Gary Turner | Spartan College Graduate

Dear Sir,

This is in reply to your e-mail request for information concerning my aviation career after attending Spartan School of Aeronautics.

I attended Spartan School of Aeronautics from 1968 to 1969. I selected Spartan on the recommendation of my father who was an American Airlines Captain. I had approximately 5 hours of flying time when I arrived at Spartan. I completed my Private License,Commercial License, Multi-engine, Instrument rating and Flight instructor ratings in one and a half years. I also was privileged to fly co-pilot on the Spartan Executive airplane with my flight instructor Mr. Art Sautter.

After Spartan, I was a flight instructor at McConnell AFB flying club in Wichita, Kansas for one year. I then was hired by Air Midwest airlines in Wichita as a co-pilot and then as a captain on Cessna 402’s and Beech 99’s. After several years of building flying time I was hired by Frontier Airlines in Denver  as a second officer. One year later I was upgraded to first officer on Convair 580 prop jet followed by upgrades to the right seat of Boeing 737 and MD-80. After five years with Frontier I was promoted to Captain on the Convair 580 followed by the Boeing 737 and then the MD-80 jet.

Frontier Airlines filed bankruptcy in 1987 and I accepted a Captain’s position at Continental Airlines in Denver flying the MD-80. I flew for Continental for one year and was hired by United Parcel Service in Louisville, Kentucky in 1988. I was fortunate to start as a Captain in the Douglas DC-8 because of my previous experience. I enjoyed the experience of flying large four-engine aircraft for twelve years. In 2001 I again changed aircraft and began flying the Boeing 747 on international flights for the next year until I retired at age 55. I now have a home in Colorado and a winter home in Phoenix. Although I no longer fly,  I have many wonderful memories of my career in aviation. I’m very thankful to my father for recommending that I  attend Spartan School of Aeronautics. It was always a plus on my resume and a very fond memory.


Gary L. Turner