It’s Monday morning. The sky is overcast, VFR misty but ceiling looking promising.
It’s mornings like this as I make my dawn patrol over the mountain ranges of both northern Utah and southern Idaho worth while flying.
As I look at all those in their sub compact SUV’s and all going to mundane jobs and me looking forward to simple time off and doing fix it work on this old Ranger that makes me feel damn lucky I discovered wings at an early age.
I think I was about 6 years old when my dad a was lent to HAFB Utah by the USMC for some SAC duty, that I got to going to those big hangars on that base. In fact because of my Dad and his security clearance that I got to go where few civilian or military family kids got to go.
There was this old, cargo bird USAF serial # 060 that I loved. That old byrd had more switches and buttons than any carnival arcade game had. Then as life progressed or mine did was that fateful day I climbed into a T-39 , that was kept dormant except for official flights since it was the commanding General’ byrd, but this one Saturday that T-39 was all warmed up . As I came to learn to go to Wright Paterson that Sunday night. Guess the crew chief weren’t too happy to have to refuel, that military Lear jet, since that Saturday, in playing, not only had I fired the bird up, but taxied out the hangar, onto the tarmac, got flight clearance and off into the wyld ayre I went. Understand I was 8 years old, never had a flight lesson one, only what I saw on TV and practiced in some simulators on base, but over the Wasatch mountains I went.
It wasn’t until I reached the outskirts of Pocatello, that two F-4’s in pursuit, motioned me down.
My only punishment was loosing my pedal bike for two weeks.
However all who witnessed the event that even today the Air Force and DoD wont speak of, said I should be in the cockpit. That few they had ever saw had that kind of natural flying ability.
Over the years getting into aviation was my calling card, but not without many hurdles. From CAP training that was near none existent in Magic Valley Idaho then, (1973) to my signing up as a aviation mechanic first with the Navy then transferring over the Marines, as a pilot, that I knew this was my field.
So why the hell do I drive a tow truck? Hey can’t fly all year round, snow and all, winter, gotta eat. Why do I build custom motorcycles>? Extra money. But need to say this. Through it all my head has been in the clouds. With towing regulations and all as tight as they are in Utah where I was living at the time and shop rent so damn expensive, at just the crest of the freeze of funds of the Montgomery Trust, Trustee(my Cousin Bud) , 4th cousin Gordon Sant, Kent Nielsen , and myself sat at a table in Bud’s condo, in Bountiful, and $700,000.00 the last bundle of liquid cash was used to create, AyreWolf Aviation. With my promise to get my civilian aviation certificate. I turned the wrenches with a friend, Kent and Gordon flew. Two byrds were purchased a Bell Ranger, and a Air Tractor. We did pretty much crop dusting, over night air freight, and insect control flying. We were lucky the first year. Mormon Crickets had invaded 4 Utah counties that year, and we showed small as they were that Air Tractor could be fitted to fly air cover in fire suppression.
Since then two more Bell’s including a 222A have been purchased and the majority of our flying is done via helo, my beloved LuciBelle Corsair, and three Air tractors. It must be noted here. Had it not been and all for the birth of and continued success of; AyreWolf Aviation, there would not be Hazzard County Choppers(bikes), Dixie Toewing, or even the financial kick in the pants for both the AyreWolvez nor the Knytes-of-Anarchy. Additionally , there would not have been the funds for the buying of our radio station here BOTH of them KTOW FM Buhl Idaho, and KDXB Strevelle(Burley) Idaho. In fact if it wasn’t for those twice a year dividend checks from profit sales of AyreWolf Aviation, the mere $1100.00 I get in Social Security and Marine pension , I couldn’t afford to buy a wrestling jacket for a piss ant. It’s that $20k I get twice a year that enables me to thrive.
Sadly though as the Doctor told me, until I loose 70 pounds that my work in AyreWolf Aviation has to be on the ground.
Which means more towing than flying until spring when its planned that our new hangar and all is completed in Boise. But my heart is still in the cockpit and head in the clouds.
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