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Don Schmotzer

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     Don Schmotzer has served as our chapter "Safety Advisor" for a number of years and also served as Vice-President in 2008. You can tell right away that he knows what he is talking about concerning aviation. He routinely delivers presentations on safety and pertinent aviation issues at our chapter meetings, which are well received and much appreciated. Here's what Don says about his background in his own words:

    "I have a commercial ticket for single & multi-engine land aircraft. I have about 1600 hours of flight time in at least 20 different types, but my favorite type of flying is stick & rudder, grass-roots, wind in the wires, tube wood and fabric, tail-dragging, puddle-jumping, leather and googles,  can't-believe-I-found-the-airport, ole-timey, grass-field, bounce-em-in, didn't we have fun today, hedge-hopping, wind-sock, dead reckoning, FUN flying."


     Don has always preferred the traditional "fabric and tailwheel" airplanes, like the Taylorcraft shown below. However, he just bought a Zenith Zodiac 601XL (with mods), almost opposite what Don would normally consider. He said he needed a plane that had an electric starter cause he was tired of hand propping. It's a very nice bird too with bubble canopy, glass cockpit, and traditional stick and rudder. Here are some photos:

Don Arrives in his Zodiac 601Don with Zodiac 601    Getting Out  Don Sitting In Plane  Glass Cockpit

    Here's the Taylorcraft which Don owned previously. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Inflight1.jpg (227082 bytes)

Jet Divider

     Don formerly owned the very nice Cessna 172 Skyhawk shown below with son, Stan. However, Stan has now taken on the C172 on his own these days, Stan has roughly 3000 flight hours as a loadmaster on a C-17 in Charleston. He has flown in and out of a lot of "bad" places since 9/11/01. He was honored as Charleston's "Airman of the Year" in 2005. Don says that he is also a good pilot with a private license and an instrument rating to boot. He had about 600 hours of pilot in command time when the photo at bottom right was taken.

C172.jpg (632335 bytes)     DonSon.jpg (792507 bytes)

      Stan has since accomplished even greater achievements. In 2008, he finished his 4-year college degree and graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS). He then attended an 11-month US Air Force flight school in Columbus, MS.  He graduated in early July, 2009, and Don sent this message:

     "Stan just became one of 17 new Air force pilots in our country's inventory. He has completed one of the most demanding flying schools in the world.  He now wears TWO sets of wings on his uniform ... his LOADMASTER wings and  the US AIR FORCE PILOT wings. Of course, we couldn't be prouder.  Next, he will go to Oklahoma in August to train in the C-17 for 3 months, and then he will be returning to Charleston, SC. When finished, he will be flying the very same C-17s on which he was previously a loadmaster."

     In November, 2009, Don reported that Stan is now type-rated in the huge C-17. Now, when you see one of those huge C-17s flying overhead, it just MAY be Stan at the controls! Here are several recent photos. He also married in May, 2010. Congratulations to Stan and his wife, Kim. They now reside in Charleston, SC.

Stan Gets 2nd Lieutenant Bars   Stan in Dress Blues   Stan Beside Jet   Stan Graduating   Trainers
Photo #1: Stan's girlfriend pins on his 2nd Lieutenant bars, while his mom, Dianne, (left) looks on & Don takes the photo.
Photo #2: In dress blue uniform
Photo #3: Beside T1 Beechjet
Photo #4: Graduating from flight school
Photo #5: Trainer Stan has been flying

Jet Divider

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