Bill Tinkler was a longtime member of the AAA and he touched many lives. I'm posting his obituary on the front page of AntiqueAirfield.com to honor Bill and invite friends to a memorial celebration and fly-over, and also to call attention to the Gone West page here on the site, a companion to the Gone West Memorial at Blakesburg. The online page has stories and photos of many of our friends who have Gone West. - Ed
Thomas William (Bill) Tinkler
Bill Tinkler, 84, died October 27, 2012 at Adam's Place Rehabilitation Center in Murfreesboro, TN. A resident of Annapolis, MD for thirty years, he has lived in Tullahoma, TN for the last six years.
He was a native of St. Francisville, Louisiana and worked on a tug boat on the Mississippi River before joining the Army Air Corps during WWII. His love for aviation was evident from his early years, learning to fly from a Women's Army Service Pilot (WASP) at the age of 16 and going on to have a successful career with United Air Lines. He was the recipient of the Wright Brothers' Master Pilot Award for 50 years of accident free flying. While in his forties, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. However through perseverance and positive attitude, he continued to fly with United Air Lines, the first commercial pilot with an MS diagnosis. He retired from United in 1982, but continued to fly privately in his own aircraft for many years afterward.
As an Aviation Historian he volunteered for many years at the Air and Space Museum and retired from there as Docent Emeritus. He also remained loyal to the Antique Airplane Association and volunteered there, attending every fly in since its inception.
An aviator's Gone West Celebration will be held on Sunday, November 4th 2012, at 1:00 pm at the North Hangar at Tullahoma Airport, with a subsequent flyover. A second Gone West Celebration will take place in Annapolis at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be made in Bill's name to the Air Power Museum at Blakesburg.