Name: Michael Marco
Occupation: Sales Rep and Pilot for Marco Ophthalmic (winter)/ Pilot for Talkeetna Air Taxi (summers)
Dream Plane: P-51D Mustang
Why Michael got into aviation
I was actually more “thrown” into aviation. My grandfather flew B-24’s in WWII, my Grandmother, Father, Mother, Stepmother, and Uncles are all pilots…so I was born into a long line of Aviators. Aviation has always been a central, and very important part of my life. It has always been an integral part of our family business and even more so part of our weekend lives, it has certainly made me who I am today.
Favorite aviation story: Anything out of the books “The Right Stuff,” “Fate is the Hunter,” or “Wager with the Wind.” But specifically, the story about how Bob Hoover was shot down in WWII, and escaped a prison camp, stole a German FW-190 fighter, and then flew it home to safety. That’s an absolutely inspiring story.
Favorite aviation photo: (actual photo is attached) The picture of my Piper Pacer with my friend and Boss’s Piper Super-Cruiser parked on top of a bench in the Alaska Range Mountains. No runway, only a 100 foot inclined relatively flat spot in between two mountain peaks. It just shows what Alaskan flying is all about, and what bush planes can really be used for. It kind of sums me up as a pilot in one photo- do things that aren’t normally done!
Favorite plane you have flown: By far my favorite airplane to fly is a DeHavilland Beaver, no matter what configuration it’s in- whether it’s on bush-wheels, skis, or on floats, they are an amazing airplane. You can load them full of people, supplies, gear, and fuel, then strap a boat or perhaps a moose under the wing and it’ll still fly. In and out of some incredibly short, and high altitude strips as well.
How has flying changed your life: Flying has certainly made me the person I am today, I can honestly say that most of the best things that have happened to me have been in the air. Everything I do in life is grounded in aviation- how is this going to affect my flying, or how can flying aid me in this…? Aviation guides my life.
What is your dream for your aviation career?
My dream for my aviation career has always been to enjoy flying in fifty years as much as I do right now. I’ve been lucky enough to chase my childhood dream of being a bush pilot in Alaska when I got my job flying DeHavilland Beavers for Talkeetna Air Taxi. However, my goal for the future is to continue competing in regional Aerobatic competitions and to soon be a part of a formation aerial demonstration team and take part in warbird aerobatic shows in air shows around the country.
Any advice you would recommend to current or future aviators?
The first and most important thing to do, for any future aviator, is to get involved in aviation as soon as possible! Everyone always says, “oh, I’ll get to it next month, or when I graduate school.” But what realistically happens is that they keep putting it off, and it only gets more and more difficult to find time as time goes on. So make a date, get in touch with a local CFI, and go get that first flight lesson under your belt. It’s amazing how affordably and how quickly you can actually get it done.
For any current aviators, the best thing that you can do is better yourself as a pilot. One of the most common things I’ve run into are pilots who have never flown a tailwheel airplane, nor have they ever gotten any aerobatic instruction. Getting your tailwheel endorsement will absolutely make you a better pilot, as it increases your input response times and helps you better understand and master the aerodynamics of all airplanes. This will only make you safer and a more competent pilot.
In addition, get exposure to aerobatics and REAL unusual attitude training beyond what is required in basic private pilot PTS. Aerobatics will expose you and teach you how to compensate for, prevent, and recovery from all situations that you may accidentally find yourself in one day. It will only make you safer and more competent as a pilot.
Thank you for reading Michaels story! – Interested in sharing your story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Disclaimer – All photos here were given credit to the photographer on instagram. If you would like to have credit given on the website please let me know.*