Garry Gabbard
Captain
Aug 4, 2018

 

 

GARY GABBARD Legendary local pilot, Gary G. Gabbard, flew west at the age of 78 in Las Vegas, August 4, 2018, after a long battle with cancer. Gary grew up in Marine City, MI, where he studied at the "Real School of Hard Knocks". He began working at Trott Bros. Airport in exchange for flying lessons, and soloed at the age of 18. Thus began his 60-year accident-free love affair with aviation. Gabbard and a lifelong friend moved to Tucson, AZ, and started their own aviation business. It was in Arizona that he joined the Air National Guard and obtained his A&P license. Gary continued his aviation career flying everything from the Twin Beech in the Grand Canyon to flying celebrities in corporate Lear Jets. His airline career started in 1968 with Air West Airlines and ended after retiring with 30 years at Northwest Airlines. After retirement, Gary not only flew his beloved CJ-6 to Airshows around the country, but he also put his skill into restoring his Stearman in Flabob, CA. As a gifted mechanic, Gary not only maintained his own aircraft, but was always selflessly ready to help others who were in need of assistance. There literally wasn't anything that Gabbard could not fix. He would commonly be found in the machine shop crafting parts from raw stock to keep his and other airplanes flying. Gary was an encyclopedia of all things aviation. A mentor to many, the young and the old, the student and the experienced. Blue skies, my friend, you will be missed. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Experimental Aircraft Association % Robin Kasel PO Box 3086 Oshkosh, WI 54903 Or: EAA.org/donate In memory of Gary Gabbard