Dan, Candice and Brennen Linn live in North Texas.
Aviation History, Photography, Legos, Architecture, Interior Design, Woodworking
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Pacific Northwest - Seattle, Portland
Dan’s Aviation Journey
Inherited Aviation Interest
To start at the beginning of my aviation journey I would have to go back to my childhood with stories of my dad flying with his dad. James A. Linn, Grandpa Linn, flew for business and pleasure after the Second World War, according to his log books. Grandpa served in the United States Army in Germany and France. When our family would visit the Linn Grandparents, he would show me his photos of B-17s, P-51s, P-61s, and others in an album he had full of photos he had taken at an airfield in France in 1945. As a young boy I remember pulling out my aviation magazines and sitting on the couch with him as we talked airplanes. His logbook tells a story of learning to fly in the Chicago area (Palwaukee) and making business trips in the Northeast.
My dad has a few photos of him and Grandpa standing next to a rented Beech Bonanza that they flew while in the New York area (Teterboro). I think my Grandpa knew the benefit of using aviation in his business travels. One prized possession I have is a photo of our family standing next to a Learjet 23 at Palwaukee airport near Chicago. My Grandpa had chartered the airplane for a business trip and my Dad took a picture of the pilots and passengers from the trip. My Mom, brother and I were there to look over the airplane and see them off. That was 1974, so at the time I was only a year old! The aviation disease had its effect on me from then on.
Airplane in a Garage
I remember riding my bike around our neighborhood in Colleyville, Texas, just West of DFW Airport, as a five year old. One of the most memorable sights was of a 1946 Stinson 108 being rebuilt in the neighbors garage across the street. The Bishop family had kids the same age as my family so we were constantly running back and forth across the street. Larry Bishop turned some parts and pieces into a flying Stinson right before my young eyes. Another memory I have is of the Stinson with engine running in the driveway, wingless with gas cans plumbed to feed it fuel. Not long after that our family made a trip to the small Goode airport near our house to fly with Larry. My first small airplane ride was in that Stinson. The vintage airplane bug was implanted in me then! Larry also introduced our family to the Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun airshows. I have him to thank for letting me stay in his travel trailer those many years while camping at Sun-N-Fun.
Family and Airshows
My parents were the biggest supporters in my pursuit of aviation endeavors. They drove me to book stores and hobby shops, helped me build models, and made travel arrangements to attend airshows. At the age of fourteen they counseled me on what jobs I should do to make money for flying lessons. Their moral support and financial support helped me achieve my dreams! The whole family attended the Oshkosh airshow back in 1988 and from that year on I made every attempt to make any airshow possible! We drove all over North Texas to visit airshows. The older I became the further we traveled. Dad and I still say that our favorite airshow was in the little West Texas town of Breckenridge. The Warbirds that flew over Breckenridge were some of the rarest we had ever seen. Years later I would fly my Taylorcraft and Cessna to Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun. We experienced a world of aviation at one airshow when we flew the Cessna 170 to Oshkosh with Mom and Dad a couple years in a row and experienced a world of aviation at one show and we saw it all sitting under the wings of the Cessna. To this day my parents are still encouraging me to go out and experience more aviation adventures!
Aviation Friendships Begin
While Larry Bishop and I were in Oshkosh he introduced me to fellow Stinson owner Jim Austin. So when we made it back home from Oshkosh my parents drove me to visit Jim's hangar at Northwest Regional airport (52F) in Roanoke, Texas. This was my first introduction to the people and airplanes at Northwest Regional. Northwest Regional was founded as Aero Valley airport by the famous aviatrix Edna Gardner Whyte. Jim took me for rides in his Stinson, Champ and TriPacer. I helped wash airplanes and pass tools to him while he worked on his various projects. The Texas Chapter of the Antique Airplane Association (AAA) would have monthly meetings at Jim's hangar and I would help set up tables and serve food for the meetings. Over the years Jim has been a great resource for helping maintain my airplanes and was instrumental in the purchase of my first airplane, a Taylorcraft. More on that later.
