AKA Sinnie Sinclair
  Cecil R. Sinclair  
"Sinnie" Sinclair & Tom Yanul, 1976

Ralph, here is one of the photos I said I had but couldn't put my finger on it at the time. Its of me and Sinny Sinclair when I visited him at his home in Muskegon, Mi. on 9-26-76. It was his idea to wear his flying jacket, helmet and goggles !
Anyway, your welcome to use it however you want.
Tom Yanul of Oak Lawn, Illinois regards,

Editor's Note: My thanks to Tom for this beautiful photo of "Sinnie" for the enjoyment of my vistors.

  Cecil R. Sinclair Cecil R. Sinclair  
Dayton Reunion, 1972
From CHIRP, January 1973

via email from Lee Wonnacott, 10-16-05
I just came across your early aviators website and applaud your effort!
I have a little story about one of your subjects, C. E. Sinclair. In early 1975 I was a private pilot working toward my commercial certificate at Muskegon, Michigan. My check ride was scheduled in just two days and I felt the need to have a bit more instruction on the nuances of some ground maneuvers, especially "eights around a point". The owner of the flight school, Mary Creason, suggested I take an hour with Mr. Sinclair... and I eagerly agreed.
The simplicity in which he explained the purpose of the maneuvers was astounding. This man LIVED by ground references when flying close to the ground and flew effortlessly. In just a few minutes of being shoulder to shoulder with Sinnie I began to appreciate exactly why everyone adored this old fella.
When the check ride came up and my flight examiner asked me execute an eight around a point I easily coordinated rudder, elevator, and ailerons. About two thirds of the way through the maneuver the examiner stopped me and asked, "Have you been flying with Sinnie?" I responded that I had and was amazed at the next question, "Did he say you should be able to pass this flight test?" I again responded, "Yes." At that point he directed me to return to the airport for a full stop landing and when we climbed from the airplane I asked why he had cut the flight short, had I failed? "No, but I could immediately see the influence of Sinnie on your technique. Anybody that leaves his airplane and gets a thumbs up from him doesn't need anything else...he's the best judge of a pilot's skills that you will ever meet."
At the time I flew with Mr. Sinclair he was 87 years old and very few students were getting the opportunity to get his insight on the art of flight. To this day I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to have him sign my log as one of my instructors.
Lee Wonnacott
Edmore, Michigan

via email from Don Town, 6-17-10
Hello Mr Cooper;

I am stunned tonight.

Tonight I sat reading my personal events diary about having taken flying lessons back in my teens.

In a flash of inspiration, I realized that Google might help me find out things about history that I did not know all those years ago. I had no clue of the shock that awaited over the next few minutes.

A quick Google search for "Sinnie Sinclair" and up popped the "Early Aviators" website directly to the page about Mr Sinnie Sinclair.

For the rest of this fascinating story,
click on the title

     If you search for "Sinnie Sinclair", using the Google search engine, (10-17-05), you will find about 37 links. Perhaps the most helpful is the following.

Cecile R. "Sinnie" Sinclair
     This page on the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame website offers a revue of Sinnie's live and career. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
     While there, you might want to visit the homepage of the site and take advantage of the other features. As of this date, September 17, 2005, there are some 75 enshrinees, including some of the best known, and some of the slightly known pioneers in the field. A few of them have short videos available.
Editor's Note:Both of the previous links have expired. I was able to recover the sites from the www.archive.org website.

  Sinnie Sinclair was born on April 8, 1888 in Chandlersville, Illinois. A gifted pilot, he dedicated his career to the advancement of aviation, both as a pilot and businessman.
     Sinnie began his aviation career in 1915, soloed the same year. Sinnie flew exhibition until he joined the U.S. Signal Corp. as a civilian flight instructor in 1916 teaching Army pilots. In 1925 became Assistant Manager of Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1926 he flew airmail for Ford Company flying the "Stout all-metal airplanes. " In 1928, he joined Universal Airlines flying throughout the Midwest. In 1935, Universal Airlines became American Airlines. In 1937 Sinnie formed Sinclair Flying School in Muskegon, Michigan. His stay in Muskegon lasted over fifty (50) years.
     Sinnie spent his years in Muskegon with flight instruction, charter work, aerial photography, aerial ambulance trips and various other aviation projects. Sinnie taught thousands of students to fly, from WWI pilots to younger kids. He was a prolific instructor who never had a student who did not succeed. many of his students became very prominent in aviation.
     Sinnie's flight hours are not known, but it is believed they exceed 30,000 hours. He has received literally hundreds of awards and citations. He was President of the OX5 Club of America. He organized and was a Colonel in the Muskegon Group of the Civil Air Patrol, 1956 Honorary life member of the AERO Club of Michigan, 1962 Honorary member of Michigan Flying Farmers, 1965 Magnificent Man Award by Twentieth Century Fox, to "Those magnificent Men in their Flying Machines," 1968 Honored Guest with Walter Carr Sr., at the 50th Anniversary of the Air Mail Service. Sinnie was a member of all major aviation fraternal organizations.
     Sinnie Sinclair was listed in the Guiness Book of Records in 1977 as the oldest living pilot in the World.
     Sinnie Sinclair died on April 5, 1986.
March 1996, Number 97

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