David Linzinmeir was born in Marysville, Ohio on the 13th of February 1933, the 3rd of four children to Louis and Lucille Bishop Linzinmeir.
Family was everything to David with aviation, fishing, and the OSU Buckeyes close behind. As a youth he paid for flight lessons by trapping and selling furs in the streams of post-depression rural Ohio and stacking seed bags at Scott Seed Company. A born stick & rudder aviator he soloed in a J3 Cub after less than 4 hours at 15 years old.
He played football and had a brief and self-professed unremarkable career as a fly-weight boxer. Graduating high school, David joined the US Navy and travelled the world, based on aircraft carriers and Naval Air Stations from Guantanamo Bay to Port Lyautey, French Morocco. Serving his country he acquired a deep knowledge of the world, aircraft maintenance, and even a tattoo… wisely removed before he had children and the content of which was never to be revealed.
After honorable discharge from the Navy he worked at North American Aviation building airplanes on the assembly line with his father and flying anything he could in order to get his time up. He was ultimately hired by the new Lake Central in 1959, which went on to become the world’s largest airline, US Airways/American. Starting out flying WWII surplus DC-3’s solo (the fledgling airline had no budget for co-pilots) he flew through and out of the worst weather and dirt runways the midwest and east coast had to offer. He went on to command virtually every major airliner of the modern age of commercial aviation from single/multi engine props and jets, to single/multi engine sea planes, executive jets, and the first of the long range Boeing 757/767s.
David met the young and beautiful ‘Delta Queen’ Carolyn Summers while passing the Delta Airlines ticketing desk at Cincinnati airport and they married in 1963 living in Covington, KY. They had two children, Lisa Linzinmeir Whitlock and Jake Linzinmeir.
Now Captain Linzinmeir, he trained a new generation of pilots into the jet age leading the line and simulator training departments as 767 Flight manager based in Pittsburgh. He pioneered aviation accident avoidance by teaching pilots how to fly out of problems by reverse engineering accident training in the simulators and always, always keeping the blue side up. He commanded the inaugural flights and navigational proving runs for US Airways to new destinations like San Francisco, and across the North Atlantic to London, Paris, and Frankfurt.
He was dragged from the cockpit at mandatory FAA retirement age 60 and grudgingly retired to the island of Kauai growing Meyer lemons, Apple bananas, and enjoying the occasional glass of chardonnay. David passed away peacefully at 84 years old on the evening of December 27th, 2017. He is survived by his children, grandchildren Carolyn Rose Whitlock and David Warren Whitlock, sisters Beth Rausch and Jean Gebhardt, brother John, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made in Dave’s name to AOPA Flight Training Scholarships at www.aopa.org.