My Story – Doug Reeves

Member's Bio

Cessna 310

Wikipedia Link

Doug is one of the founding members of PAM since 1982.  Doug has served in many capacities at PAM, including President, Vice President and Treasure.  Doug rejoined the Board in late 2022 as Treasure.

Doug is also involved with two other flight related organizations based at CIRA, Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Doug is a native of Central Illinois, growing up on the Mecherle farm, the founder of State Farm Insurance.  Doug had an uncle that built and repaired experimental aircraft and initially spark Doug’s interest in aviation.

Doug came from a military family, with his dad being a tank commander in Eastern Europe during WW II.  Many other extended family members also served in the military during WW II.

Having a lot of machine and mechanical experience from farming, Doug has used his talents to help repair and restore many aircraft and/or supporting devices. 

One of his major projects was restoring the large Coleman tug. Doug was able to get the Coleman to running status as well as welding patches in the rusted fenders, fixing wiring and electrical issues, and replacing several of the engine components. 

Pictures of Coleman tug go here.

Doug was also part of the team that built the tower structure used to mount the original airport beacon from the Bloomington-Normal airport.

My Story

After graduation from Illinois State University in 1969, majoring in Farm Management, Doug and several friends traveled to Chanute Air Base to enlist to become a pilots.  Needless to say, none of the group passed the rigorous pilot entry tests.

Doug was shortly drafted into the Army.  Using his agriculture background, Doug was trained and assigned to food inspection.  While stationed in the San Diego area, Doug serviced the Miramar Air Base (TOPGUN) and  got to see many unique aircraft.  Doug was always impressed with the F4 Phantom, which happened to be piloted by one of Doug’s cousins.

After leaving the Army, Doug returned to central Illinois to work in agriculture related fields and earned his private pilot’s license.  Using his GI Bill, Doug became a part time flight instructor and commercial pilot for Clark Aviation (Image Air).  

In 1993, Doug had to give up flying until retirement in 2013 because his employer indicated the company had a company liability due to his flying, both commercially and privately.

Since retirement, Doug refreshed his licenses and is flying again for personal enjoyment,  primarily with Crosswinds Flying Club located at the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

In 2021, Doug began volunteering, along with several other pilots, to provide a “fly over” for military funerals.

Doug primarily flies the Piper Warrior, a flight instruction plane

and the Piper Dakota, a four seat single engine plane.

Videos of Piper Warrior
Videos of Piper Dakota