Ilona Duncan discusses her latest book, “Watch Me Take Off,” detailing the life and career of pilot Ian J. (Jim) Duncan at the June 16th NN-MP VAHS Chapter Meeting. Jim Duncan was a NN-MP VAHS Chapter member. The book is available for purchase on Amazon. (click here to purchase)
Young Ian Duncan dreamed of flying airplanes, though this seemed an impossibility. His parents, poor immigrants, had left Scotland in the 1920s, hoping for a better life in the USA. The couple settled in Butler, Pennsylvania, where George Duncan worked as chauffeur to the rich owner of T. W. Phillips Gas and Oil. Ian and his two sisters were born on the Phillips estate and lived with their parents above the carriage house. Mr. Phillips became their benefactor through trusts for the three children. Ian’s trust provided means for him to realize his dream to be an aviator. In 1949 at fourteen, he had the luck to be hired as a hangar boy at Scholter Aviation and be mentored by the owner, Kenneth Scholter. Thus began an illustrious career in which Ian Duncan in five decades rose to great heights in aviation.
Watch Me Take Off recounts this remarkable man’s achievements in an era of adventurous and joyous flying. Duncan’s career with the Air Force, Pan American World Airways, executive positions with Airbus Industrie, and his many noteworthy awards reflect a unique life in aviation. This exceptional man’s grounding in humility, integrity, and hard work will inspire; and for readers interested in aviation history, the book is of importance.