About Phil Martin
Since high school, it would seem that if it were not for bad luck, I'd simply have had no luck.
During my studies at Indiana University 1972-1976, I severely sprained my ankles several times, just short of breaking them. While completing foreign study in Madrid Spain 1970, I managed to have a bout with scurvy; can you imagine that? During USAF pilot training in1977, while preparing for possible aircraft ejection and the subsequent parachute descent, I severely injured my right knee performing a parachute landing fall! During B-52 training in 1978, I managed to fracture my right big toe while playing tennis! In the spring of 1987, I severely fractured my right ankle from a bicycle accident while riding on a velodrome in Edmonton Alberta Canada. To this day I still have 8 screws holding it together and I can tell when it is going to rain! Next, in 1992, I was involved in a freak auto accident where I broke my right ring finger, getting it smashed between the bumper of a runaway car and a parked car in an auto sales lot In Terre Haute Indiana! While paragliding in Iquique Chile in 2002, my wing collapsed, and I spun in from 150 feet severely fracturing my left ankle in 12 places! I had extreme difficulty with the recovery, 30 days in the hospital in Santiago Chile, and ended up nearly loosing my left foot. It was 25 months of hell for the recovery process. Then it was discovered that I also damaged my knee during the accident but that wasn't discovered until I started walkingin the summer of 2003. In July 2009, the doctors discovered a bone infection (which nearly killed me) from the paragliding accident . I almost lost my left foot again. While doing some weight training I damaged a ligament in my left hand requiring surgery!
Have you got your crying towel out yet? In 1979, my wife was nearly killed in a light plane accident at the Warner Robins Airpark and it took more than a year for her recovery. Later she was nearly killed in a single car accident avoinding a deer near Americas Georgia in 1980! More hospital time. Lastly, in January of 1998, she fell down the stairs in our house in Lakeview Ohio and suffered severe global amnesia! Well if you need more details, just ask, but get the crying towel ready! All I know, is that the golden years aren't going to be so golden!
Needless to say, life has been quite interesting. I have managed to travel all 50 states, a goal I set for myself in the 8th grade. I also made it to Australia in 1986, a country which had eternally fascinated me. If you ever get a chance to go down under, you simply must, Fair Dinkum!
I have been fortunate enough to attend several world expositions: Knoxville TN 1982, New Orleans LA 1984, Vancouver BC 1986, Brisbane Australia 1988 and Segovia Spain 1992. It is difficult to find the time and money to keep traveling, but I do my best. I loved traveling Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile. It is always especially wonderful to visit the wife's relatives in Alberta and British Colombia Canada.
I have always loved to travel. Besides the 50 states, I have visited Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Holland, the Kwajalein Atol, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela. There are a few more places I'd like to get to before I die.
I never strayed far from flying and I managed to acquire more than 8000 hours as a military and civilian pilot. I have flown more types of airplanes than I can remember and love ultralight flying for the pure joy of flying. Ultralight and now Light Sport Aircraft, are more like the flying the Wright brothers did than by any other modern means. I fly single and multi-engine aircraft, piston and jet, and gliders. I have flown helicopters, but do not hold a helicopter license. I also have a sea plane rating, but have never really had the chance to use it. I hold flight instructor ratings for airplane single and and multi-engine and instrument. I am also a glider instructor. In addition to the flight instrutor ratings I also hold advanced and instrument ground instructor ratings. I was an ultralight instructor in two place training machines with a waiver issued by both the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) and through Aero Sports Connections (ASC). I hold a repairman's certificate which allows me to conduct condition inspections on Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) that are registered to me.
I taught aviation through three university aviation programs, Indiana State University, University of Illinois Institute of Avition, and lastly served as the Director of Flight Educaton for The Ohio State University. I was a ground and simulator instructor for FlightSafety in Toledo Ohio, instructing primarily in the Citation 650, models III, VI, and VII. I also instructed in the Citation 500 and 560XL models. In 2008, I was awarded the "Best of the Best", an award recognizing outstanding flight instructors in all 40 training centers world wide. Approximately 3% of the world wide instructor force are singled out for this award.
I think that the two most valuable skills I acquired in high school which I still utilize today are typing and Spanish! I remember being the only guy in my typing class and I still have my 43 wpm typing certificate, an accomplishment that was a pure feat won on an old manual typewriter. I was also the first person from Washington High School to take and complete 4 years of Spanish, a subject which ultimately became my major at Indiana University. I have to use the computer daily and teach monthly in Spanish! What could be better than using two unique skills from high school and marry them with my love for flying! Well I suppose I managed some good luck in the end after all!
In the spring of 2011, I participated in a Veterans' Writing Workshop offered through the Toledo Public Library and in conjuntion with Lourdes College (later called a University!). I was able to write three stories about my military experiences while attending the workshop. I suggested the title for the workshop's collected works, "In Our Boots: A Collection of Veterans' Stories" and that title was selected for publication. Two of my three stories were published in the booklet. The Carnigie Public Library in Washington Indiana ended up with a copy of this great work as well as the Daviess County Historical Museum. I have included all three stories in my timeline for your reading enjoyment.
I am currently working a book entitled: "The Descendants of James Morton Stafford and Flora Lenora Horrell", a family from Daviess County Indiana. Every day, I learn something new about my Stafford roots and I expect that I will find over 400 descendants from my great grandparents! This is an exciting work and I hope that all the family members contribute to this family heirloom body of work.
Sadly, after 34 years of operation, the FlightSafety Toledo Learning Center closed its doors on 31 May 2012. Its closure was a disappointment to the 57 employees who worked there, to the numerous clients who trained there, and to the community who lost an amazing client revenue stream for hotels, restaurants, rental cars, and miscellaneous shopping. As a result of this closure, I am now in retirement.