Plane Talk



Plane Talk Lecture Series


The Hill Aerospace Museum hosts a plane talk series featuring speakers related to heritage of Hill Air Force Base, the United States Air Force, other military branches, and many other subjects related aerospace and the defense industry. Plane Talk began at the Hill Aerospace Museum more than twenty years ago. The speaker series has usually taken place at the Hill Aerospace Museum each Saturday during the fall and winter months. The series has featured hundreds of notable speakers including Senator Garn, former Viet Nam prisoner of war, Col. Jay Hess, Rear Admiral Jerry Taylor, Col. Robert H. Hinckley, former USAF SAC Commander, Gen. Russell Dougherty, former Hill AFB Commander, Gen.Marc Reynolds and many more.


Plane Talk begins at 1:00 pm in the Hill Aerospace Museum theater.


March 2019


March 2        1:00 pm         Col. Daniel L. Gable        Vice Commander, 419th Fighter Wing

March 9        1:00 pm         Day Bassett                      WWII B-17 and B-29 Pilot

March 16      1:00 pm         Carl Jensen                       US Army Nike Ajax (SAM) Missiles

March 23      1:00 pm         Lynn Higgins                    Retired Army Chief Warrant Officer & and Master Army Aviator

March 30      1:00 pm         Dennis Jacobs                 Retired C-119 Crew Chief


Additional information on each speaker:

Col Daniel L. Gable

Col. Daniel L. Gable is Vice Commander of the 419th Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He is responsible for a wing tasked to support worldwide mobility and combat employment operations. He assists in the management and oversight of day-to-day operations and serves as the wing’s senior officer in the absence of the commander.

Colonel Gable earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1995. He went on to attend Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas, where he graduated as a Distinguished Graduate. Following pilot training, Colonel Gable attended F-16 training at Luke AFB, Ariz. 

Colonel Gable is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, AT-38C, F-16C/D, and F‑35A. He has deployed in support of a Pacific Air Forces Theater Security Package and has flown in Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Noble Eagle, and Enduring Freedom, logging more than 330 combat hours. 

Day Bassett

Day Bassett was born in Salt Lake City in 1922, and reared on a farm in west Layton, Utah. He attended Layton public school, Davis High school and was attending Weber College when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. During the next four days the US was thoroughly committed in declared wars with the Axis powers, Germany and Japan. At then 19 years old Day knew he would be involved in some way.

While a student at Weber College he then took a course in flying that led to his private pilot license and a life-long love of flying. In the summer of 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet for pilot training and was called to active duty in February 1943. In January 1944 he graduated at Douglas, AZ, received his wings and commission as a Second Lt., and his first assignment to serve as a pilot instructor in the Western Flying Training Command and stationed in California.

Day’s service as a flight instructor was interrupted by training to fly the B-17 heavy bomber in preparation for service in the bombing campaign against Germany. He considers it fortunate that the Germans surrendered before he was so assigned, making that dangerous assignment unnecessary. With this training and his interest in engineering he was assigned for a time as a test pilot for the B-17.

His service as flight instructor was again interrupted by training in the B-29 Very Heavy Bomber in preparation for service in the Pacific theater bombing of Japan. Again, shortly before deployment the Japanese surrendered, thus ending the war and avoiding this distant and dangerous assignment. After his separation from active duty in February 1946 Day returned home to rebuild his life.

Day’s first step was to return to Utah State Agricultural College to complete his education in agricultural and civil engineering. While there he met and married Zella Anderson, an outstanding student from Ephraim, Utah. Day left Logan in 1952 with a new wife, two sons, two BS degrees and an MS degree, and a new job with Washington State University (WSU) in the Columbia Basin irrigation project in central Washington. 

In 1954 Day accepted a transfer to the main WSU campus in Pullman for duties in teaching, research and international work (Jordan, Pakistan, Portugal, Mexico) for the University. Along the way their family grew to four sons, and Day earned his PhD at the University of Idaho.  

Day remained active in the US Air Force Reserve for 22 years, and retired in 1982 as Lt. Col.

Their family kept its base in Pullman until Zella’s accidental death in 2016. Day is now visiting temporarily in Layton.

Carl Jensen

Carl Jensen was born in 1930 and grew up in Ely, Nevada. He graduated from White Pine High School and went to the University of Houston and Brigham Young University. Carl Served in the U.S. Army on the Nike Ajax (SAM) Missile, Acquisition Radar Technician and Operator.  He also worked for The Marquardt Corporation, General Dynamics Astronautics, and Boeing. Through his career he worked on the Atlas D, Titan 1, Minuteman III, and Peace Keeper Program.

Lynn Higgins

Lynn is a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 and Master Army Aviator with 41 years of service in the U.S. Army and Utah Army National Guard.  Lynn served as an aero scout pilot for Air Cavalry hunter/killer teams in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971 and as a Standardization Flight Instructor and flight lead conducting night air assaults in Iraq from 2006 and 2007.  Lynn has conducted training and humanitarian operations in Nicaragua and throughout the United States.  Lynn served as a full-time flight instructor for the Utah National Guard from 1975 to 1989 where he conducted ground and flight training and evaluations in helicopters and airplanes to include the actual C-7A that is on display at the Hill Air Force Base Museum.  Lynn served as the full time Deputy State Army Aviation Officer for the Utah Army National Guard from 2008 to retirement in 2010.

Lynn is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, 27 Air Medals, three with V for Valor, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and numerous other lesser medals and awards.

In his civilian career Lynn served as an Aviation Safety Inspector (Principal Operations Inspector) for Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards specializing in helicopter, turboprop airplane, Lear Jet, gliders and Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Emergency Medical Operations.

Lynn currently serves as a Peer Support Specialist at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center working in the Mental Health PTSD unit.   Lynn’s journey through recovery from PTSD and Moral Injury has caused him to embrace the concept of personal peace and a healthy sense of self through proper processing and remembrance of one’s war history. 

Dennis Jacobs

Dennis Jacobs was born on December 10, 1938 and grew up in Davis County. Dennis graduated from high school in 1957 and continued on to work several different jobs through his life. Dennis worked as a machinist for Sperry Utah Engineering Labs for 9.5 years before going on his own for 33 years.

Dennis joined the United States Air Force Reserves in 1957, he spent 9 years in the reserves, 7 of which were working as a Crew Chief on the C-119. Dennis has 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.


Free Admission