Linda Finch - Aircraft Career

Aircraft Career

During Finch’s early 20s she decided that she wanted to learn to fly a World War II F4U Corsair fighter aircraft. Whenever she could afford it she purchased flying and training lessons. Finch finally obtained her pilot's license in 1972. After graduating from a rented Grumman trainer in 1980 to her own Piper Arrow, Finch flew regularly to nursing homes that she managed throughout Texas. In her 30s, she bought a North American T-6 Texan, a wartime trainer which she completely restored, modified and raced, primarily to prepare her to fly the Corsair.

Early in her flying career, Finch joined the Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative Air Force) Association to acquire the flying skills necessary to handle warbirds, including the T-6 and Corsair. One difficult lesson to learn was how to land a AT-6 numerous times without power. This was taught to her so she would learn how the plane would handle in emergencies. Finch was the head coordinator and primary sponsor of the Commemorative Air Force Republic P-47D Thunderbolt "Tarheel Hal", (S/N: 44-90368, marked as 44-33240). She is a major fundraiser for the restoration and marketing of this rare aircraft, of which it is reported that there are only a small number still flying. She is also a licensed, trained pilot for this type of aircraft and assisted in maintenance and restoration.

Finch has logged more than 8,000 flying hours with approximately 5,900 of these flying hours in vintage multi-engine aircraft, warbirds and tail draggers. She has flown in numerous air shows around the world for more than 20 years.

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