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A tribute to: Jim Younkin

It is with great sadness and sorrow that I write this tribute to one of the greatest contributors to safety in the history of general aviation. Scratch that, it is with great admiration and fondness that I write this. Jim Younkin, co-founder of TruTrak Flight Systems, has been creating safety-enhancing technology for over half a century. My friend, mentor, and previous business partner, passed away on May 13. He was 90 years young! 

Jim has had at least three full careers in aviation. He began by designing some of the very first attitude and directional gyros for general aviation. He then moved into autopilots and the HSI. 


Once he retired from that career he became, in his own words, “a compulsive aircraft builder”. He built the Mr Mulligan, Travelair Mystery ship, converted several Staggerwings from D to G models (with numerous special modifications to those aircraft), he also designed and built the Mullicoupe (an aircraft that combines the Mr Mulligan and the Monocoupe). He also extensively modified several other aircraft designs. 

After winding down the aircraft building phase, he co-founded TruTrak. Once again he found himself designing autopilots and other related items. TruTrak was founded in 1999. During that time he was the brain behind many of our products. One of my favorite memories is that many of our product names were actually inside jokes between him and I. In 2014 I purchased TruTrak from him, and he fully stepped away from the company. 

Without Jim, TruTrak would not exist and I would not have the knowledge or ability to have created any of the products we sell today. 

Tailwinds my friend, and thank you for education and for your wonderful contributions to aviation. 

Andrew Barker 
President / CEO 
TruTrak Flight Systems