A little about me...
I'm a Cancer, like the Beatles, love to drink Hefeweizen and my favorite color is blue.
Ok, so now that we have that over with, here's some real info on me.
I had my first airplane ride when I was about 4 years old. My dad and I rode with a friend of his who was a Flying Farmer and kept a Cessna 120 on his farm. He had his own private grass strip, ran east to west and was about 1/4 mile long. My dad used to take me to the airport on Saturday night, we'd stop at the Dairy Queen and get a Slushie and then go watch airplanes. Usually it was just Cubs and Champs practicing landings. Every once in a while, we'd see a "Forked-Tail Doctor Killer" come in.
We moved to Des Moines in 1967. My dad, having been in the Air Force, had some GI Bill benefits to use up. He decided he wanted to be an airline pilot, or at least that's what he told them, so they paid for 90% of his lessons. I tagged along when he went with his instructor. I survived stalls, slow flight and practice forced landings. I was his Copilot when he did his 50 hours of Cross-Country PIC for his Instrument/Commercial. I couldn't see over the panel of that Cherokee 140, but I could hold his charts and my hot chocolate at the same time. We'd go to Burger Chef on Sunday nights and watch the airliners land.
All of his friends had airplanes while I was growing up. I grew up around a Cub, a Chief, a Cherokee 6 and a Citabria, a Swift and a very dear friend rebuilding a 1930 Waco CSO which I got to ride in my freshman year of college. He and I spend 5 years restoring a PA-12.
He started taking me to Oshkosh in 1973. I loved Warbirds and practically drug him out there every dad to see what new had come in. That's how I got started taking pictures. I wanted a camera to shoot pix of Oshkosh and the airplanes, so for my birthday, which is right before Oshkosh, I received a 110 Instamatic.
He let me sign up for formal lessons at Des Moines Flying Service in the spring of 1979, where I proceeded to make my instructor, Bob Matthews, even balder. I may start slow, but I'm a strong finisher. I got my Private in October of that year.
Photo by Skyler "Sureshot" Parsons
I then took the next 5 years off to go to College at the University of Iowa to get a degree in (Photo) Journalism and get established in that field.
Moving to La Crosse, WI., I worked for the Tribune there for almost 3 years. It was during this time that I met a Flight Instructor that I really clicked with, Mary Dodson. After calling a friend in St Louis and finding out how the career prospects were, I decided to go for it and get my ratings. I got my Instrument, Commercial and CFI ratings in 8 months. I moved to St Louis the following January.
I instructed there for 1 1/2 years, then spent the longest 5 months of my life flying freight in Texas before moving back to St Louis. I flew for two Commuter Airlines for a total of 11 1/2 years, ending up number 56 on the Seniority List as a Designated Examiner and Check Airman. I left the airline to become a Corporate Pilot and have never regretted it.
I started going out regularly to Creve Coeur in 1995. I took pictures from the start. Soon, I was known as the "Camera Guy" and the only guy who flew to support his photo-habit! I have made some very good and close friends out there, friendships I'll treasure until I die.
Places We've Been
Oshkosh 2007-The Dh-4 Saga.
Antique Airplane Fly-In @ Blakesburg 2007
Thunder Over Michigan 2006
Creve Coeur Airport
Tailwheels in the Grass
The Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum's DeHavilland Dh-4!
A Little about Me...