Dublin resident Gary Schnell has been named Museum of Aviation Volunteer of the Quarter. The award, presented March 15, recognizes Schnell’s outstanding work as a volunteer during the first quarter of 2012. He has contributed a total of 1,170 hours in the Museum’s Aircraft Restoration Department since 2007. Schnell has had a life-long interest in aviation, earning his pilot’s certificate in California at the age of 19. Shortly thereafter, he purchased a 1962 Mooney aircraft, his first and only aircraft which he still owns today after 24 years. A few years later he earned his A&P license from the Orange Coast College.
His experience includes working in the nuclear industry, building control rod mechanisms for Naval reactors; building hydraulic flight control actuators; and doing research and development experiments as an engineer. He came to Georgia in 2003 on a temporary assignment while working for the Parker Hannifin Corporation in Irvine California. His two-week assignment turned into an 11-week stay and in 2005 he moved permanently to Dublin.
Schnell has a great interest in history and aviation and collects old tractors, engines, radios and firearms. He also owns a 1931 Ford. At the Museum, he has worked on several aircraft including the B-29 bomber, the P-80 and the F-102 fighter. He is presently working to restore the Museum’s F-86 fighter.
– Bob Dubiel, Marketing Director