Albert Lee "Al" Ueltschi (May 15, 1917 – October 18, 2012) is considered the father of modern flight training and was the founder of FlightSafety International. Ueltschi was once personal pilot to Juan Trippe and an associate to Charles Lindbergh. On July 21, 2001, he was enshrined at Dayton, Ohio in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, along with test pilot Joe Engle, United States Air Force flying ace Marion Carl, and USAF ace Robin Olds. In 2013, Flying magazine ranked Ueltschi number 13 on its list of the "51 Heroes of Aviation".
Flight training is a course of study used when learning to pilot an aircraft. The overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight training is the acquisition and honing of basic airmanship skills.
Juan Terry Trippe was an American commercial aviation pioneer, entrepreneur and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the iconic airlines of the 20th century. He was instrumental in numerous revolutionary advances in airline history, including the development and production of the Boeing 314 Clipper, which opened trans-Pacific airline travel, the Boeing Stratoliner which helped to pioneer cabin pressurization, the Boeing 707 which launched the Jet Age, and the Boeing 747 which introduced the era of jumbo jets. Trippe's signing of the 747 contract coincided with the 50th anniversary of Boeing, and he gave a speech where he explained his belief that these jets would be a force that would help bring about world peace.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, explorer, and environmental and political activist, At age 25 in 1927, he went from obscurity as a U.S. Air Mail pilot to instantaneous world fame by winning the Orteig Prize: making a nonstop flight from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, to Paris, France. Lindbergh covered the 33 1⁄2-hour, 3,600-statute-mile (5,800 km) flight alone in a single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Al Ueltschi was born and raised in Franklin County, Kentucky. He was the youngest of seven children of Robert and Lena Ueltschi. At age 16, Ueltschi opened a hamburger stand named "Little Hawk" across from a White Castle near his high school in Frankfort, Kentucky to pay for flying lessons. His first airplane, purchased using profits earned from Little Hawk, was a Waco 10. Ueltschi attended the University of Kentucky for a year but dropped out and instead started a barnstorming career, eventually teaching student pilots at the Queen City Flying Service in Cincinnati. On one occasion, he survived falling out of his airplane while on an instruction flight, parachuting into a briar patch while his student landed safely on his own.
Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,285. Its county seat is Frankfort, the state capital. The county was formed in 1795 from parts of Woodford, Mercer and Shelby counties, and was named after the American inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it,, Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
White Castle is an American regional hamburger restaurant chain with 377 locations across 13 states, with its greatest presence in the Midwest. It has been generally credited as the country's first fast-food chain. It is known for its small, square hamburgers. Sometimes referred to as "sliders", the burgers were initially priced at five cents until 1929 and remained at ten cents until 1949. In the 1940s, White Castle periodically ran promotional ads in local newspapers which contained coupons offering five burgers for ten cents, takeout only.
He began his career with Pan Am in 1941 as Juan Trippe's private pilot, retiring in 1968 at the age of 50. While employed with Pan Am, Ueltschi married his wife Eileen in June 1944.
He founded FlightSafety International in 1951, the world's foremost aviation training organization, after noticing that corporate pilots did not receive the same rigorous training as airline pilots had. His first endorsement came from Trippe, who was President of Pan Am at the time. Ueltschi stepped down as President of FlightSafety in 2003, yet remained Chairman. The motto he started with still remains with FlightSafety today: "The best safety device in any aircraft is a well-trained crew." Berkshire Hathaway acquired FlightSafety in late 1996.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The company wholly owns GEICO, Duracell, Dairy Queen, BNSF, Lubrizol, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, Long & Foster, FlightSafety International, Pampered Chef, and NetJets, and also owns 38.6% of Pilot Flying J; 26.7% of the Kraft Heinz Company, and significant minority holdings in American Express (17.6%), Wells Fargo (9.9%), The Coca-Cola Company (9.4%), Bank of America (6.8%), and Apple (5.22%). Since 2016, the company has acquired large holdings in the major US airline carriers, and is currently the largest shareholder in United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and a top three shareholder in Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. Berkshire Hathaway has averaged an annual growth in book value of 19.0% to its shareholders since 1965, while employing large amounts of capital, and minimal debt.
