Pilot and Warbird Owner | Owner of the Champlin Fighter Museum | Aviation Entrepreneur
Last week I received a phone call from the new owner/pilot of one of the three Grummans that I retrieved from Maui many years ago. We had a nice visit and he asked if I missed the finding and restoring of fighter planes since I had spent almost thirty years building a museum of fighters which contents were purchased and now are displayed in the Museum of Flight in Seattle. I said of course, but the collection is intact and will remain a big part of my life’s work. My caller then remarked, much to my surprise, that “You might not own any fighter planes now but you are still the king of finding and restoring rare fighter planes.”
Indeed a memorable remark in my retirement but it would not have been such a success without the help of many people, but one stands out in particular-Dave Goss.
Dave started working at my museum when he was a student in college and worked his way up to be the Director of Restorations over 13 years before I sold the Museum. His professional skills improved through those years and I would put him at the top of the list along with two or three other great restoration specialists in the world. However his true attributes that put him at the top were his sense of fair play and his integrity. If he didn’t like something or someone, you knew where Dave stood. No grey areas in Dave’s mind in issues of safety, quality of work or character.
In recommending a company or a person, many use the expression “I would trust him with my life”. In Dave’s case, that is exactly what I did for over 13 years.