Hinsdale Central High School

Jack Ekl

Membership level: Hall of Fame

Jack Ekl

Inductee Year 2013
Jack Ekl
After graduation from College, he taught Social Studies and Science for one year before entering the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida.

During his Naval career, Jack made three South East Asia deployments on the aircraft carrier, USS Kitty Hawk. He was highly decorated and was a member of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels for 3 years.

Leaving the Navy after his Blue Angel tour, Jack accepted a flying position with Southwest Airlines. As the company’s first Chief Pilot, he was awarded the President’s award for safely developing the flight department from 110 to over 4500 pilots.

Jack remained an active fighter pilot with the Air Force Reserves. He flew over 8,000 hours in 13 high performance fighter aircraft from the A4 Skyhawk to the F4 Phantom and the high tech F16. He held the position of Squadron Commander and then Vice Wing Commander with his F16 unit. Jack made 4 Middle-East combat deployments.

August 2005, he became Director of Operations and Chief Pilot, in Delhi India, for Spicejet Airlines. Starting with 3 B737 aircraft; he managed the safe growth to 33 B737 aircraft and over 750 pilots. He founded a Cadet program that took young Indians, with no flight experience, and produced B737NG First Officers. In 2008, he was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President.

After four years in India, Jack joined RwandAir as the CEO/COO. Jack took a money losing national carrier and totally revamped it revamped it to international standards.

After completing his contract with RwandAir, Jack joined GMG Airlines as COO / Director of Flight Operations. GMG Airlines was a 12 year old Dhaka Bangladesh private carrier. He brought the airline up to international safety standards and introduced long haul operations to most major cities in the Middle-East and Asia.

After completing a 2 year assignment in Bangladesh, Jack accepted a consulting position with Boeing Commercial Aircraft. He works mainly in Africa and the Middle-East.
Jack is also a partner in a Dubai aviation company that specializes in charter flights to cities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He flew the Bud Light Microjet (world’s smallest jet) and numerous other exotic aircraft on the air show circuit for over 20 years. He has also been the chairman of the FAA’s Aerobatic Competency Program and on the Board of Directors of the International Council of Air Shows. During his 51 years of flying, Jack has accumulated more than 41,000 hours of flight time and over 480 carrier landings.
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