He spent his winters in Vero Beach, Florida, but worked daily in the warmer months at FlightSafety's headquarters at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, Queens, New York.
Vero Beach is a city in and the seat of Indian River County, Florida, United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 data, the city had a population of 15,220.
LaGuardia Airport is an airport in the borough of Queens in New York. It is on the waterfront of Flushing and Bowery Bays in East Elmhurst and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria and Jackson Heights. The airport is the third busiest airport serving New York City, and the twentieth busiest in the United States. LaGuardia Airport covers 680 acres (280 ha).
Flushing is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. While much of the neighborhood is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street in Queens, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City.
Ueltschi helped launch and was a prolific contributor to Orbis International, a nonprofit, global development organization which operates a flying eye hospital (utilizing a specially equipped McDonnell Douglas DC-10) that offers sight-saving surgery and training to doctors around the world, and whose mission is to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries.
Orbis International is an international non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Its programs focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of blinding eye diseases in developing countries through hands-on training, public health education, advocacy and local partnerships. Since 1982, Orbis capacity-building programs have enhanced the skills of 325,000 eye care personnel and provided medical and optical treatment to more than 23.3 million people in 92 countries.
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturing corporation and defense contractor formed by the merger of McDonnell Aircraft and the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967. Between then and its own merger with Boeing in 1997, it produced a number of well-known commercial and military aircraft such as the DC-10 airliner and F-15 Eagle air-superiority fighter.
In 2010, Ueltschi cofounded HelpMeSeewith his son Jim, to address cataract blindness in the developing world by training thousands of cataract specialists using techniques developed by Ueltschi himself.
On September 18, 2012, Ueltschi signed The Giving Pledge, noting his commitment to cataract relief.
The National Business Aviation Association offers the Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership, given in recognition of "the spirit of service demonstrated by humanitarian leaders within the business aviation community."
An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person who controls the flight of an aircraft by operating its directional flight controls. Some other aircrew members, such as navigators or flight engineers, are also considered aviators, because they are involved in operating the aircraft's navigation and engine systems. Other aircrew members, such as flight attendants, mechanics and ground crew, are not classified as aviators.
Pan American World Airways, originally founded as Pan American Airways and commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier and unofficial flag carrier of the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991. It was founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service operating between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The airline is credited for many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets, and computerized reservation systems. It was also a founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry association.
China Clipper (NC14716) was the first of three Martin M-130 four-engine flying boats built for Pan American Airways and was used to inaugurate the first commercial transpacific airmail service from San Francisco to Manila in November 1935. Built at a cost of $417,000 by the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland, it was delivered to Pan Am on October 9, 1935. It was one of the largest airplanes of its time.
New York, Rio, and Buenos Aires Line was an airline that operated seaplane service from New York City to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and intermediate points on the east coast of South America during the 1920s. It was forced to merge into its competitor, Pan American World Airways, in 1930.
The Sikorsky S-42 was a commercial flying boat designed and built by Sikorsky Aircraft to meet requirements for a long-range flying boat laid out by Pan American World Airways in 1931. The innovative design included wing flaps, variable-pitch propellers, and a tail-carrying full-length hull. The prototype first flew on 29 March 1934, and, in the period of development and test flying that followed, quickly established ten world records for payload-to-height. The "Flying Clipper" and the "Pan Am Clipper" were other names for the S-42.
The Sikorsky S-40 was an American amphibious flying boat built by Sikorsky in the early 1930s for Pan American World Airways.
Pilot licensing or certification refers to permits on how to operate aircraft that are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in each country, establishing that the holder has met a specific set of knowledge and experience requirements. This includes taking a flying test. The certified pilot can then exercise a specific set of privileges in that nation's airspace. Despite attempts to harmonize the requirements between nations, the differences in certification practices and standards from place to place serve to limit full international validity of the national qualifications. In addition, U.S. pilots are certified, not licensed, although the word license is still commonly used informally. Legally, pilot certificates can be revoked by administrative action, whereas licensing requires intervention by the judiciary system.
