Jeneal McKinleyJun 21, 2019
- Howard is from Wisconsin, his wife Diana is from Ohio. They met in California while he was a summer intern at HP and she was visiting friends. They dated long distance while he finished a couple of Engineering Degrees at University of Wisconsin, married and moved to California, had two kids in San Diego. His California girls as he calls them. He worked in the Space (Moon) Program at General Dynamics/Astronautics, then attended Berkeley for 3 years in their EE/Physics PhD program, developing Integrated Circuit Technology.
He started across the Bay with HP in ’69, and got his pilot’s license from Amelia Ried at Ried-Hillview airport south of SJC, joining EAA and AOPA and been a member of both ever since.
By 1973 he had enough of California and transferred to Colorado moving to Loveland.
He bought 1/4 share of a ’62 C-210B, flew 22 years, then bought a whole ownership of a ’74 C-210L in ’95, getting a Commercial License in 2001, and flew some more.
Joining some FNL airport organizations starting in ’04, helped found the FNL Pilots Association and the Fort-Love Hangar Association. Prior to that he used to just arrive at the airport, pull the plane out of the rented hangar, and fly Then back home to FNL, gas the plane, and head for the house. After a free burger one auspicious weekend at the inaugural meeting of the Pilots Association in ’04, he signed up to be resident curmudgeon in the organization and enjoyed the company and the meetings a lot. After serving in all the Officer positions along the way, the position of Treasurer stuck.
He bought into the Fort-Love Hangar Association in 2007, helped with construction of 30 T-Hangars there–bought one for our plane in 2009. Now he gets to help with crack seal and as Board Member/Treasurer, collect the dues each year.
Each position in these volunteer organizations has lead to other responsibilities working with a great group of diverse people from which he has learned a LOT about the airport and flying. Noise abatement issues, Ground Leases, working with our two-city ownership structure, helping the FNL Steering Committee navigate, and now attending the Northern Colorado Regional Airport Commissioner’s meetings .
He has volunteered to help with Collings Foundation flights, attending EAA AirVenture and even SunNFun over the years…plus so many flights to great locations across the country–both coasts several times, both borders, the Bahamas, and many visits to family and friends along the way. Flying a small plane makes visits like that both fun and practical…just a matter of priorities and having a supportive partner-spouse to thank for that over the years.
Another 20 year Master Plan coming up at FNL, and he hopes to be around long enough to see the nation’s first FAA Certified Remote Tower turn FNL into Class D airspace.
“It’s so rewarding to make lots of cross country flights in our C-210 each year in the ATC system, and I’m a safety pilot for others as my friends and I stay IFR current.” he say that even though Larry and Terry at PAS maintains his plane, “I work in our hangar doing things owners can legally do after learning how from the Professionals. These projects keep me limber and have become part of my “retirement” routine.” he says with a smile.
“To enjoy life, it seems you have to participate. Flying with people and visiting people over the years seems to make time “fly”– right on by. You can’t ask for much more than that.”