President of Moore Industries gets Pilot's License at Age 73
Mr. Moore has been flying since he was a teenager in Oelwein, Iowa, and soloed for the first time at age 16. Since then, he has continued to fly, but always with instructors or other certified pilots. He never thought about getting a license until he came across an Ercoupe model 415D airplane, sitting abandoned as a pile of parts at a remote California airport.
The airplane was a basket case: no engine, no instruments, the wings and tail were off, the rear wing spar was busted, and it was covered with rust and corrosion. When he was a kid, Mr. Moore and his dad built a model airplane - the kind you fly with two wires attached to a hand grip. The toy airplane was a model of an Ercoupe.
The Ercoupe was designed in the 1930s, built from 1946 to 1948, and billed as everymans airplane. Mr. Moore says the Ercoupe was sold at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and at some JC Penneys stores. Some 6,500 airplanes were sold before the company went out of business, and about 1,000 are still flying today. Mr. Moore decided to resurrect the basket case.
He and two retired air force mechanics rebuilt the Ercoupe over five years and, some time during that period, Mr. Moore decided to use it to get his pilots license. Getting a pilots certificate was one of the items on my list of things to do, Mr. Moore says. So, as soon as we got an FAA Airworthiness certificate for the Ercoupe, I went after my own certificate.
Photo caption: Leonard Moore, flying over the Reagan Library in California, on Memorial Day, 2006.
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