The Marco Flying Generations
Not only does Generations in Aviation represent a collection of airplanes and vehicles, but it represents a passion shared by several generations of the Marco Family. As you will read on the following pages, Seymour Marco, the patriarch of the Marco flying avocation. He truly was ahead of his time, taking the family on trips around the US, the Bahamas and even South America in the early 1960's.
From this early exposure to many types of aircraft, both of Seymour's sons became airplane enthusiasts and began soaring, flying and doing acrobatics at the earliest possible ages. Brothers Michael Marco and David Marco created great memories of growing up and having the freedom to fly the Bahama Islands or take long trips in their own airplanes way out west. They grew up in an era where landing at a small FBO was like landing in a neighbors yard. The people in the FBO's welcomed young pilots into their homes and loved sharing great stories about flying.
Now David's son, Michael (Mike) has taken up the reigns of the flying generation as he too began flying, soaring and doing acrobatics on his own as early as 14 years old. He takes his airplane to college with him and also is creating his own special flying memories by taking solo trips in his airplane across the country.
For the Marco family, airplanes are not just a form of transportation, but truly a love of the Aviation world, both past and present.
Seymour R. Marco
The man that we owe it all to! Dr. Marco was a first-generation American - an optometrist, and entrepreneur by trade, but a pilot first and foremost.
An avid model airplane enthusiast and multiple world record holder as a teen, Seymour (Mark) later joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, eventually flying the B-29 Liberator state-side as the war came to an end as his orders for the European Theater arrived.
Aviation and OptometryAviation remained a passion his entire life, and as driven as charismatic as he was, many feel that his desire to always fly bigger and better airplanes was a key motivator to his great successes. He shared his knowledge and passion of his latest contact lens technologies nationwide to his expanding customer base through corporate aviation from the Beechcraft Bonanza to Lear Jets. The company and technology was eventually sold to Johnson & Johnson, and today Vistakon is the largest producer of contact lenses in the world. Customers still talk about the early days when they "met Seymour at the airport to talk about contact lenses."
Seymour loved aviation and it was a giant part of his life professionally and personally. It was a common thread throughout the family - and hence, Generations in Aviation.
A Lifelong Dedication to Aviation
Also a second generation aviator, David Marco has accumulated over 12,500 hours of pilot in command time since soloing a glider on his 14th birthday. In 1972, on his 16th birthday, he soloed a very rare 1931 Taylor E-2 Cub building hundreds of hours of flight time in that very aircraft. David enjoyed both primary flight instruction and aerobatic instruction through his college years at Stetson University and has maintained his Flight Instruction Certificate ever since.
For almost 30 years, David has performed in over 150 air shows, initially in a highly modified T34A and currently in the Grand Champion P-51D Sizzlin' Liz. He accumulated over 1259 hours in the T-34 and has 1400 hours in the P-51 to date.
Unique Aviation OpportunitiesBlessed with many unique aviation opportunities, David flew Lear Jets for Flight International as a contract pilot for the U.S. Air Force and Navy. Doug Matthews, founder of Flight International, and David flew a Lear 36 around the world setting 9 world speed records. He was also fortunate for three years to fly one of only two existing WWII B-24 Bombers (which his father, Seymour, flew in the service) for the Collings Foundation Tour.
For his corporate travels, David has flown various Beechcraft Bonanzas and BE-58s along with several models of the MU-2, Cessna Conquest 425 and currently enjoys the Citation Jet CE-525.
The Heart and Soul of Generations in AviationGenerations of Aviation is David's tribute to his father, Seymour, and his brother, Michael -- a dream they would have loved to live!
Michael Austin Marco
A Lifelong Passion
A second generation aviator, Michael Austin Marco, soloed a piper J-3 Cub on his 16th birthday in St. Augustine, Florida, building flight time traveling to air shows with the Moser Flying Circus. He was a flight instructor throughout college and later flew various Pitts Specials, which he modified and improved for U.S. aerobatic competitions. Michael flew extensively in his corporate life in aircraft ranging from Beechcraft Bonanzas and Be-58 Barrons to Mitsubishi MU-2s. This contributed greatly to the growth and success during the early years of Marco Equipment Company - a manufacturer of Ophthalmic Diagnostic product
The Loss of a Brother, Mentor, and Lifelong PilotMichael was a great mentor and talented pilot who met his untimely death in November of 1981 in the unexplained accident of a MU-2 Solitaire.
