Mark started flying at the age of six in a Piper Cherokee Arrow. The aviation bug bit early and bit hard. Mark’s father Ed was a B-24 Liberator pilot during World War II and flew 29 missions for the Army Air Corps in the European Theater. After returning to civilian life, Ed found ways to keep aviation in his business and personal life. As a result, Mark grew up surrounded by aviation.
Owning and flying P-51 Mustangs has been a dream of Mark’s since he was a child. Like many children with the aviation bug, Mark built P-51 models and dreamed of flying the Mustang one day. In November of 2005, Mark was fortunate to have all the right details come together and was able to acquire the TF-51 Mustang named DiamondBack. Since then, Mark has accumulated over 350 hours in the P-51 and strengthened his love and admiration for the aircraft.
Someone once told Mark that you don’t ever really “own” a Mustang. You are just lucky enough to take care of one for the next generation. He was also told that flying a P-51 was like flying a National Monument. Great care and absolute dedication are required. Mark has taken this responsibility to heart and cares for DiamondBack with all the honor and dedication she deserves.
The flight demonstration of DiamondBack is designed to showcase the speed and grace of the Mustang and give the audience an opportunity to hear the mighty Merlin roar at over 350 mph.