Pan Am Flight 214 was a scheduled flight of Pan American World Airways from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On December 8, 1963, the Boeing 707 serving the flight crashed near Elkton, Maryland, while flying from Baltimore to Philadelphia, after being hit by lightning. All 81 occupants of the plane were killed. It was the first fatal accident on a Pan Am jet plane since the airline had started flying jets five years earlier.
Antony Habersack Jannus, more familiarly known as Tony Jannus, was an early American pilot whose aerial exploits were widely publicized in aviation's pre-World War I period. He flew the first airplane from which a parachute jump was made, in 1912. Jannus was also the first airline pilot, having pioneered the inaugural flight of the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line on January 1, 1914, the first scheduled commercial airline flight in the world using heavier-than-air aircraft. The Tony Jannus Award, created to perpetuate his legacy, recognizes outstanding individual achievement in the scheduled commercial aviation industry and is conferred annually by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society founded in Tampa, Florida, in 1963.
The Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1907–1914) was the first heavier-than-air military aviation organization in history and the progenitor of the United States Air Force. A component of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the Aeronautical Division procured the first powered military aircraft in 1909, created schools to train its aviators, and initiated a rating system for pilot qualifications. It organized and deployed the first permanent American aviation unit, the 1st Aero Squadron, in 1913. The Aeronautical Division trained 51 officers and 2 enlisted men as pilots, and incurred 13 fatalities in air crashes. During this period, the Aeronautical Division had 29 factory-built aircraft in its inventory, built a 30th from spare parts, and leased a civilian airplane for a short period in 1911.
The Martin M-130 was a commercial flying boat designed and built in 1935 by the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland, for Pan American Airways. Three were built: the China Clipper, the Philippine Clipper and the Hawaii Clipper. All three had crashed by 1945. A similar flying boat,, named Russian Clipper, built for the Soviet Union, had a larger wing and twin fins.
Colonel William Charles Ocker was an American aviation pioneer. He was known as the "Father of Instrument Flying".
Sean Doherty Tucker is an American aerobatic aviator who is sponsored by the Oracle Corporation and performs in air shows worldwide as "Team Oracle". Tucker has won several air show championship competitions throughout his career and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2008. He has led many efforts to assist youth in learning to fly or becoming involved in general aviation, and currently serves as co-chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)'s Young Eagles program.
Richard Lawrence Collins was an American aviation author and journalist.
In aviation, V-speeds are standard terms used to define airspeeds important or useful to the operation of all aircraft. These speeds are derived from data obtained by aircraft designers and manufacturers during flight testing for aircraft type-certification testing. Using them is considered a best practice to maximize aviation safety, aircraft performance or both.
Flying Aces was a monthly American periodical of short stories about aviation, one of a number of so-called "flying pulp" magazines popular during the 1920s and 1930s. Like other pulp magazines, it was a collection of adventure stories, originally printed on coarse, pulpy paper but later moved to a slick format. The magazine was launched in October 1928 by Periodical House, Inc. It featured stories written and illustrated by known authors of the day, often set against the background of World War I. Later issues added non-fiction aviation articles, as well as articles and plans for model airplanes. The latter became more prominent, and eventually the magazine was renamed Flying Models, and catered exclusively to aeromodeling hobbyists.
Pan Am Flight 526A, a Douglas DC-4, took off from San Juan-Isla Grande Airport, Puerto Rico, at 12:11 PM AST on April 11, 1952 on a flight to Idlewild International Airport, New York City with 64 passengers and five crew members on board. Due to inadequate maintenance, engine no. 3 failed after takeoff, followed shortly by engine no. 4. Nine minutes after takeoff, the aircraft ditched in rough seas 11.3 miles NW of San Juan Airport, broke apart and sank after three minutes. Panicking passengers refused to leave the sinking wreck. 52 passengers were killed, and 17 passengers and crew members were rescued by the USCG. After this accident it was recommended to implement pre-flight safety demonstrations for over-water flights.
Harold E. Gray was an American pilot and executive for Pan American World Airways who served as CEO from 1968 to 1969.