Gary Deck created The Pilot Lounge for pilots of all ages and levels of experience to share stories for their enjoyment and education. Flying is a lifelong pursuit, and if we learn from others' mistakes, we will not have to make all the mistakes ourselves!
Growing up in an aviation-focused family afforded Gary many opportunities to experience flying beginning at a very young age. His Father, Charles R. Deck, now deceased, 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, capping a seven decade career in aviation.
Actual flight training didn't start until age 16 but by the time Gary received his Notice of Induction into the United States Army at age 20, he had earned his Commercial and Instrument SEL. Although Gary was drafted, his prior flight experience was the impetus for selection in to the Army's Warrant Officer Flight Training Program. Learning to fly all over again in military flight school was a unique opportunity that would be hard to duplicate. Gary completed the Warrant Officer Fixed-Wing Flight Training program at the top of his class which allowed him to choose to transition to the Grumman OV-1 (Mohawk) prior to going to Vienam. During his tour in Vietnam, Gary flew 210 surveillance 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. After school he flew for a Part 135 Charter company for a few months, then obtained his ATP MEL before going to work as the corporate pilot for a private coal brokerage based in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
Over the next thirty years, Gary worked in apparel manufacturing and telecommunications but never got too far away from aviation including a three year stint selling the Beechcraft line for the SE distributor, Hangar One.
In addition to owning a 'V tail' Bonanza until 2006, Gary has always enjoyed flying the variety of small airplanes owned by his Dad, his brother and friends.