Alan was born in a Quonset hut on Hamilton Air Force base, north of San Francisco. His father, William Anders was out flying an F-101 Voodoo, and upon hearing news of his 1st son’s birth over the radio, replied “ I still have ½ a tank of fuel and will RTB (return to base) when bingo (minimum fuel)” Maybe that’s when Alan decided to become a pilot. That day, Feb 18, 1957 was the day the last Skyraider rolled of the Douglas Aircraft production line and was test flown. For some strange inexplicable reason, it is Alan’s favorite airplane to fly.
Initially, Alan wanted to be a helicopter pilot in the Army, but graduating high school in the spring of ’75 after the fall Saigon , there was not a huge demand for helicopter pilots.
He went on to pursue a career in commercial art, computer animation and making feature films at Dreamworks Animation. It was not until much later in life that Alan went on to finally pursue his love of flying and went at it with a vengeance. In 9 years of flying amassed well over 2000 hrs mainly in ex –military warbirds.
He earned his, instrument, commercial helicopter, fixed wing ratings, and type ratings in the L-39 jet, T-28, and AD-4 Skyraider. In addition to flying with the Navy Legacy Flight, he flies a vintage T-6 Texan with the Military’s new Texan II trainer in the Air Force’s Texan Flight program. He is currently the Director of Operations for Heritage Flight Museum in Bellingham, WA. where they operate 16 vintage military aircraft. He must test fly a variety aircraft after they come out of maintenance, a dark and dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Pilot Alan Anders