The past is history, the future is a mystery and the present is a gift.
He served as a civilian aviation mechanic; charter,
freight and corporate pilot; airline maintenance technician;
and Federal Aviation Administration flight and instrument instructor. Though now retired, he still instructs
part-time on flight reviews and tail wheel checkouts.
Selig returned to CAP in the 1970s because two of his
neighbors were leaders of the Downers Grove squadron,
a unit that had a glider and a Cessna L-19 Bird Dog but
no one qualified to fly.
I was promoted to captain, towed some gliders
and checked out other pilots in the Bird Selig said.
He played a pivotal part in an October 1976 save during a search and rescue operation that was assembled at
Haedtler Field on South Side.
local plane had been reported overdue since Friday
night. My observer and I headed for our assigned search
area in our 1948 Stinson Flying Station Wagon, and
before we got there we spotted the plane upside down in
a Selig said. The pilot was dead, but a female
passenger in serious condition was rescued.
For the save, he and his observer earned attention
from the media and a medal.
The save displayed the value of an air search being
able to spot what nearby ground searchers
tall corn that year had hidden it from ground searchers as
close as 500 feet Selig said.
Savoring the past
After retiring from the aviation industry in 2000, Selig
found a way to combine his history and aviation interests
into a project that would help tell forgotten stories.
was always interested in history. It was the only
subject I excelled at in high school, which is probably
why I left college when I failed differential geometry and
he said. taken in high school indicated I
was better-suited for the literary field, which amazed me
at the time. It only took 50 years to
Selig set his sights on local aviation history, the physical traces of which were quickly being erased from the
landscape. decided that the small part of local aviation
history we had been a part of should be he
said. spread to recording of local aviation history
of the entire Chicago area as urbanization closed one
small air field after
He regrets not starting his project sooner. should
have begun researching the subject much earlier when
many of the pioneers of the area were still he
said. I stated in the introduction to my first book:
At Air Force Base, Ill.,
young Nicholas Selig, right,
gets ready to participate in an
orientation flight in a Douglas
C-47 in the early 1950s. He was
bitten by the aviation bug early.
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