Years Flying: 35
Hours: More than 7,500
Certificates: Commercial pilot with single- and multiengine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type certificates in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s
Mark Baker’s aviation story began in the same way as thousands of others. As a kid, he rode his bike to the airport just to watch the planes take off and land. On a good day he might get a ride with one of the local pilots.
By the time he was in high school, he was hooked for life. He took and passed a ground school class, but once he went to the University of Minnesota he learned he could get credit for the class. So he took it again.
Baker bought his first airplane—a 1968 Cessna 150—while still in college, selling his van to raise the money.
Like many pilots he stopped flying for a few years when the demands of work, family, and finances made it too tough to continue. But he never stopped loving aviation, and he was back in the air as soon as the other demands of his life permitted.
Baker worked his way through numerous airplanes, including a Cessna 177 Cardinal, various V-tail Bonanzas and Barons, a 36 Model Bonanza, and many more that he has used for commuting, business, and pleasure. With so many hours in everything from business jets to helicopters and even historic aircraft like Ford TriMotors, Baker doesn’t hesitate to name his favorite—a Piper Super Cub that he’s owned for more than 25 years and equips with floats or skis as the weather demands.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.