Greg was a native of Boise, Idaho and has spent most of his life there, graduating from Boise State University. He started his flying career at an early age and earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager, flying out of the old Strawberry Glen airport along side the Boise River.
His flight instructor, John Chambers, introduced him to aerobatics early on and it quickly turned into a passion that continued for the rest of his life.
Greg’s early flying was done in a variety of tail wheel type aircraft and he spent many hours at Idaho back country airstrips. After earning commercial and instrument ratings Greg became a flight instructor and has specialized in tail wheel training, aerobatics (from basic to unlimited) and has earned a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable advanced spin instructors in the country.
His flying career was a varied one. From towing gliders and aerial banner advertisements to float plane flying, Greg considered himself one of the fortunate few who had been granted the privilege of a life in the air!
Greg’s love of aerobatics led him to enter competitions around the country, which enhanced his skills and understanding of high performance aircraft and eventually led to his first airshow performance in 1992. Shortly after, he became a full time airshow pilot and a main stay on the circuit, performing at 15 to 25 airshow events each year.
Greg considered one of the highlights of his career to be the time he spent as the production test pilot for Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyoming. During that time he was responsible for test flying all the Pitts and Husky aircraft that rolled out the factory doors.
Greg has been chosen for several nationally televised airshow freestyle competitions, placing 2nd in the World Free Style Sport Flying Championships in 1999, and 3rd in the World Aerobatic Federation contest in 2000. Greg has been featured in such television programs as Modern Marvels, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, The Discovery Channel, CBS news, FOX sports, ESPN, The History Channel and others.
Airshow flying opened many doors for him and put him at the controls of a variety of aircraft such as a Russian Mig-15, the WWII B-17 Flying Fortress and the U.S. Air Force F-15, F-16 and F-18 fighter jets.
Greg’s adventurous nature took him to over 25 countries. Along the way he lived in Saudi Arabia for a year. His life took a major turn in 2002 following the drug related death of his son Ryan. He began visiting schools and youth groups with his Elevate Your Life program, discussing the incredible opportunities aviation has afforded him and telling his son’s story as a reminder to young people about the importance of making the right choices and following their dreams.
Greg was privileged and proud to be sponsored by Fagen Inc. Greg enjoyed skiing, mountain bike riding, hiking, scuba diving and playing guitar, to name a few.
He leaves behind his daughter Kelsey and his brothers, Russ and Rick.
“I would like to be remembered as a pilot, an entertainer, and someone who gave back to the community.” – Greg Poe