Tye grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan signed up for the US Navy my senior year in High school. Turned 18 in boot camp at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command. After basic and 'A' schools he became a Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd class. Went to 'C' School in San Diego for Non-Destructive Testing of Metals. Then spent the next 19 years repairing submarines. Expanded his NDT certification to Level III in Visual, Dye Penetrant, Magnetic Particle, Ultrasonic Thickness, Silver Braze, Shear Wave, Eddy Current crack detection and dealloying, Radiography and Radiographic Film Interpretation. His Dad was an Air Force crew chief on F-84's for four years. That's probably where his airplane addiction came from. He's been interested in airplanes as far back as he can remember. He finished up his private pilot training at Barber's Point Navy Flying club in Hawaii and expanded to multi-engine. After he got back to the mainland, he added the instrument rating. He retired from the Navy after 20 years and went to work with Snap-on in the IT department. As a mechanic it's really nice to have the Snap-on employee discount. Not long after retiring he added a helicopter rating flying R-22's. Then on to night school for A&P. Helicopter's were too expensive for him so he bought a Cessna 140 figuring tailwheel would be a nice challenge. After moving into his hangar at KENW, he met Pete Spear and got some rides in his Stearman. That was enough to set the hook and a couple years later he found his PT17 at Stoughton near Madison. It was naked when he got it so he added 58 for a buzz number. He really enjoys the airplane and the people that surround it.
About the SRA
The Stearman Restorers Association is an independent “Not for Profit” 501C-3 Corporation dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and safe flying of Stearman Aircraft through the education of both members and the public. We are passionate about all models of Stearman biplanes.
Originally founded in 1966, the SRA has almost 1500 members in 25 countries.