Talkeetna’s history is full of aviators. Most pilots today know of Carl Thomas, or at least of his private airstrip, Carl’s Landing. KTNA’s Katie Writer, an aviator herself, spoke with Carl Thomas and his wife Brenda about their lives in Talkeetna.
by: Katie Writer–KTNA, Talkeetna
One of Talkeetna’s colorful aviators, Carl Thomas, maintains his own airplanes while his active lifestyle maintains his youthful 82 year old spirit.
Carl and his adventurous wife, Brenda moved to Talkeetna in 1986 and established Carl’s Landing, a private airstrip south of town.
Carl served in the US Air Force as a jet engine mechanic all over the world. The need for reciprocating engine mechanics brought him to Elmendorf Air Force Base to work on the C-130’s.
“I retired in ’76…I was in the military for twenty-two-and-a-half years.”
At a young age, Carl’s desire to be a flyer started with model airplanes, where he learned aerodynamics and theories of flight from the ground. He daringly taught himself how to fly solo before accepting the offer of having a flight instructor check him out. Shortly thereafter, he purchased his first airplane, which he kept at the picturesque Vermont dairy farm where he worked. From then on, Carl knew he would fly his entire life. (more…)