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A Biography of Avialantic's Founder - Fred Pierce

Click on the images for a larger view (if you think you can take it)

Fighter wannabe

aerobatic pilot wannabe"Don't get sick - I haven't got a bag" 
- Bill Finagin

"If I'd really been a fighter pilot, I'd be dead by now"
- F. Pierce

I don't care if you are an Oracle DBA - You Can't Fly It! 
                          - Wayne Handley

The Oracle Raven at left was designed by Richard Giles. Wayne Handley set the world inverted-spin record in a Giles 202 like the one above.

Fred Pierce was born two days after Lt. Kennedy's PT-boat was ripped asunder off the Soloman Islands, though there is no evidence the two events are connected. He (Pierce) showed an interest in airplanes at an early age. He would usually set about breaking off all the propellers immediately upon receiving a new toy, although he had to be satisfied with merely bending the metal ones (in those days many toys were made of the kind of metal which would be lawyer heaven today).

Somehow managing to graduate from John Bartram High School, he flipped a coin and decided to forgo Penn State and a career in wildlife management for a Navy recruiter's promise to make him a photographer. The fact that this was his only coin may have influenced his decision. Strangely enough, the recruiter's promise came true. He served an interesting 4 years and 4 months, achieving the rate of Petty Officer 2nd Class over the strenuous objections of his immediate superior. Not being militarily inclined, he answered "no" to his counselor's - "you don't want to reenlist, do you?"

During his Navy years, the subject of this biography passed up numerous opportunities to start a priceless photo collection, not photographing the Blue Angels in their F-11 Tigers nor the P5M's or the SNB's or the R4D's and S2F's and Willy Fudds, H-34's, and other now historic aircraft he encountered except in the line of duty, and not keeping any prints of those he did photograph (to be fair, he did mostly motion picture work - hard to carry 16mm film around). He continued in this blase' tradition after his service years, ignoring F-100's and F-4's and A-4's and many more at White Sands/Holloman AFB. He went on to ignore RB-57's and 66's, C-124's and C-54's at Kwajalien, and even overlooked the U-2's at Wallops Island.

Although Pierce was never really dis-interested in aviation, signs of serious obsession didn't appear until the mid-70's. A 25-cent ship model kit found at a Good Will store led to the hobby shop to get some glue and paint"... and what else do they sell at hobby shops? Yup - airplane kits.

And then there was his evil friend and at that time boss who also happened to be a Reserve Chief with the last RF-8 Crusader squadron - an aircraft for which Pierce had always had a weakness. From visits to the NARU hangar and parking at the end of the Andrews AFB runway to watch Thuds and RF-8's and others it was airshows and hanging around airports and the event that sealed his fate - discovering the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. All hope of recovery was ended.

This web page is only the tip of the iceberg - a small symptom of the hopeless addiction of a lost soul, craving more and more aviation experiences and encounters, greater and greater "highs." Pilots and aircraft owners can only help him by indulging him - give him rides, let him fly your treasured antique (being ready to wrest the controls away of course), - even let him wipe them down. He is hopeless, but also harmless (if carefully watched). Thus far his penchant for breaking propellers seems to have abated, and he actually soloed an aircraft at one point (his instructor gave up and signed). One of his goals appears to be to log time in as great a variety of aircraft as possible without actually earning a pilots license.

A career transition from photography to computer technology took place in the mid '80's, and Pierce is now an Oracle database administrator in his day job. Thanks to Oracle Corporation's sponsorship of Wayne Handley and the Oracle Turbo-Raven, and now Sean Tucker and Team Oracle, aviation is even part of his DBA activity - the best of all possible worlds. His creative drives are fulfilled with his web page endeavors, producing local aviation newsletters, and occasional publication in the Atlantic Flyer, World Airshow News, and other aviation periodicals.

The above was written by my ghost-writer, aka Fred Pierce_2. I hope that these confessions will not deter you from enjoying your visit to Avialantic and its associated web sites. Best wishes and thanks for visiting - Fred Pierce

[Kwalalein]Fred's Favorite Island

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