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Alaska Aircraft Sales

  • 4131 Floatplane Dr
  • Anchorage , AK USA 99502
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K. Gene Zerkel

A Short History of His Aviation Career

Kenneth Gene Zerkel was born August 16, 1926, in his aunt’s farmhouse in Wells County, IN. He graduated from Hartford Township High School, home of the Gorillas, and enlisted in the US Army Air Corp as a pre-aviation cadet in December 1943. He had to wait until February 1945 to be old enough to enlist, so he learned to fly during those 15 months. After going Active Duty USAAC, the end of WWII led Gene to leave the US Army Air Corp in November 1945.

Gene then joined a traveling air show where he performed as a wing walker and ferried aircraft for the show. As his flying time increased, he received his commercial pilot’s and instructor’s licenses both in 1946. He joined Airgo, Inc. in 1946 as an Instructor Pilot (IP) and Charter Pilot and worked for them until he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1949. After being called to Active Duty with the USAF, he was sent through Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and graduated as an Outstanding Aviation Cadet, Class of 50E, from Reese Air Force Base, TX.

Zerkel was then retained as a B-25 instructor and promoted to Wing Instrument Check Pilot as well as put on the Multi-Engine Upgrade program for instructors. He was also a member of the Reese AFB Wing Flight Standardization/Evaluation group, serving as the only 2nd Lieutenant in the organization. Gene left the Air Force in August 1953 to pursue a career as a private-sector pilot.

Gene joined Flying Tiger Lines, located in Burbank, CA, as a Co-Pilot/First Officer. When Flying Tigers merged with Slick Airways, Zerkel left to join Zantop Air Transport in Detroit, MI. He was hired as a Co-Pilot/First Officer, but he was made a Captain within 30 days. Gene was promoted within Zantop to Check Pilot then to Chief Pilot and finally to Director of Operations. In 1966, Zantop was sold to Universal Consolidated Industries, and Gene became Vice President of Operations and Maintenance. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to Senior Vice President and converted the fl

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Alaska Aircraft Sales is looking to add 2 experienced A&P or A&P/IA to our team. We are a Part 145 Repair Station located on the largest seaplane base in ... More Info

Alaska Aircraft Sales

Anchorage, AK USA

Last Update: 10/30/2023