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Gone West: Al Aldinger
By Craig Aldinger, EAA 792663
March 3, 2016 - I always knew my father, Al Aldinger, EAA 263739, was a special person, homebuilder, mechanic, and pilot. After all, he was the inspiration that led me to my career in aviation.
But, it wasn't until he passed that I really knew how special he was. Every single one of his pilot and/or mechanic colleagues had nearly identical stories to tell.
One might think you'd get sick of hearing the same story again and again. But, when all of the stories include the words ingenious, mentor, and legacy – there's no getting sick of hearing that.
He was generally not a man of many words. But when he spoke, people listened. I could write so many words about his accomplishments.
But, I’ll honor his legacy by stating a number – 40,000.
He retired “officially” with 39,950 hours. He always said he knew he surpassed 40,000 but there were more important things to accomplish than re-reviewing his log books to reach a milestone number.
I know my father has not just “gone west.” As he did throughout his life, he will live on through the people whose lives he’s touched.