STEVENSVILLE — David Gillmore, 62, of Shelley, Idaho, did his research before arriving in Stevensville back in August. Gillmore, a very successful private businessman, has always wanted to learn to fly. Flying has long been one of the safest ways to travel, but Gillman went a step further with his research. He discovered that flying a gyroplane, is actually safer than flying an airplane and/or a helicopter.

A gyroplane is smaller than either an airplane or helicopter, and has the benefits of both. It has both small wings, and small propellers/rotators. “You can fly a gyroplane in winds that you can’t fly a plane or helicopter”, said Gillman. “Of course, there are winds you don’t want to fly anything in.”

His gyroplane carries 25 gallons fuel, and weights 650 pounds, empty. It has a payload (ability to carry weight) of up to 575 pounds. That would easily carry himself, his wife, Sue, and up to at least 26 pounds of luggage per person. His gyroplane can fly at over 400 miles on a tank of fuel, up to 110 MPH.

Gillmore chose to come to Kent Island because, he said, “This location has everything I needed. First, to get trained by an excellent instructor, Bob Snyder, one of the founders of AutoGyro, who is located at the Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville. Also, Helen Woods’, Chesapeake Sport Pilots flight school and maintenance shop for aircraft.” Gillmore praised them both for their excellence as national leaders in the industry.

Gillmore has had an interesting life. He was born Frankfurt, Germany, while his father was stationed with the U.S. Army, there. Shortly after, his family accompanied his father to Saigon, Vietnam, during the earliest occupation of U.S. troops, eventually escalating into the Vietnam War. Gillmore said, “I attended a kindergarten at a French Catholic School in Saigon. My sister boarded a school bus that drove her to her elementary school each day. That bus had armed military guards atop the bus as it traveled through the streets of Saigon.”

During his youth, Gillmore earned his Eagle Scout rank, even though his family move quite often while his dad was in the military. The Scout motto, “Be Prepared” has become a major part of Gillmore’s life. As an adult, he’s served more than 20-years as a Boy Scout leader, not only helping other young men earn the rank of Eagle, but all three of his sons. On his business card, it states a scriptural quotation, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

David and Sue finally settled in Shelley, after numerous business efforts at many different locations throughout the years. Their four children are all grown, and have lives of their own. In purchasing their own gyroplane, they plan to do a lot of sightseeing from the air. Gillmore said, “We plan to see Yellowstone National Park from the air, which is only a two and half hour drive from where we live (much shorter time flying there). We also plan to fly to over sights from the air here in Idaho and Utah which has some amazing canyons and national parks.”

Gillmore added, “I plan to use the gyroplane to promote my business, I have over 500 free videos promoting self-reliance and self-sufficiency.” Referring to scriptures again, Gillmore said, “You know, Noah, from Noah’s Ark, was the first big-time prepper. Not only did he build the Ark, but prepared for all the animals, and supplies they’d need to survive the journey.” The Gillmore’s have tons of free practical information on preparedness, whether emergency preparedness or for regular family needs, such as; gardening, portable solar power, self-defense products, food storage, and they are distributors of Berkey Water Filters, to mention just a few items of interest.

Gillmore had planned to fly his gyroplane home to Idaho from Kent Island, however, a delay presented a change in plans. He purchased a flatbed trailer which he can also use in his business, and was able to haul it home last week.

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