EAA Air Academy
In visiting the airshow in Oshkosh it is hard not to want to spend more time there. Their museum, the airplanes and the people produce a wonderful atmosphere. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) promotes all things aviation. One of the ways they bring up the next generation of aviation enthusiasts is to have aviation camps in Oshkosh during the summer. The first Air Academy camp was held in 1984. I was fortunate enough to be accepted to attend in 1989. AVIATION HEAVEN for two weeks! The staff set up a workshop in the museum to teach us welding, wood working, fabric covering, engine basics, composites and more! Another portion of the camp was classroom style teaching with aviation history classes and aerodynamics. Other highlights were... a ride in a J-3 Cub with Gene Chase, a tour of a visiting Russian AN-124 cargo aircraft, visits with many famous aviation personalities and making new friends that I still keep in touch with today. We spent two weeks being immersed in aviation with the camp and attending the Oshkosh airshow. It was a once in a lifetime experience that set me on my path to achieving my aviation goals. Thank you EAA!
Local Aviation Activities
Both AAA and EAA have local chapters of their organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As I met more pilots and aircraft owners I was introduced to their local chapters. There are so many people I could name here that encouraged me and let me fly with them to chapter meetings. Milton Wiekle, West Sanders, Paul Johnson and Jim Putney were fellow EAA Chapter 34 members. Jim Austin (and family), Jim Kniese (and family), Danny and Pat Doyle, The Mahon family... were/are fellow Texas Chapter AAA members. The Texas Chapter is full of some of the nicest people I have met in aviation circles. They all encouraged me to pursue my pilot’s license and find a vintage airplane of my own.
With my Grandpa being a veteran the interest was planted in me to study history of the Second World War. In those studies I gravitated towards aviation. I would buy books and magazines with stories of pilots from the War. Like many from my generation I consistently watched the tv show Blacksheep Squadron to see Corsairs fly. Dad and I made one local Confederate Air Force show in Denton, Texas back in the-1980s and from then on searched for other Warbird airshows we could attend. One show down in Waco, Texas Dad and I met Ed Vesely. Ed was flying the TBM Avenger at the show for The Lone Star Flight Museum. He took Dad and I on a full walk around tour of the museum’s Warbirds on the flight line. It was our first "contact" we made at a show that would lead to many other aviation adventures. I owe a lot of my aviation education to Ed and Carole Vesely. Ed would let Dad and I crawl all over the Warbirds to study them. As I began my flying lessons Ed and Carole encouraged me, helped me study for my written and gifted me funds to put towards my flying. I consider Ed one of my earliest aviation mentors.
When I began driving myself to Northwest Regional/Aero Valley airport to watch airplanes I would meet more great aviation enthusiasts. The guys at Cowtown Aerocrafters welcomed me into their hangar full of Warbirds. The Cowtown hangar was full of Stinson L-5s. Gerry Asher, Lanny Parcel and Tom Swindle would engage me in all manner of WW2 history discussions. Some days I would arrive at the airport mid-morning and we would talk Warbirds until the sun went down! They were another group of fellow aviation supporters who encouraged me to learn to fly and buy a vintage airplane! Through other contacts, airshows and the dawning internet I met more Warbird pilots and mechanics. Dad and I met John Lane out of Idaho at the Texas Air Races back in 1990. He was on hand with some pilots with the Lone Star Flight Museum. John and friends invited us to go along for some go-cart racing one night! We talked Warbirds and rode go-carts for hours. Over the years I have caught up with John and Nancy Lane at airshows and will say that they are some of the nicest people in the Warbird community!
At times I would just write a note to those I learned of that were flying or rebuilding Warbirds. Mike Vadeboncouer was one of those people I e-mailed. Just a general note about his restoration projects turned into a fun friendship. Mike and his good friend David Young run one of the premier shops in the country that restores P-51 Mustangs. Mike and David would let me follow them around Oshkosh for days talking Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Corsairs. All of the aviation friends came from my interest in Warbirds and we still keep in touch about the latest news in regards to the rare Warbirds. At the time of this writing, Ed is flying his J-3 Cub, SNJ and the CAF Helldiver. John continues to restore and fly Warbirds out of his Idaho shop, Airpower Unlimited. Mike continues rebuilding P-51s in his Illinois shop, MidWest Aero. All of them played a role in my aviation education.
