About Gary Hamilton
Gary is an Airline Transport Pilot with experience ranging from Taildraggers to Jets. His Commercial Airplane Pilot License includes Glider, Single Engine Land & Sea and Multi-Engine Seaplane. Gary has been PIC qualified in more than ninety models/types of aircraft and holds three Type Ratings. He has more than ten thousand hours as a pilot and has survived 17 inflight emergencies that ended on the ground. Some without damage. Flight Operations related work was the primary occupation until his retirement from the flight deck. Occasionally he still flys to evaluate an airplane during maintenance events or to offer some advice to the pilot or just to have fun.
Gary’s management experience includes scheduled air carriers, corporate flight departments, flying clubs and personal aircraft. He has been Lead on FAA Certification projects for both Part 135 scheduled and Part 135 un-scheduled Air Carriers. Some passenger operations. Some freight operations. He has worked to revive failing aviation business operations, some still in business today. He has started businesses from scratch as well. A Forestry Patrol operation. A maintenance shop for gyros, altimeters, pressure gauges and other aircraft instruments. He is experienced at working with large organizations and one of his fondest accomplishments is saving the Sky Ranch Airport and associated East Tennessee Pilot’s Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. A very long story and an eye-opening experience into the folly and funny of human nature.
Gary is a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic/ A&P with Inspection Authorization/ IA. Has personally completed over thirty engine overhauls. Is experienced in sheet metal, composites, electrical, pilot’s instruments, avionics install, paint and body, tig, stick and gas welding as well as major repairs, modifications and fabrication. Gary has worked with about every maintenance shop and mechanic in this and nearby counties. He has a good relationship with many quality folks. Gary is also a Certified Flight Instructor CFI, Instrument Instructor CFII, Advanced & Instrument Ground Instructor and Multi-Engine Instructor. He started his civilian aviation career as a flight instructor and mechanic in his childhood home the Tennessee Valley where he had spent much of his youth on the rivers and lakes or in the Smokey Mountains.
Flight Instruction is still a fond part of his path. Boats were too for a lot of years. Both as a boat mechanic and as a Hundred Ton Captain. Building hot rods and motorcycles deserve mention as well. Though he has worked mostly as a manager and pilot, pilot training and mechanic work have always been a part of his career and he hopes they will until the next retirement: “when someone walks in the hangar and pulls the wrench from my cold dead hands.”
A lot of ratings, a lot of plastic. Not much value in the plastic but each reflect the effort and determination to advance one’s skill. Each certificate relates to a goal. To learn. A job. Stick and Rudder. In 1968 Gary’s ambition posted in the grade school newsletter was to be a pilot. Persistence, Passion, Pride.
Currently located in Niceville Florida, Gary has two facilities. A storage hangar/office at home and a maintenance hangar at the Ruckel Airport (FL17). In addition to Gary’s restoration projects, he provides aircraft maintenance assistance, inspection and repair to a small group of loyal clients. These clients are taught to care for their equipment with the goal of being able to personally complete their own service tasks (PM). Some clients have gained the confidence and skills to build their own airplanes.
Gary and his wife of over forty years Crystal maintain a store on Ebay where they sell everything especially excess aviation articles like parts, hardware, tools and books. See stores.ebay.com/crysniceville.
This website is an introduction to me, Gary Hamilton, my history and my values. At this latter stage in my career, I am blessed with quality clients and each of them is a friend. Helping my friends is a very rewarding part of my life, particularly with their aircraft needs and aviation decisions.
In summary, what I do is Fix Stuff. All kinds of stuff. Mainly my own stuff. My hangar is my sanctuary and where I spend much of my time. My home office is another haven. The office has windows on three sides overlooking gardens. The hangar has no windows.
To contact me stop by the airport most days. Feel free to leave a note on the door if it is locked. I may be busy, may be flying, could be fishing. You see, this is my retirement and my hobby, it is about being happy, truthful, compassionate and tolerant. Tolerant is a challenge.
Note: To avoid frivolous litigation I do not have business liability insurance nor do I offer any kind of warranty.