|Posted by EAA 790 Webmaster on May 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM|
We have a very special, guest speaker this month -- Mr. Woody Woods joins us to share an exciting journey through a slice of aviation past. Woody shares his stories about aviation in his life. His aviation life started early and after the aviation bug bit, it just never let go.
Hired at age 16 as a Line boy, pumping gas, washing planes and spinning props for $12 a week and an hour's worth of flying time, Woody Woods soloed at 16 in J-3 with a mere four (4) hours and 20 minutes of dual time.
Woody bought his first plane, a Piper J-4, at 17 years old; bought his 2nd airplane at 18, a Ryan PT-22; and bought his 3rd plane, a Stinson 108 Voyager, at age 20.
Woody studied at home for his commercial pilot's written portion, and acquired 900 hours of light-plane time before joining the US Army (1951-53) as an airplane mechanic. He obtained his instrument rating on Pittsburgh Low Freq Range (i.e., "A" and "N" beam) in 20 hours of instruction (40 hours were required but he claims he padded the extra 20! We not tellin' anyone, Woody!)
Woody was hired in 1955 by Capital Air Lines, and with no flight training except a 2-hour check ride in a DC-3 without a multi-engine rating, then flew his first trip that day with only the two (2) hours in DC-3 in his logbook! He flew to PIT MGN CLB CHR TRI AVL ATL, and flew PIC every other leg.
Rated in the DC-3, VVC 700-800, B727, DC8, DC10 and B747, Woody was an active pilot for 66 years - until just four years ago. He taught Aerobatics for 22 years in a Decathlon (he owned three of them), a Pitts, a Zlin and an Extra 300. Woody wowed thousands of spectators as he flew in airshows throughout the Midwest and western states including the EAA Annual Convention and Fly-In* in 1987 1988 1990.Woody flies planes, he's also fallen out of them. His first parachute jump was at an airshow in 1947 at the ripe old age of 17 — a free fall from 2000 feet!
Woody retired from United in 1990.
*The EAA Convention and Fly-In was renamed EAA AirVenture in 1998.