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Memories of Bill

UPDATE: It saddens us to report that Bill Currier departed this life on June 23, 2005 in a fatal accident at Perry Airport, near Wagner, SC. He will be sincerely missed, but he will live on in each of our memories Below are some of the fond memories we have of Bill.

    Bill Currier is such a relaxed and humble individual that you would hardly suspect just how colorful his background in aviation has been ... until you've had the opportunity to sit and chat with him for awhile. For example, he graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.  He has thousands of hours in the F-86 Sabre and F-102 Delta Dagger jet aircraft in the active Air Force and the Air Guard ... having flown missions at the beginning of the USA's involvement in Vietnam. Further, he was an instructor pilot in the T-33 jet and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

    Above, Bill is shown with his latest project ... a RANS S-10 Sakota.  This plane was recently built from a kit and sports a Rotax 912 engine ... which is easily visible without the engine cowling.  Several club members assisted Bill with his project ... notably Wesley Owens and Bruce Harrison.

    Here's another photo of Bill in his new joy. Notice the sleek profile of the S-10 ... which will improve even more once the engine cowl is installed. The paint scheme is not quite finished; Bill plans a "gamecock" theme of white, maroon, and black.  He also has a bit more "tweaking" to do overall.  Bill's first flights in ground effect were made on July 28, 2004 ... just after this photo was made.

    Here's another photo of Bill and Wesley Owens (front) making some last minute adjustments to the plane before Bill's first flight "around the patch" on Monday, August 2, 2004. His first flight drew a gathering of friends ... seen in the background. Several neighbors also awaited at various points along the runway to witness the flight.  

    Above, Bill is shown giving a "thumbs up" and wide grin after his successful first flight ... as daughter Meg and several flying friends look on and congratulate him. Congratulations Bill!!

     On May 16th, 2004, we invited Bill to give a presentation on his previous experiences at our monthly club meeting. As expected, his tales and photos left the club members enthralled ... for example, having an engine disintegrate while training a student in a T-33, then having to drop his wing tanks and barely making the runway ... just barely topping out a thunderstorm at 45,000 feet hovering at stall speed at max performance in a F-86 with that same service ceiling ... just a few of the many stories.  Above, Bill tells the members about his experiences ... while wife, Irma Jeanne, looks on and assists with the photos.

    Bill is shown above in his former military uniform ... complete with the white oak leaves on his shoulders and cap.  Bill was also a math teacher in civilian life. His most recent teaching position was at Midlands Technical College.  He has been a general aviation pilot for many years ... and he owned an Aeronca Champ for many years ... but recently sold it.  He is originally from Vermont, but now has a home at Gilbert International Air Park near Gilbert, SC.  He still considers Vermont his home, however, and usually revisits there during the summer months each year.

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    These photos were taken at our June 4th, 2005 meeting at Bill and Irma Jeanne Currier's home at Gilbert International Airpark. We had a BBQ chicken dinner, a good meeting, and a great time. 

    In the left photo were (left to right): Rodney Dowdy, Bill Currier, Marta Currier, and Don Forsberg. 

    In the center left photo is hostess, Irma Jeanne Currier ... refreshment pitcher in hand. 

    In the center right photo is George Flanagan, Bill's friend, neighbor and author of the poem "My Final Flight".

    The right photo is a group shot at the Currier home on that date.

    For more on the military jets which Bill flew, click below.

F102 Delta Dagger 

F86 Sabre  

T-33 Shooting Star