EAA Chapter 25

A Community of Aviation Enthusiasts in the Twin Cities

Gone West: Earl Adams

Filed under: Member Profiles — admin at 10:53 pm on Saturday, September 11, 2004

Gone West

September 11, 2004

We learned with great sadness on September 11th of the passing of one of our long-time members, Earl Adams. Earl was born September 24, 1930 in Hayward, Wisconsin. He moved to St. Paul for his freshman year at Central high school and joined the Air Guard in 1947. He had his first airplane ride in an AT-6 at Holman Field in October of 1947. He graduated high school in June of 1949 and then worked for General Air at the St. Paul airport until September. He then attended Air Force Mechanic School at Shepherd Field, Texas and graduated in May of 1950.

He flew his first solo in a PT-19 in Wichita Falls, Texas on October 30, 1949, and received his Private Pilot¹s license in 1950. Earl was activated in 1950 and shipped to the Far East. He was stationed in Japan as a flight engineer on a DC-3, and flew a few combat missions in a B-26 dropping propaganda material in North Korea. Earl returned home in August of 1952. He flew as a flight attendant for North Central until spring of 1954 when he became the fixed base operator at the Worthington Airport. He repaired aircraft, gave flight instruction, and sprayed crops until re-joining North Central Airlines as a pilot in 1956. He also did some barnstorming out of Worthington with Eldon Sorenson.

Earl had a long and distinguished career with Northwest Airlines. A number of chapter members served at Northwest with Earl, and recount their memories of flying with him. He began flying as first officer in DC 3¹s, and moved to the left seat in 1958. He later moved to Convair 340¹s, 440¹s, then 580¹s, and subsequently to DC 9¹s. He flew Republic Boeing 757¹s for a time until they were sold by Northwest, and then returned to DC 9¹s, this time DC 9-80¹s until his retirement in September of 1990.

Earl flew over 100 different types of aircraft, including many warplanes (C-47, P-51, B-26) and virtually all Piper, Cessna, and Stinson models. Earl owned many airplanes, including a plans-built Casset and a Hatz open-cockpit biplane which he completely rebuilt. Among his other aircraft were a Pitts Special, and a J-3 Cub which he restored and first flew in 2001.

Earl was a valued member of Chapter 25. He received the chapter¹s highest service award, the Traveling Trophy, in 1991. Members will remember Earl flying his Mooney 201 on chapter fly-outs and for Young Eagle events. Earl flew his last Young Eagle mission for the chapter in May of 2002 (photo above right), when his battle with Lewy bodies disease began to curtail his flying activities. Earl continued to participate in chapter events as his health allowed. We extend our sympathies to Earl¹s family. He will be missed.

Obituary Posted: 9/24/04 Earl Frank Adams, 73, of Rosemount, died Sept. 11, 2004, at Ebenezer Ridges Care Center.

He was born Sept. 24, 1930, in Hayward, Wis. He had been employed as a pilot for Northwest Airlines and was a member of the Rosemount American Legion.

He was preceded in death by his son, Craig, and his parents, Earl and Laura Adams. He is survived by his wife, Donna Adams, son Clay (Cindy), daughter Christine Evaska, daughter-in-law Lisa Adams and six grandchildren, Suzanne, Katie, Sam, Skye, Max and Gabe.

Services were held at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley and officiated by Rev. Duane Paetznick. Interment was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

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