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MEET HERB


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Herb in his Green Bay Packers helmet and the American flag behind him.

Herb Baker is a full-time air show performer out of West Bend, Wis. His interest in aviation was sparked at Saturday picture-show newsreels of World War II planes “peeling off” and his relatives returning from the war.

Herb has never considered being a airshow performer until he was invited to put Ditto on static display at an airshow in 1997. The airshow bug bit! He taught himself aerobatics, got certified for a low level waiver and flew his first show in 1998. To date Herb has performed over 300+ times at 100+ venues in 13 years. He never missed a performance in the first 10 years.

To keep fit for the pilot and mechanic responsibilities he has continued his college competitive swim habits regularly at the local YMCA about 70 miles per year.

Herb, who has been flying since 1960, has accumulated over 3,100 flight hours, including 850 hours in T-28 aerobatic or formation flying. His ratings include Certified Flight Instructor, Multi-engine Land.

Herb is a graduate of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering School at Parks College, St Louis University. He and his crew of four completed a 30,000 man-hour restoration on Ditto in 1996 and he continues to do all of the maintenance on Ditto himself.

Two recent highlights in his career include being a guest instructor at the both the US NAVY and the USAF Test Pilot Schools, teaching the students to fly the T-28.

A close-up of Herb giving the crowd the thumbs-up. Herb climbing into Ditto's cockpit.

Herb's Bio

Currently:

Full-time professional aerobatic airshow performer, “Herb & Ditto” Airshows.

Education:

1964 B.S. Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, Parks College of St. Louis University
Private pilot license: 1960 (after failing eye exam for Naval Cadet Program).
Commercial Flight Instructor, Instrument, Multi-Engine Land & T-28 ratings.
Airframe and Power plant Mechanic license.

Military Service:

USAF Communications Support Squadron (enlisted reserves) 1960-1966;
recalled to active duty during the Berlin Crisis (422d TCW, Richard-Gebauer AFB, MO)
Honorable Discharge.

Aviation Experience:

Draftsman, Remmert Werner, Inc. (worked on the Saberliner project).
Liaison engineer, McDonnell Aircraft (worked on F4-C aircraft and Gemini spacecraft).
Maintenance engineer, Piedmont Airlines (Responsible for fleet aircraft engineering, F-27, DC-3 and Martin 404 aircraft).
Over 3,100 flight hours in many types of aircraft: Corporate pilot/sales engineer, Cessna Turbo 210.
Member West Bend Municipal Airport Board of Commissioners.
Formation qualified under FAST Program since 1996.
Solo aerobatics qualified level 1 (unrestricted) under FAA ACE Program.

Other Experience:

Sales engineer, corporate pilot & project manager for structural steel fabricator.
Manager of engineering and design engineer for industrial equipment manufacturer.

T-28C Experience:

Rebuilt “Ditto” from 1992-1996 with 1st flight April 24, 1996.
Formation Flying, EAA Convention, Oshkosh, and other air shows since 1996.
Best T-28 Award, EAA Convention, Oshkosh, 1997.
FAST qualified since 1996.
Unrestricted (level 1) 8710-7 since 1999, and other levels since 1996.
800+ total flight hours: aerobatic performances, formation and cross-country.

T-28 guest Instructor at Edwards AFB Test Pilot School.
T-28 guest Instructor at Naval Air Station Patuxent River Test Pilot School.
Invited to fly at AirVenture 2002, 2003 & 2009 as a solo performer.
Invited to fly aerobatics at Sun-N-Fun 2001-2003 but could not accommodate them.

Memberships:

International Council of Air shows (ICAS)
North American Trainer Association (NATA)
AOPA
EAA Warbirds of America