Mike Dunham Marco
The Third Generation
"We knew we were looking at our third generation pilot when Michael ran out space to sleep due to the hoards of flying models which he designed and built."
Michael Dunham Marco was soloed by his proud father, David in an L-13 Blanik glider on his 14th birthday - June 16th, 2007.
The Building Passion and FascinationOn his 16th birthday, Michael was soloed by Jeff Stanford in a rare WWII Taylorcraft L-2. He has since qualified to fly various aircraft including the Dehavilland DHC-2 Beaver, the WWII North American AT-6/SNJ and is beginning his training in the P-51 Mustang. Michael acquired his Instrument rating in the SR-22 Cirrus, and gained his seaplane rating in the summer of 2010.
He currently flies a beautiful 8KCAB Decathlon aerobatic aircraft while attending college at Stetson University.
Julie, David’s wife, has literally hundreds of hours logged in the Generations of Aviation Collection. From regularly flying upside down and sometimes even falling asleep in the backseat of the P51 to a 48 hour flight round trip to Maine in the Beaver, Julie gets the award for the most enduring passenger of the Generations of Aviation Family.
She loves being a part of the passion David has for not only vintage aircraft, but the entire flying community. From joining David and watching him perform at memorable events like the Gathering of Mustangs, NAS Jax Airshows, 4th of July Airshow in Amelia, to our annual journey to Sun and Fun are all highlights to being a part of the Generations in Aviation lifestyle. But most of all, just landing on the lakes in Central Florida on sunny afternoons, and floating around in the lake with David and Cowboy is her favorite airplane time.
Julie has completed most of the requirements for her Private Pilot license and has even soloed an airplane from Jacksonville Florida to Stuart Florida. Eventually, she will refresh her skills and obtain her flying license and become the next pilot in the Generations Family.
David’s daughter Hannah, although not a pilot, has long appreciated the fun and convenience of being part of the Generations in Aviation Family. From the time she was just a baby and throughout her childhood, Hannah was able to visit to remote islands in the Bahamas, land on lakes and camp in Central Florida, and even visit colleges while preparing for her future all via family aircraft.
Some of Hannah's favorite airplane memories include flying to Cedar Key in the Beaver for a fun lunch, or just landing on Kingsely Lake and having a picnic on the floats while throwing a ball and playing with Cowboy in the lake.
Currently Hannah is a Nationally Ranked Equestrian and spends most of her time traveling outside of Florida competing in Horse Shows. Again, the convenience of her dad being able to visit Hannah, spend quality time with her and watch her compete would not be as easy without the family aircrafts.
Cowboy the Mascot
Cowboy, a good looking Belgain Malinois (Shepherd) who loves hanging out at the Generations in Aviation Hangar and has quickly adopted it as part of his territory and his second home. He feels that it is his duty to protect his hangar and and will strongly and enthusiastically warn anyone who might walk into the hangar unannounced.
While at the hanger, Cowboy enjoys stealing towels out of our hands as we clean an airplane, sitting with us at the Gazebo enjoying a late summer afternoon, practicing his weaves for agility and occasionally chasing the Sky Harbor tugs out of the Hangar driveway.
As a loyal and loved family member, Cowboy has quickly been logging many hours in several of the Generations Airplanes. In fact, his first flight was when we picked him up as a puppy from his breeders home in Virginia. Now he regularly joins us on our Beaver outings to Kingsley Lake where he swims and plays endlessly. His next big trip will be on the Lockheed 12 as we head for OshKosh airshow in July 2011.
When Cowboy is not flying or protecting the hangar, he is working on several titles in the world of dogs which include: Breed Champion, Obedience and Agility. He also loves chasing birds at the beach and long walks with his family.