Jim Younkin - Gone West


Oct 28, 2014
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Jack Fleetwood
Matt Younkin's Grandfather, Jim Younkin, passed away at 90 years old yesterday. He was an aviation legend and a great guy to talk to. I only had a few short conversations with him, but I was the only one he allowed to take air-to-air photos of his plane, Mister Mulligan. I'm truly honored.

Blue Skies and Tailwinds Jim. You'll be missed.

From Matt:

It is with much sorrow, that I share with you the passing of my grandfather, Jim Younkin, this afternoon at the age of 90. Jim was renowned in the aviation industry for pioneering many aviation instruments including the Century I-IV series auto pilots in the 1960s, building replicas of Golden Age Air Racing Airplanes and restoring many other classics, and for founding Trutrak Flight Systems (the first digital general aviation autopilot company) in the late 1990s. An electrical engineer by trade, Jim prided himself a “gadgeteer,” which was the reason he made an impact on such a large facet of Aviation. He was a gifted sheet metal craftsman, incredible problem solver, and designer of things. He was the smartest person I have ever met, and will always be one of my heros. He will be missed by many. Godspeed Grandpa!


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And the hits just keep on coming.... :(

RIP, Jim, and tailwinds.
What kind of plane is that? (I have a stick model of Mister Mulligan, which is a one-off Howard; it looks a little different from the plane in the photo.)
The Younkins have given all to aviation, and it has not been an easy process.

RIP to Jim, and my condolences to Matt and other family members.
The Younkins have given all to aviation, and it has not been an easy process.
Agree. The Younkin and Franklin families have both been through hell and kept on going. That is dedication to aviation.

Their Masters of Disaster show was legendary. I lost a friend who was part of that team. He crashed two days before my birthday and it was one of the worst days of my life. He was the best pilot I every flew with and when I realized he could make a mistake, it really changed me. I take a lot less risks than I did before that day.