Learning to Fly
Family friend Jim Austin recommended I see Bill Lemmon at Northwest Regional Airport about flying lessons. Bill was a soft spoken but firm flight instructor. He knew of my interest in vintage airplanes and taught me to fly the Cessna 150 with what I would call "seat of the pants" skills. It wasn’t flying lessons just to get me on my way to boring holes in the skies. The lessons were about flying, aviating and how airplanes act in the sky. He took me through my lessons from beginning to check ride. It took me two years. I mowed lawns, painted houses and slowly paid my way through the lessons. My parents, Grand parents and friends helped with financial support. My friends Ed and Carole Vesely, as mentioned before, even "hired" me to watch their house in Houston while they went on a European vacation.
Their moral support helped me make it to my private license. I soloed on January 23, 1990. Bill Lemmon had me make two or three landings and then told me to stop on the taxiway. I couldn’t figure out why he was opening the door... and getting out! He looked at me and said "go make a few landings... and it’s not you I am worried about... watch out for those other dummies out there!" I taxied out and took off! The Cessna 150 leaped off the ground! I turned final to make my first landing and noticed another aircraft turning an opposite final. Well, Bill was right. Watch out for the other dummies out there! The other airplane landed downwind! Over the next couple months it was fun to have Mom and Dad come out and watch me shoot touch and goes as I built my solo hours. My cross country flights were flown around North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. I passed my private pilot check ride on March 29, 1991 at the age of eighteen. My childhood dream was fulfilled!
Now that I had my pilot’s license I wanted to own my own airplane. The occasional Cessna 150 rental kept me in the air but the 150 didn’t have my desired vintage appeal. Over the summer of 1991 I studied Trade A Plane and other aviation classified ads, researched insurance and priced hangar rentals. I am not exactly sure what drew me to my interest in the venerable Taylorcraft - Nice lines, faster than a Piper Cub, side by side seating. All of those features were attractive to me. In October of 1991 I found a 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D (N96542) for sale just south of Ft. Worth. The owner sent me some pictures and specs. One look at the pictures and I knew I wanted it! Dad, Mom and I drove down to meet the owners and I took a quick flight. We landed and I asked them to hold it for me. Jim Austin became my consultant on the purchase of the Taylorcraft. A few days later we flew his Stinson down to have Jim look over the mechanics. After his inspection and short flight he said it all looked good. The flight back in the Stinson to Northwest Regional I must have had a far away look in my eye! But Jim brought me back to reality as no sooner had we landed in the Stinson Jim was pulling out his Champ and telling me... "If you are going to own a taildragger you need to be able to fly one." He had me in the front of the Champ to go shoot some landings. Now this was fun flying! REAL seat of the pants! Thanks to Jim's coaching I made a few good landings.
A couple weeks later the Taylorcraft was delivered to me. I rented my first hangar from famous aviatrix Edna Garner Whyte. Gary Hase ,a fellow Taylorcraft owner on the field, would teach me the ways of the Taylorcraft. Wow... another dream come true. Nineteen years old and flying my own 1946 Taylorcraft. It was a great first airplane and I owned it for six years. It made two trips to Oshkosh, one trip to Sun N Fun and many more around North Texas. I ended up selling the Taylorcraft to raise funds to start the construction of my first home. I was sad to see it go but another airplane was going to keep me in the air.
The summer after I obtained my pilot’s license I was asked by a few aircraft owners if I would assist them in maintaining their airplanes. The Northwest Regional airport community had plenty of work for me to do. I just wanted to be around airplanes! Stan Price offered me the first regularly scheduled work. When he wasn’t flying for Southwest Airlines we would work on his Globe Swift.The job started with cleaning and polishing, developed into sheet metal work and bucking rivets. It was a learning experience that challenged me and also captured my attention. What more could I ask?
Hanging out at the airport five days a week and being paid for it! Another job was working for Ray Keasler assisting with basic jobs on a Staggerwing restoration. Rays hangar had a Howard DGA, a Waco UPF-7 that were flyable as well as two cool projects, a P-51D and a T-33. Other days I helped turn wrenches for Bill Goeken on his Howard and Cessna 180 and with Bob Parcell on his BT-13 and O-2. Years later I would spend time working for mechanic Randy Richmond assisting in annual inspections and basic repairs. As a part of educating myself on vintage aircraft I attended the Aircraft Restoration Seminar at the Smithsonian’s restoration facility, near Washington D.C. They shut down the Paul Garber facility for a week to let a few people in for the seminar. The worlds most famous aircraft were in the shop for us to look over as they restored them to their former glory. All this experience would be priceless in helping me learn how to maintain my own aircraft.
