From our old friend Rich Merritt, now flacking for Moore Industries International:
Leonard Moore, Founder and President of Moore Industries,
Gets Pilot’s License at Age 73
NORTH HILLS, CA— On December 5, 2006, Leonard Moore, founder and president of Moore Industries-International, Inc., passed all the FAA requirements for his pilot’s license, and now is certified to fly single-engine land-based aircraft.
Leonard Moore, flying over the Reagan Library in California, on Memorial Day, 2006.
Mr. Moore has been flying since he was a teenager in Olewein, Iowa, and soloed for the first time at age 16. Since then, he has continued to fly, but always with instructors or other certified pilots. He never thought about getting a license until he came across an Ercoupe model 415D airplane, sitting abandoned as a pile of parts at a remote California airport.
The airplane was a basket case: no engine, no instruments, the wings and tail were off, the rear wing spar was busted, and it was covered with rust and corrosion. When he was a kid, Mr. Moore and his dad built a model airplane—the kind you fly with two wires attached to a hand grip. The toy airplane was a model of an Ercoupe.
The Ercoupe was designed in the 1930s, built from 1946 to 1948, and billed as “everyman’s airplane.” Mr. Moore says the Ercoupe was sold at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and at some JC Penney’s stores. Some 6,500 airplanes were sold before the company went out of business, and about 1,000 are still flying today. Mr. Moore decided to resurrect the basket case.
He and two retired air force mechanics rebuilt the Ercoupe over five years and, some time during that period, Mr. Moore decided to use it to get his pilot’s license. “Getting a pilot’s certificate was one of the items on my list of things to do,” Mr. Moore says. “So, as soon as we got an FAA Airworthiness certificate for the Ercoupe, I went after my own certificate.”
Considering how reticent, even shy, Len Moore is, it’s nice to see news getting out about him. Rich Merritt says, “As many of you know, Mr. Moore has been around the instrumentation and process control business for 50 years, and is the founder of one of the last privately-held instrument companies in North America. He is a pioneer and leader of the control industry.”
Rich continues, “Some of you ‘old timers’ might even remember that Mr. Moore used to race TransAm cars and once sponsored an Indy Car.”
Rich goes on to explain why he left us last year. “In our humble opinion, Mr. Moore is one of the more colorful and interesting people in our industry, and working for him is a gas,” he says.
I wholeheartedly agree with Rich as he concludes, “In these days of giant conglomerates, cost-cutting, and plastic instrumentation, it’s nice to know that there is at least one company president out there who lives life to the hilt, insists on building the best possible products in the automation world, and refuses to sell out, like so many others in our industry have done.”