Stan Hall Safari

 Stan Hall (1915 – 2009)

Stan Hall began his life of aviation at the age of 4, when, sitting in his mother’s lap, he went for a ride in a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny.” Stan was 12 when Lindberg in 1927 flew to Le Bourget field in Paris. The following day Stan started putting together what he called a glider, but it was not until 1931 that he completed and put into the air a flying machine of this magnitude.

In 1936, North American Aviation in Los Angeles was building up its engineering staff and Stan landed a job as an engineering draftsman. He had no engineering experience as an aircraft builder but the fact that he got top grades in high school drafting helped him land the job. From then on, his on-the-job engineering training came fast and furious. In the five years he worked at North American he became involved in the design of the AT-6 trainer, the B-25 bomber, and the P-51 Mustang fighter. Under the pressure of wartime, and working under some brilliant engineers, Stan soaked up technical know-how like a sponge.

Douglas Aircraft hired Stan away from North American to help design cargo gliders that were conceived by the great Hawley Bowlus. Near the completion of the glider program at Douglas, Stan left the company to join a new civilian contract flying school in Wickenburg, Arizona. He wanted to FLY. It was here that he taught young staff sergeants to fly training gliders preparatory to flying the huge cargo gliders that Douglas and others were building. Later, as Flight Commander, he taught aviation cadets to fly the Stearman PT-17 airplane.