Gary is a native Texan,  born and raised in Dallas.  His father was an airplane mechanic working for Braniff and then LTV (Chance Vought), so he was surrounded with aviation since childhood.  He grew up building and flying airplane models and going to airports and watching real airplanes fly.  He earned his pilot's license while a student at UT Arlington in 1968  and worked as a line boy at Red Bird airport in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas.

Gary twice served our country. He first entered the US Air Force in 1971. Although in the Air Force, he was trained by the Army at Fort Wolters, Texas and Fort Rucker, Alabama flying their TH-55 and H-13s (MASH type helicopter).  Once assigned he flew the HH-43 Pedro, HH-1H and UH-1H Hueys, until leaving the service in 1975.  He 're-upped' to active duty in 1979 and flew UH-1Ns at Plattsburgh AFB, NY, again with air rescue. In 1980, Gary was offered the chance to transition to fixed wing craft, and after training in the T-37, T-38, AT-38, and F-111A,  was assigned to the 55th TFS, 20 TFW at RAF Upper Heyford, England flying the F-111E.  He transferred to the 48TFW, RAF Lakenheath, England, in 1988 flying the F-111F.  Gary was deployed to Saudi Arabia in August 1990 and flew in Operation Desert Storm. In late 1991 he was assigned to RAF Strike Command at High Wycombe as a USAF liaison officer.  While there , he joined their glider flying club and got his first open cockpit flight. "Absolutely thrilling!" He flew with the aero club and in 1992 came back to the states to qualify for ATP check ride and multi-engine ratings. He  once again retired from the Air Force in 1995. 

Gary found work at a Wyoming museum as the exhibits coordinator until another retirement in 2009.  Gary then moved to a friend's ranch outside of Hysham, Montana.  Montana is called "Big Sky Country" and is a perfect place for Gary's love of airplanes. He has a two seat Maxair Drifter LSA flown from a dirt and grass runway on the farm.  Although the Drifter, that his wife, Criss, deceased in 2012, named Ladybug, offered open cockpit flying, Gary had not given up having a sport biplane. In 2011, Gary started construction on a Ragwing Special (a wood and fabric copy of the Pitts Special). Better things to come, however. In 2013, Gary came into some money and was finally able to buy a real sport biplane, a Little Toot.  "It is wonderful." exclaims the proud new owner of N62TR, now christened "Tootsie."

Gary Perkins