Burt Compton, now of Marfa in west Texas, grew up in an aviation family on their gliderport near Miami, Florida. His father was a former SSA Director and World Soaring Team pilot. Burt soloed in gliders in 1968 and is a FAA "Gold Seal" Certificated Flight Instructor in gliders and airplanes. He is a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for the Lubbock FAA District Office, which includes much of west Texas, including Marfa and Hobbs, New Mexico.
In 2010 Burt was the recipient of the Soaring Society of America "Warren Eaton Trophy", the highest award bestowed by the SSA. (62 years before in 1948, Burt's father Fritz Compton also received the Eaton trophy.)
Burt developed the Soaring Safety Foundation "Soaring Site Safety Surveys" and has visited over 80 US soaring sites (so far) to observe operations procedures, share his knowledge on safety culture and conduct lively Soaring Safety Seminars. He has been a guest speaker at the annual SSA Convention, many FAA Safety Seminars and was invited to speak at the 2001 Swedish Soaring Federation Convention near Stockholm.
As an aviation video producer, he has written and produced three videos (now on DVD) for the Soaring Safety Foundation. He was appointed as a Trustee of the Soaring Safety Foundation in 2004. Burt is the author of "The Towpilot Manual", the popular book on how to fly the towplane, first of the "Mentor Series" published by Bob Wander and available at www.bobwander.com
In 2007 and 2009. he was selected as "Flight Instructor of the Year" by the Lubbock FAA District Office. He has flown 52 different types of gliders - so far - from training gliders to high performance racing sailplanes, at 71 soaring sites around the world. Burt is a Life Member of the Soaring Society of America since 1967. In 2001, Burt was designated a Soaring Society of America (SSA) Master Cross Country Instructor. In 2004 he was appointed the Chief Master SSA Instructor, and managed the SSAI Master program for the Soaring Society of America.
Now teaching soaring in Marfa, Texas, Burt is a FAASTeam representative, served as a member of the Presidio County Airport Board and served as President of the Board of the Marfa Chamber of Commerce. Before moving to Texas, Burt operated "Miami Gliders" flight school in South Florida. He was on the Board of the Greater Miami Aviation Association, the AOPA airport representative for Homestead Airport, and an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor. As an Adjunct Professor, he taught Glider Ground School courses for the Miami-Dade Community College Aviation Department.
Burt and Kathie Compton were married in a glider high above Marfa Airport in west Texas, where they own and operate "Marfa Gliders" year round. The Compton's sponsor the "Burt & Kathie Compton Aviation Experience Scholarship" for qualifying students.
Burt and Kathie also perform in an oldies rock band called the "Moondogs of Marfa". See our website www.moondogsmarfa.com for a songlist and show dates.