Harold C. “Hap” Marks, Jr.
1931 - 1999
"A dream fulfilled"
started flying in 1947 at the age of 16 and immediately fell in
love with it. He seized every opportunity to spend time in the
cockpit. Initially, he built up his flying time by “hanging
out” at the airport with the “old timers” helping
them work on their planes and flying with them.
He began ferrying single-engine agricultural airplanes to South
and Central America when the only navigational ground equipment
available was a non-directional beacon called the “ADF”
(Automatic Direction Finder). Railroad tracks, mountains and bodies
of water were the main navigational aids for aviators at that
time. Equipment on these airplanes consisted of only a whisky
compass, and a needle and ball. Understanding the importance of
detail, he either performed any maintenance required on the aircraft
himself or closely supervised the work when performed by anyone
Over a period of 10 years, Hap actively ferried aircraft around
the world. He was among the early non-military aviators to ferry
small planes, mostly single-engine aircraft, solo across the Atlantic,
doing so more than 200 times. Hap owned his own aircraft business,
Global Leasing Corporation and HAPAIR, buying and selling mainly
multi-engine aircraft. As an aircraft salesman and broker, he
delivered airplanes to almost every country in the world, including
Hap spoke of “touching the face of God” many times
while crossing the Atlantic. To him, the most beautiful sight
from the cockpit was watching the morning sunrise. He scheduled
many of his trips so that he could enjoy the sun rising up to
Hap loved the adventure and thrill of flying, accumulating over
16,000 hours flying time. He never wanted to be an airline pilot,
as he knew he would not be happy with the regimentation that being
an airplane "driver" would entail.
Hap flew until emphysema limited his activities and finally took
his life. He will be most remembered for his love of life, family,
friends and flying.
The Family of Harold C. "Hap"