I first met Kelly Mahon at a meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Antique Airplane Association. He landed in his family's Swift and I challenged him to a race with Jim Austin's Stinson! Obviously my concept of actual speeds verses published speeds was a little off! Over the years I would bump into Kelly more often at chapter meetings and local airport fly-ins. When I bought my Taylorcraft we would plan breakfast flights. Kelly in his mom’s Aeronca Cheif with me chasing him in my Taylorcraft. One evening I was helping Kelly close up the Swift after its annual inspection and I asked if he would sell me the Swift. He looked me straight in the eyes and said... "You don’t want to buy this Swift." I was shocked. He told me to follow him to look at an airplane he recommended I purchase. He walked me into the hangar where he worked and he presented a 1956 Cessna 170B. His boss, Jim Huff, was selling it. In the next couple days my family would take turns riding with Kelly on demo flights. With four seats the Cessna received the thumbs up from them.
The 170 would suit me well! With the family supporting me I purchased the 170 in November of 1995. Kelly set me up with the deal and delivered the 170 to me. He has been the best resource to me in providing piloting and maintenance tips in operating my 170. Over the years I polished up the airframe, painted a few parts and overhauled the engine. or two years I operated both the Taylorcraft and the Cessna. As mentioned before I sold the Taylorcraft and had kept the 170. It is such a great fit for the type of flying I did. Most of my flying was around North Texas but it was still fast enough to make trips to airshows in Wisconsin and Florida.
The first couple of times I attended Oshkosh and Sun N Fun I would drive with family or airline with friends. When I purchased the Taylorcraft I knew I wanted to jump in and fly to Florida for Sun N Fun. My friend Jeff Stone was just about to get his pilots license and was up to joining me. We had an adventurous flight down! Three days down and two days coming back. Sleeping under the airplane and waking up with frost on the ground... but all in all a safe and fun trip. That same year I flew to Oshkosh solo in the Taylorcraft and camped out. When I purchased the Cessna 170 I took it to Sun N Fun and battled weather the whole trip. But the weather has been more in our favor making trips to Oshkosh in the 170. A few friends have made the trip with me but the more memorable trips were made with Mom and Dad along. There is nothing like sitting at Oshkosh in the shade of your own airplane and watching the shows with family and friends. Good times!
Aviation has presented so many opportunities to make new friends. At the Waco Fly-In in Mt. Vernon, Ohio I met Andy Heins who has furthered my education on Waco airplanes. Andy then introduced me to Les Whittlesey of Chino, California. Les has invited me to participate in Waco and Lockheed events at his hangar on many occasions. Another friend, Eric Presten, knows just about everybody because of his many books featuring vintage aircraft. I mention these fellow flyers because they have fed this hungry mind of mine with priceless details on owning, flying and researching vintage aircraft. They have also been nice enough to host me in their hangars and homes. So attending airshows and fly-ins across the country would not have been possible with out these friends!
Over the years I have been fortunate to ride in some rare aircraft. Along with the vintage Aeroncas, Cessnas, Pipers and Stinsons I have been able to ride in a DC-3, Beech 18, T-6, B-25 and B-17. My parents surprised me by gifting me a ride in EAA's B-17. Dad and I made the flight with a former Women’s Air Service pilot and she had flown B-17s! The pilots of the B-17 let us all take a turn in the left seat flying the historic bomber. Those few minutes of left seat time went in my log book! The B-25 ride came with an invitation from my mechanic and a friend who was flying it. My first aerobatic ride was with Jeff Cain in his family's Super Chipmunk. That was a quick, gyro tumbling flight! Rare Wacos have made for some enjoyable rides. A few were open cockpit and others were cabin models. All these rare aircraft are flying history. Hopefully I will be able to add more types to this list.
