About AuCountry Aviation

. .AuCountry, (say 'A' - 'U' Country') is privately owned and operated and specializes in the restoration, service, repair,
and modification of Grumman American aircraft and is located in beautiful Auburn, CA 25 miles East of Sacramento

AuCountry:  I named my business Gold Country Aviation in 1995. I was amazed no one in Auburn had picked that name.  In 1998, before I moved my business to Auburn Airport, someone incorporated the name, Gold Country Aviation Inc., in Placer County.  I got a call one day telling me I needed to stop using the name.   Can't blame them, really.  So . . . . I chose to rename my business AuCountry.  (Au is the atomic symbol for gold) AuCountry "IS" Gold Country.  And, in case you've never been to Auburn or the Gold Country of California, well, you are missing one of the most beautiful locations on the face of the earth.
(Note:   Gold Country Aviation Inc. went out of business in 2010 

Auburn: AKA "KAUN" i.e., Golden.  I first visited Auburn in 1961. I'd forgotten, of course. My Dad reminded me. We had stopped here for gas while on a trip to the Bay Area. Apparently, I looked around and said, "Dad, this is where I want to live." Some 32 years later, I began the move. It still took me another 12 years to get moved.  After I moved to Auburn, my dad said, "It's about damn time. You said you wanted to live in Auburn when you were 10."  At the time of my move, 2005, I had been living in hell (AKA, Lancaster, CA) for 22 years.

History: I've been 'doing' Grummans since 1978.  First, getting my primary training and soloing in a 2-seater, then student pilot, and time building in Cheetahs and Tigers, and finally getting my check ride in Cheetah N9833U. Other than some odd hours here and there in something else, and 150 hrs in a Citabria I restored, I've only owned and flown Grummans. I have been flying about 70 to 100 hours per year since then.  As of Dec 2010, I have over 3000 hours in Grumman Tigers, Cheetahs, and AA1A/B/Cs.  I bought my first airplane, a 1977 Cheetah, in October 1984.  I sold it in Apr 2000.   This is my 2nd plane (also a Cheetah), a 1978 Cheetah, and my 4th plane, a 2001 Citrabria (a 1975 Citabria ECA completely restored and recertified as a 2001 Citabria GCAA

Wrenching:  I began working on my first plane almost immediately after buying it. It had been sitting for almost 2 years at Fox Field.  Why didn't I just take it to Barnes Aviation and have their mechanic work on it?  I thought about it. I went to Barnes and watched an "FAA" licensed airplane mechanic doing some really pathetic work on a guys plane and thought, "There is no way I'm letting anyone else touch my plane." I got my A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanics license in 1995 and my IA (Inspection Authorization) in 2002.

Airplanes were a natural progression. I had been a gear head since I was 10 years old and started tearing lawn mowers apart (much to my fathers dismay. I can still see the look on his face!).  I bought my first car, a '52 Olds 88, at 14, for $25 and owned 10 more cars before I graduated High School (I went to Highland High School, Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated in 1969). They were a: '49 Olds 88 ($15), '49 Chrysler Windsor ($15), '54 Buick Roadmaster ($35), '58 Plymouth wagon ($50), '57 Dodge Coronet ($150), '61 Dodge Polara ($0, given to me), '50 Olds 98 ($25), '61 Corvair 4 dr ($150), '56 Ford Ranch Wagon (I paid $50 for this one, pushed it home and then I put a '62 406 CI big block Ford with three dueces into this one  Read about the Great Race of '68) and a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner with a 440 cubic inch engine and three two-barrel carbs. I've had 41 more cars/trucks, 3 motorcycles, 1 boat, and 5 airplanes since then.    Want to see them all?

College:  No one was surprised when I started college (at the University of Utah) and majored in Mechanical Engineering.  I studied acoustics and fluid dynamics.  My Senior project was on flow induced oscillations inside a model of the space shuttle booster engines.  After my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, I studied at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium.  After that, I went back to school and did 20 hour days and got my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in 9 months.  My Masters' thesis was again on flow instability and vortex generation.

After college:  After eleven years doing basic research in combustion instabilities in liquid and solid propellant rocket engines and five years as an F-16 propulsion engineer in Flight Test, I decided to live out my passions. AuCountry Aviation brought together all of them: design, engineering, flying, working on planes, restoring planes, inventing better cowlings, wheel pants, eyebrows, and, well, anything to do with airplanes. Even though I had been creating AuCountry in one incarnation or another since 1984, 1997 became my official first year being self employed.

I also taught Beginning and Intermediate Algebra from 1984 to 2004 at the Antelope Valley Community College. I got a lot of satisfaction out of teaching. I mean, I have a captive audience for all of my bad jokes.

If you happen to fly through Auburn, stop by my hangar and say, "Hi." . . . . . . Maybe you'll see one of my projects in process.