they tell you to do for a little while". Done... instant pylon race addict.
Ron Weiss, a"real deal" rock and roll lead singer (screaming girls and everything), whose wedding ceremony I performed, and whose eulogy I had to deliver three weeks to the day later, teaching me to never not listen to my gut. (I never should have let him buy that Lancair) Done... instant "cranky old guy at the airport" who lectures everyone about what can go wrong in an airplane.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Dominic’s comments in the Bob Hoover thread,
spurred me to start a new thread where we can share the names of aviation people, famous or unknown, who have positively influenced us through personal contact or through their writings.

For me, there are many, but I will start with Duane Cole. I read his booklet, Roll Around a Point to improve my selt-tought aerobatics back when instructors for aerobatics were few and far between. Then I met him, and helped him do some routine maintenance on his airplane at Fond du Lac and talked aerobatics. That experience was repeated a year or two later. I really appreciated the time he took to explain a few things to me, and found him to be very pleasant. Years later, I learned from some airshow performers that Duane had a reputation for being very gruff, but I never experienced that.


BJC
30 + years ago my two flight instructors both now sadly gone.
Roland Palma and Pete De Jager. Both pilots pilots and extremely skilled as aviators. Another one then I'm afraid we'll soon sadly pass tho not a flight instructor, Gene Zander. a mentor who has forgotten more about Aviation than I will probably ever know. A true friend indeed. There are many more but these three stand out and if I have met others out there that are reading this please know how important all of you have been to me and are. Now that I am in my upper 50s and pushing 60 with some experience to share I hope I am honoring those that have past and those that are still with us.
Doran Jaffas
 

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Pops

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Pushing 60 :) My daughters age ( yesterday was her birthday) Just a snot nosed kid :) Where did time go while I was having fun ?
 

Doran Jaffas

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Pushing 60 :) My daughters age ( yesterday was her birthday) Just a snot nosed kid :) Where did time go while I was having fun ?
Hey Pops! Good to hear from you again.
I'm 59. Still a kid at heart anyway. I get this grin on my face every time I walk in to my hangar. After that my mental capacity goes kaput. Still can't believe after all these years that I fly oh, well sort of, my airplane does the flying I'm just a well-informed passenger I hope.
I talk to it and I swear sometimes it answers me back. I'm sure we are both good friends. Had a lot of fun in the past but I'm figuring on another 45 years and many more memories!
 

Hot Wings

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My story is a bit different. No one really inspired or mentored me.

My maternal grandfather - took me out to the airport a few times and parked near the end of the runway (we could do that back then) where we would lay on the hood and watch the airplanes. There was FAR more aviation activity in those days then there is now at the same facility. He built boats but didn't fly. I know now that it was most likely due to his medical condition.

My father - helped me build models and kept a P-51 service manual in his night stand that I would sneak a look at occasionally. He was a WW2 Air Force mechanic but didn't really encourage my aviation interests.

My siblings - always managed to destroy my models before first flight..........a pattern that has seemed to follow my aviation interests to this day.
 

flyinut

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Art Scholl
Bob Hoover
Duane Cole (he used my medical/waiver when he lost his medical)
Steve Wolf (couple of BFR’s in Samson)
Clint McHenry (worked with him @ PAC, on US Team in 1988/1990)
 
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BJC

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Art Scholl
Bob Hoover
Duane Cole (he used my medical/waiver when he lost his medical)
Steve Wolf (couple of BFR’s in Samson)
Clint McHenry (worked with him @ PAC, on US Team in 1988/1990)
That is a good list.

My exposure to Clint was limited to several Sebring contests, back in his late Pitts and early 230 era. Really nice person. One memory here HELP re: Aerodynamics / Flight Safety

Steve is a good friend and neighbor.


BJC
 

Mcmark

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Owings, MD
My Dad
Duane Cole read both books by age 12.
Sam Huntington UAL cronie of dads
Ray Wiseman
Early IAC
Ned Surratt and the Midwing Special
Art Scholl
Bill Finagin
Brian Miller Pitts owner who made me a Pitts Pilot.
Gene Soucy
Robert Armstrong Unlimited Champion
John Mohr Stearman Wizard
I’ve been a G-junkie since I could walk.
Always liked watching the “aerial ballet” most of these gentlemen can do with airmanship not horsepower.
I have to do it as well since I haven’t hit the lotto to get into super birds.
Do more with practice than with HP.
 

BJC

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97FL, Florida, USA
My Dad
Duane Cole read both books by age 12.
Sam Huntington UAL cronie of dads
Ray Wiseman
Early IAC
Ned Surratt and the Midwing Special
Art Scholl
Bill Finagin
Brian Miller Pitts owner who made me a Pitts Pilot.
Gene Soucy
Robert Armstrong Unlimited Champion
John Mohr Stearman Wizard
I’ve been a G-junkie since I could walk.
Always liked watching the “aerial ballet” most of these gentlemen can do with airmanship not horsepower.
I have to do it as well since I haven’t hit the lotto to get into super birds.
Do more with practice than with HP.
Lots of good people there, Mark.

I had dinner and lots of airplane talk with Ned, and his sidekick Howie (or Howdy?) years ago, but have only seen photographs of the Midwing Special.

Voted for Robert a few weeks ago.

Speaking of early IAC, a current neighbor, Bob B, owned, and flew shows in, the Stearman previously owned by Bob Heuer.


BJC
 
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