Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2019 issue
RACINE, WIS. – After more than 28 years, David Mann retired as airport manager of Batten International Airport in Racine, Wis., effective March 1, 2019. Assistant airport manager, Matt Dean, replaced Mann as manager.
Mann was born and raised in Georgia, one of eight students in his high school graduating class. After college, he got a job in operations with Eastern Airlines. He went on to get his commercial pilot certificate, enlisted in the flight program with the U.S. Army, and served in Viet Nam in 1970-71, flying electronic reconnaissance aircraft. Mann flew 786 combat hours, and after 5 years, left the service and returned to Eastern Airlines until he was furloughed. He then went to Alaska and flew in the fire control program with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
When the fire season was over, Mann flew single pilot in a Turbo Commander for Plasser American out of Norfolk, Va., throughout North and South America. A short time later, he was hired as the aviation department head at Virginia Tech until 1991, when he was named manager of Batten International Airport.
During his time in Wisconsin, Mann flew at airshows for 17 years in the Grumman OV-1D Mohawk, and the B-17s “Aluminum Overcast,” “Fuddy Duddy,” and the movie “Memphis Belle.”
Mann holds an airline transport pilot certificate for single and multi-engine aircraft, several type ratings, and has flown 17,860 hours in approximately 120 different types of aircraft.
Mann is retiring to the state of Arizona.