As the Director of Restorations and Museum Operations Manager, Jim uses his 40 plus years of experience as an expert craftsman and Vintage Aircraft expertise to help restore and maintain the N.C.V.A.M`s collection of aircraft . Jim over the past 40 plus year has restored and built from scratch over 30 award winning aircraft as well as building a Recreation Gee Bee Model E Sportster from . Jim`s aviation background has deep roots with his grandfather being a Naval Aviator and Jim`s father being a Sikorsky Aircraft Director of Quality Assurance for over 40 years. Jim`s love of Antique and Classic aircraft goes back to the early sixties where he was born and brought up in South West Conn. Monroe, Fortunately for Jim his parents lived across the street from a small grass airstrip , Monroe Airport. This would become Jim`s haven till the day the airport closed in the early 1970`s From playing as a kid in abandoned Stinson Reliants , Curtiss Robins and Fairchild PT-19`s that had become derelict during the late 1950`s and 1960`s and acquiring flight time as early as twelve years old in Cubs and Aeronca`s Jim`s fascination with flight and old airplanes only grew as time and flight hours permitted. By 1969 Jim was pestering his father for his own airplane, what his parents did for his 15th Birthday was find and purchase a 1948 Piper PA-15 Vagabond, a complete Project for $ 500.00. A year was spent restoring the Vagabond and this is were the restoration Bug developed and took of from there. By the following summer Jim turned 16 and was able to solo the Vagabond . What has followed in Jim`s career was Architectural College, 17 years at Sikorsky Aircraft managing the Engineering Dept. Advanced Design Business Development Model Shop,a Airframe and Powerplant rating with Inspection Authorization. Beginning in 1995 Jim Started his own Restoration Business , Golden Age Restorations which led Jim eventually to Concrete, WA. and Harold W. Hanson founder of the Collection in 2000. Jim acknowledges Harold as being the one who spear headed the collection and with years of being a big part of Harold`s life Jim Could see what direction the Collection needed to go in order for it to sustain itself with what Harold so unselfishly left for the collection to carry on and mature, for that Jim will always be grateful. Being part of a growing collection and having the opportunity to fly and demonstrate these wonderful machines has been a life long dream for Jim, thank you Harold.
At the age of 5 Drew was introduced to airplanes through his dad Jim Jenkins while they were living on the east coast. Up until the age of 13 Drew flew on and off with his dad and then he got the bug. At 13 his dad worked for himself in a Aircraft Restoration business and Drew got interested. At the age of 14 his dad bought him a 1961 Piper colt to learn how to fly in while living on the Falmouth Airpark in Falmouth MA. Well due to fabric issues the airplane needed to be restored and Upon entering high school in 1999 Drew started his first restoration. While working on his own airplane he helped his dad with his business every day after school and on the weekends.When he graduated High School in 2003 the colt was completed. The airplane got sold to Harold Hanson and was flown to Concrete, WA where it still resides today. One year after graduating high school Drew and his dad moved out to Washington state where he got a job restoring airplanes for Harold. The spring of 2004 Drew attended the two week crash course at the Bakers School of Aeronautics where he left with his Airframe and Power Plant ratings.Since then he has worked at the Museum restoring airplanes. He is currently working on his Private Pilots license where he hopes to fly all of the airplanes that are located at the museum.
Typically most people get their air frame and power plant certificates by going to an accredited 2 year program put on by a college. There is, however, another way to earn your certificates. That is by being an apprentice under mechanics who already have their A&P and IA certificates. It is required by the FAA to have 30 months of continuous education, documenting your work. This then qualifies the individual to take the FAA exams.
Sean joined us here at the Museum in early June 2016 as a volunteer to help us get ready for the annual Fly-In. All of the tasks given to Sean, he was able to complete very easily. We then decided to have Sean join us with aircraft maintenance and restoration. Sean’s eagerness to learn has allowed him to pick up given tasks quickly and made it an easy decision to bring him on as an apprentice so he can learn from us to obtain his A&P certificates.