David Phillips Good

1942 – 2024

Obit Photo David GoodTitle Photo

  Captain David Good, age 82, passed away at Tidewell Hospice in Port Charlotte, Florida on January 27, 2024. Dave was born in Minneapolis, MN, on January 8, 1942, before moving to Pittsburgh during WWII and then on to Chicago after WWII. Dave’s younger brother, Bill, was born in Pittsburgh because their father worked for Westinghouse on the Manhattan Project.  They both grew up in Chicago and attended North Park Academy. Dave graduated in 1960 and Bill in 1963. Both were competitive athletes and won many medals and trophies as speed skaters.  Dave was the best big brother imaginable. 

   After a short tenure in community college, Dave enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 1961. He completed USMC basic training at the Recruit Depot at San Diego, CA. Thereafter, he was sent to NAS Memphis for Avionics Technician training. While there he learned about and applied for the Marine Aviation Cadet (MARCAD) program. He was eventually accepted into Naval Aviator Training as a MARCAD. This training was all conducted in Pensacola and included the T-34 at NAS Saufley, the T-28 at NAS Whiting, followed by multi-engine and instrument training in the TC-45J back at NAS Saufley.   

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   After all of this fixed-wing training, Dave was then assigned to helicopter pilot training in the H-13 and H-34 at NAS Ellyson Field.  When he earned his wings and was commissioned as an officer in March 1964, Dave was assigned to HMM-261 at MCAS New River, NC, but before he went to his new duty station, he went home to Chicago and recruited his younger brother Bill to join the Marine Corps via the Platoon Leaders Class – Aviation (PLC-A).  A year later his squadron deployed to Okinawa in early 1965 for training before deploying to Vietnam in May 1965. HMM-261 was the first squadron to operate from Marble Mountain just east of Danang.

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    In 1966, Dave was transferred to HMM-362, Archie’s Angels aka Ugly Angels, still flying H-34's. NWA pilot Joel Vignere reported flying copilot with Dave into a rice paddy area, retracting Marines from the village. “As the last of our troops were leaving the village, guys in black pajamas appear from huts and start shooting at us. Waterspouts all over the place.”

   Dave returned to the U.S. on September 27, 1966, and received a warm welcome in Los Angeles by his parents, brother Bill, Dave’s first wife Ann and their son Michael.  He then reported to his next assignment at MCAS El Toro, CA. This assignment proved beneficial for Dave as it allowed him to requalify in a fixed wing jet aircraft, the respected Douglas A-4C Skyhawk. He was assigned to the famed VMA-214 Black Sheep Squadron and became the training officer for his squadron mate and brother Bill Good who then qualified to drop the B-61 nuclear weapon solo using the Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) on the A4E Skyhawk. Bill testifies to the fact that his brother Dave smoothed the way for him from the time he recruited Bill into the Marines, all through his flying career. Bill would later fly for Braniff International and retire as a Boeing 747-400 Captain with Atlas Air.  NWA consistently refused to hire Bill due to the anti-nepotism policy that was allowed to negate intent of VEVRAA and Section 43 of the Airline Deregulation Act.    

   Dave separated from the active Marine Corps in 1969 to pursue employment with Northwest Airlines. His initial date of hire was April 21, 1969. Unfortunately, many NWA pilots hired during the 1969-1970 era encountered extended layoffs. Dave and a few other USMC vets were able to earn captain (PIC) type ratings in the Boeing 707 series and for a portion of the layoff were employed by a charter operator doing international flights.  Dave was laid off for 56 out of his first 120 months with NWA and lost two wives in the process.    

   As with other pilots of his era, Dave began his career at Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) Airport as a second officer on the Boeing 727. He and Ann had their second son Mitchell. During his early NWA years Dave stayed active with the USMC Reserve flying out of NAS Glenview, IL. He was promoted to Major – and then wasn’t able to survive a RIF (Reduction in Force). 

   Once schedules permitted, Dave moved to Clearwater, Florida and thereafter commuted to MSP and DTW. In spite of the challenges of commuting from Florida, Dave loved it there and stuck it out until retiring.  Over his 26-year career with NWA, Dave flew captain on the Boeing 727 and 757 on domestic and international routes. Tragically his younger son Mitchell was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1998 at age 30 in Clearwater, FL.

Obit Photo David Good5.Retirement

    Prior to his NWA retirement and in response to encouragement from his younger brother Bill who owned three lots in Port Charlotte, Dave relocated from Clearwater to Port Charlotte, FL, and became a local realtor. He turned Bill’s 1970 loser real estate investment into a winner.  Dave was a friend to many who enjoyed boating and golfing as well as local veteran’s clubs.

Obit Photo David GoodBOATING

   Dave frequently hosted his sister Lori and her family when they vacationed in Florida, developing a close relationship with them all and being a much-loved big brother and uncle to them, just as he was to his more contemporary brother Bill.

   Other than an unwitnessed fall at a rehab facility following surgery to improve the circulation in his lower leg, his specific cause of death is somewhat unclear.  Through the last three difficult months of his life, Dave was, as he had always been, a fighter.

   David is survived by his son Michael and grandson Austin, his brother Bill and wife Leslie, sister Lori and her family (including stepmother Vivian), his loving partner of 18 years Jackie and her family.  He will be dearly missed.

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   (-The Good Family)