Dan Walker was born and raised in Mineral Wells, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas before joining the United States Air Force where he received training as an Electronic Counter Measure Officer.
Following assignments in Alaska, North Dakota, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Florida, Walker was stationed at Olathe Naval Air Station, in Olathe, Kansas. By this time, Walker had received all of his pilot licenses at various military aero clubs and he started surveying the aviation opportunities in the Kansas City area.
Through a friend at an air charter company, Walker learned of a new avionics manufacturing company in Olathe, Kan., called King Radio. In 1966, Walker accepted a job with King Radio as southeast regional sales manager and settled in Atlanta to cover a 15-state area in a 1961 Mooney M20C. He says “King gave me a 1961 Mooney M20C, and an expense account with instructions to make everyone feel comfortable with King. I have told the King story during a lot of lunches and dinners. Our products at the time were a difficult sale because we were new and everyone had a preferred line of avionics and didn’t see the advantage of adding another.”
Before long, the quality of the King line of products became well known and business flourished. In 1978, Walker and his family moved to company headquarters in Olathe to establish a dealer direct program. Walker was proud of King’s infrastructure to support its dealers. Service manuals and parts availability was priority one. Walker’s responsibilities included overseeing the regional sales managers, national and regional aviation shows, dealer open houses, and providing flight demonstrations.
Walker left Bendix/King in 1991, and spent four years with BFGoodrich Aerospace working with Castleberry to establish a national warranty service for avionics. As Goodrich phased out of general aviation, he felt that after 35 years of aviation and 7,000+ flight hours it was time to take some time off, too.
AEA members fondly remember the support and dedication Dan Walker brought to his job; he was an active participant in the Aircraft Electronics Association and his philosophy was that the dealer should always be number one.
Dan Walker and his wife, Dyana, live in Kerrville, Texas.