While visiting airshows, fly-ins, antique malls and used book stores, I purchased publications on vintage aircraft. I quickly realized that my book collecting could be turned into a small business. After only a short time, I had quite an extensive collection and had to begin storing all the new purchases in my garage! Fellow vintage aircraft enthusiasts inquired about my collection and began asking for assistance in obtaining books, magazines and photographs. Sales of those published items turned into an in-house publishing venture when I began editing several newsletters. Print publishing transitioned to online publishing, which then led to a web site design service. I am by no means a graphics designer but I do enjoy building web sites that help preserve and display vintage aircraft. Another Time (www.flytoanothertime.com) is the result of all of those wonderful experiences with aviation publications. When an interest turns into a passion it is hard not to share the experience with others. As the web site has grown, I have learned of a whole generation of pilots and enthusiasts who are unaware of these rare, historic aircraft. By continuing to provide resources on Another Time, I hope to preserve the history of vintage aircraft and spark new interest in these rare ships.
The desire to collect all things related to vintage airplanes and later to learn to fly came with a price tag. The joke in aviation circles is... how do you make a million in aviation? Start with two million! I am not out to strike it rich in aviation but to experience as much of aviation history as I can in my life. I mowed lawns for a few years and started flying lessons. I really didn’t to spend money on a nice vehicle I just needed four wheels and an engine to transport me to and from the airport.
Once I had my truck I started turning wrenches for my friends on their airplanes as I mentioned earlier. One summer to escape the Texas heat I took a job at a local print shop learning the ways of a printing press. Next I joined our family business. I worked with my family to manage a quilt shop/fabric store. That experience helped me learn the financial end of small business. After a few years of working there I moved on to homebuilding to build my personal residence. Construction, finances, managing sub-contractors were all the skills that God was using to prepare me for life ahead. After another short stint of turning wrenches on airplanes I applied for a job with Bombardier Aerospace. By Divine appointment I interviewed at the Bombardier Aircraft Training center at DFW airport in the Fall of 2000. All this is close to home, aviation related and out of the Texas heat! To date I have worked as a Logistics Coordinator, an Associate Simulator Engineer and a Customer Services Specialist.
New Season of Life
Every airplane has a story. Famous owners, historic events, adventurous trips that make each airplane's story interesting. Whats the saying? If this airplane could talk… oh what stories it would tell! I think back on the adventures I had in my Cessna 170B, N3467D and there are so many fun adventures! Family rides, cross country trips, crazy crosswinds… Now someone else will create new adventures in the 170. June 2013 I sold the 170 to a fine gentleman who took it to it's home in Minnesota.
It was a sad day for my family to prepare the 170 to make the trip North. Hints, tips and paperwork exchanged hands as I handed the keys to the new owner, Kevin. Kevin and his pilot Mark packed the back seats as my dad and mom helped me clean out the hangar. For the first time in 17 years I watched someone else fly the 170 fly over horizon. Our seasons of life change and I know that this new season will be full of new adventures and memories. Life without an airplane will be different but I look forward to planning what the next airplane will be in our future.
As I reflect on all the aviation experiences that God has blessed me with I can’t help but be grateful. My wife and my family are constantly encouraging me to pursue my aviation goals. So many opportunities have been made available to me through the generosity of friends and family! What more would I want to do? Well, one day I would like to own a hangar to adorn with aviation memorabilia and have a vintage airplane front and center. Are there other airplanes I would like to own? Sure! The 170 was a great all around airplane but it would be fun to have an antique to be a time machine for flying back to the 1930s. A vintage airplane from the Golden Age will fit the bill! One of those might be a retirement project so for now I will research the rare airplanes by studying their history. In my researching I may produce enough content to publish a book or two. Overall I just want to experience as much aviation history as I can and share those experiences with family and friends.
What will keep me busy with the 170 sold? Family time with my wife and new son, Brennen. Researching aviation history to expand the details behind the Spartan, Ryan and Lockheed web pages over on our web site, Another Time. Spending time with my son. Sorting photos for future photography books to add to my book offerings like my first, Aviation's Timeless Classics. Visiting local aviation museums and events. Oh… and spending time with my son! I am excited for the new adventures ahead.
email Dan - dtlinn “at” gmail.com