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, about 25 miles East of Sacramento.

AuCountry: I named my business Gold Country Aviation in 1995 after visiting Auburn. 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 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 44 years later. We had stopped here for gas while moving to Novato, CA. 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, 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 2019, I have over 3200 hours in Grumman Tigers, Cheetahs, and AA1A/B/Cs. I've owned 5 planes: 1) a 1977 Cheetah with 700 hours TTAF/E, in October 1984; 2 & 3) both '78 Cheetahs; and my 4th plane was a 1975 Citabria ECA that I completely restored and recertified as a 2001 American Champion Citabria GCAA (go to the TeamGrumman Page and look for Wood and Fabric on the left hand side of the bottom of the page).

Wrenching:  I began working on my first plane almost immediately after buying it. It had been sitting for almost 2 years at Fox Field (KWJF).  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 touch my plane." I got my A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanics license in 1995 and my IA (Inspection Authorization) in 2002. 

I've been a gear head since I was 10 years old tearing my dad's lawn mower apart (much to his 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, '49 Chrysler Windsor, '54 Buick Roadmaster, '58 Plymouth wagon, '57 Dodge Coronet, '61 Dodge Polara, '50 Olds 98, '61 Corvair 4 dr, '56 Ford Ranch Wagon (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 A12, 440 cubic inch engine and three two-barrel carbs, plus motorcycles, planes, and a boat.    Want to see them all?  

College:  I started college in 1970 with a major in Math.  While stationed at Castle AFB (Merced, CA) in 1974 I changed my major to Commercial Art. I changed my major to architecture in 1976 when I was stationed in Japan.  When I got out of the Air Force in 1977, the plan was to go back to school at the University of Utah and get a BS in Civil Engineering and then a Masters in architecture.  However, a seminar put on by Dr Gary A Flandro on Fluid Dynamics changed my life forever. It was if I could SEE and FEEL the fluid flow. I walked across campus and changed my major to 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.  Back to the UofU later that year, I studied for 20 hours/day and got my Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 9 months.  My Masters' thesis was again on flow instability and vortex generation.  After College I worked as a ...

Rocket Scientist:  1982-1993: Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory in 1982. I worked on a lot of cool projects and met a lot of really smart people.

F-16 Propulsion Engineer:  1993-1997: 416th Flight Test at Edwards AFB.  This was an awesome place to work.  Great people.  Great friends.

Math Instructor:  1984-2004: I taught Math (from how to add and subtract to College Algebra) at the Antelope Valley Community College in Lancaster, CA.

AuCountry Aviation: 1997-Present:  I walked away from a very secure job working with awesome people to work on planes.  For 22 years I had a note on my desk that said, "If one dares to take the risks and advance confidently, in the direction of his own dreams and endeavors, to live the life which he alone has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." ~ Henry David Thoreau.

So, here I am in 2020 doing what I love to do. 
If you happen to fly through Auburn, stop by my hangar and say, "Hi." . . . . . . Maybe you'll see one of my projects in process.