January 5, 2017 - Gene Chase, a longtime editor of Vintage Airplane magazine and later a member of the Vintage Aircraft Association board of directors, died Monday, January 2, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at age 92. His death comes less than two months after the passing of his wife of 70 years, Dorothy.
Chase (EAA 10522, VAA 300) joined the EAA headquarters staff in 1973 as part of a remarkable aviation career that included service as a naval aviator on aircraft carriers during World War II and service in the Naval Reserve before retiring as a lieutenant commander. He was also a corporate, charter, and cloud seeding pilot at various times, and maintained his CFI rating for more than a half-century.
Perhaps best known as the editor of Vintage Aircraft magazine during his time at EAA, Chase also held several other positions on the staff. He also wrote hundreds of articles about vintage aircraft, the people who owned them, and flying those airplanes. After retiring from the EAA staff in 1987, he joined the antique/classic division (now Vintage Aircraft Association) board of directors in 1989 and served as co-chairman of the antique aircraft judging committee at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for many years. He was inducted into the Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame in 1999. Most recently, he was a member of VAA Chapter 10 in Tulsa.
His strong interest in vintage aircraft included restorations of a 1929 Church Midwing, a 1933 Davis D-1-W, and a 1935 Taylor E-2 Cub.
EAA’s condolences go to Chase’s family and many aviation friends. A memorial service will be held at University Village Stovall Theatre on January 7, 2017, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in his memory to the Alzheimer's Association, 2448 E. 81st Street, Suite 3000, Tulsa, OK 74137.