Gary Deck created The Pilot Lounge after fifty years (and counting!) of civilian and military flying experience. Gary grew up in an aviation family (his father, Charles R. Deck, is one of only a few people to ever receive the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the FAA Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award), which gave him the opportunity to fly many different types of aircraft from a very young age.
After earning a Commercial and Instrument Single Engine Land rating at the age of 20, Gary was drafted into the Army and was selected for the US Army's Warrant Officer Flight Training Program. Gary completed that program as the Distinguished Graduate, which enabled him to transition to the Grumman OV-1 (Mohawk.) During his tour in Vietnam, Gary flew 210 combat reconnaissance missions for two different Military Intelligence companies.
Returning to the US, Gary attended and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies. He went on to fly for a Part 135 Charter company, and then as Corporate Pilot for a private coal brokerage.
Highlights of his aviation background include:
1965 - Solo
1966 - Private Pilot Rating
1969 - Commercial and Instrument (Single Engine) Rating
1970 - Drafted into United States Army
1970-71 - US Army Flight School
1971 - Graduated Distinguished Graduate from US Army Flight School
1971 - Grumman OV-1 (Mohawk) Transition School
1971-72 - Active Duty Combat Pilot in Vietnam (225th Military Intelligence Company Tuy Hoa & 131st Military Intelligence Company Phu Bai)
1972-73 - Graduated Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Studies
1974 - Multi-Engine ATP
1974-75 - Part 135 Charter and Corporate Pilot flying Beechcraft Baron, Aerostar, Piper Aztec
1979 - 1983 - Sold full line of Beechcraft for Hangar One (Southeastern Distributor)
1983 - Present - Extensive experience flying general aviation aircraft including tail draggers and experimentals
1999 - 2006 - Owned and operated his own Beechcraft V-Tail Bonanza