Dave Illig, jazz guitarist

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Aviation Page

I was surprised to learn that some visitors were interested in my flying career so I decided to add this page to our "music" site.  Flying has always been my first passion.  I was about three years old when I knew I wanted to fly airplanes. My mother and I were on a flight in a DC6 from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.  Back then (1957) the cockpit door was often open and you could visit the pilots while they were flying.  I still have a vivid memory of my cockpit visit on that flight.  The red lights, sitting on the pilots lap holding the yoke.  They gave me wings, peanuts and a dream.  Entry level flying jobs pay very little.  To supplement my income I played guitar.   My first flying job was as a flight instructor at Wakeman Airport in Ohio.  After two years of flight instructing I was hired as a copilot on a DC3 for Mohican Air Service flying automotive parts.  At Mohican I flew DC3's, B18's and an Aztec.  After Mohican I went to Britt Airways, aka Continental Express.  At Continental Express I flew passengers in an EMB120, a 30 passenger turbo prop.  Most of my years at Continental Express were spent as a member of the Flight Operations management team.  Our migration to Houston was a result of being promoted from Asst Chief Pilot to Chief Pilot if I was willing to move.  Once in Houston (Continental's corporate headquarters) opportunities for advancement were plentiful and I ended up being part of the senior management team.  I had the best of both worlds. I was able to fly when I wanted to while enjoying the perks of corporate life.   I am currently flying 737's at Continental.   Below are some pictures you may like from my flying career.  Click on the thumbnails if you would like to see a bigger picture.

I soloed in this airplane and later instructed in it. This airplane launched my airline career.

Bumming a ride in a T6, a WWII trainer for fighter pilots.

My first big career move was into the right seat of this DC3. I received my first type rating in this airplane.

A B18 (twin beech) that I flew while at Mohican Air Service.

The other DC3 that I flew while working at Mohican Air Service.

My first airline job entailed flying passengers in this EMB120 for Continental Express Airlines.

A B737-800 that I currently fly for Continental. We are qualified in the 737-300-500-700-800 and 900.

B737-900 cockpit.

Another view of a 737-800.

Cockpit shot of a B737-700

Overhead panel of a 737.

A lightning strike while waiting for take off at Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Mount Ranier, taken after take off from Seattle.

Final approach at Gunnison.

New York City post 9/11

Houston Intercontinental Airport

Lake Louise, Alberta Canada

Near Banff, Canada

Sunset with dying thunderstorms.

Two thunderstorms on an otherwise nice day.

Heading home with the sun setting at 37000 feet.