Posted By: Chris Birrell

I have been an active viewer of this website since my first flight in a CJ6A Nanchang back in 1998, and my hopes of one day becoming a Warbird owner/operator had begun. It got me addicted to flying, and to Courtesy’s Website! 10 Years later, I am currently flying Learjets. Throughout my last few days of high school, and throughout college, Courtesy Aircraft was always a site that I could get my warbird fix. It’s amazing to see all the different aircraft come and go – and even watch the same ones pop up more than once! I remember about 10 years ago when I was just finishing up high school in the Bay Area, and Ray Diekman was at the Santa Rosa Air Show with Marines Dream. David Etchell, a friend of Ray’s, was the man who took me on my first flight the year prior in the Nanchang. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Ray’s amazing Corsair. I remember he was not flying it in the airshow that day because he was feeling sick with a head cold, but he offered me to climb up inside… it was just freshly restored and what an amazing treat that was. I remember asking him how fast he had gone so far. He replied with “Around 350mph.” Years later I see it for sale on Courtesy. It brings back such great memories and only now, years later, I realize how special that was. Such a small community the warbird family is, and one day hope to be an owner and part of. One thing’s for sure, when the day comes along where I can start off with a T-6 or T-28, Mark Clark and the people at Courtesy Aircraft will be the folks I seek.