Dave’s book is a prodigious read but the most fascinating part for me to date was to read about the people he hired in the early days and how many of them were graduates of my Alma Mater; Northrop University.
I graduated in 1962 as a Mechanical Engineer but managed to take many of the AME courses during my 3 years there. Northrop was an amazing school in those days and everyone was there for one thing only; to get an education and start working in Aviation. Of those we know, both Jim Christy and Don Smith are graduates of the AMT School. But also Lane Helms and Niels Anderson were both Aeronautical Engineering grads getting their degrees around the same time as me. I don’t remember either but I’m going to try to look them up if they are still with us. I also want to take up Dick Reece’s invitation to visit with him. Dick paid me the ultimate compliment when he told me “Sandy if you had been with Aerostar in those early days, it would have been an even better airplane!
If I had known of Aerostar at the time of my graduation I’d have headed straight there looking for a job. But it wasn’t till I was back in Canada in 1965 that I saw this beautiful airplane of the cover of “Flying”.
I fell in love with it at that moment!
What a fantastic service Dave Duntz has performed for the aviation community by writing this book!
People like Ted Smith are one in a million and we all should read his story.
This morning I will be speaking with the highest level technical person in the Canadian Government responsible for military acquisition and I will make it a point to tell him about the Aerostar and the aircraft that are flying with no applied lubrication anywhere on the gear and flaps.
What we have done has never been done on any other aircraft in the world, and someday it will be common whether the aircraft is jet, piston, electric or propelled by some source of energy we are not even aware of.
But for me, the association with Aerostar and this great innovator, Ted Smith is one I take great pride in.
Thanks again Dave for a service to the aviation community that will be appreciated for decades to come!
George A. (Sandy) Thomson, Founder Marsh Brothers Aviation
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Thordon Bearings, the sister company to Marsh Brothers was about 20 years old when I bought my first Aerostar in 1985.
It was for getting around to business meetings, as the Bonanza had been before. The Aerostar was a whole lot more airplane however, and I remember the insurance company mandated that for the first 25 hours I had to fly with an experienced Aerostar pilot aboard. It was Manfred Humphries, the broker who had sold me the Airplane. Early on he rode shotgun but later he found the back seat more comfortable.
One early and very memorable flight was from Saint Louis Missouri to Winnipeg in the dead of winter. It was Dec 15 1985.
The log book shows 5.2 hours for the flight and we must have been landing on fumes! When we disembarked, we were wearing clothing selected for Saint Louis and Winnipeg’s worst winter in years did not welcome us kindly.