Rick Llinares, Aviation Photographer
Like so many aviation
enthusiasts, Rick Llinares had dreamed
since boyhood of becoming a fighter pilot. Rick was raised
and still lives on Long Island and caught the 'aviation
bug' at an early age. His father was an executive with Grumman
Aerospace and Rick grew up within the Grumman family. His
first experience with military aircraft came during a Grumman
company picnic and airshow when he was 9 years old. As he
recalls "I can remember the airshow as though it was
yesterday. The company had static displays of the World
War II aircraft like the Avenger and Hellcat, but the stars
of the day were the modern jets. The A-6 Intruder and EA-6B
Prowler flew as well as a beautifully restored F-11 Tiger.
But the performance by the F-14 that day was just incredible.
From that moment all I wanted to do was become a Navy fighter
pilot. I actually enrolled in a Navy Aviation Officers Candidate
program while in college, and soon discovered that I was
slightly colorblind." That was unfortunatly the end
of his dreams of flying Navy jets from the deck of an aircraft
of aviation never diminished, and I began dragging my wife
and friends to some airshows and to NAS Oceana during vacations
to Virginia Beach. I began taking some pictures which were
terrible, but that's how I got started. One thing led to
another and before long I found myself flying in tankers
and writing articles on the units I photographed. I always
wanted to write a book series on America's finest military
aviation weapons schools, and so the 'Warfighters'
series was developed."
Rick co-publishes the nationally distributed 'Above & Beyond' wall and desk aviation calendar. He is the author of four books on American military aviation, Warfighters I and II, as well as Adversary's - American Aggressor Squadrons and STRIKE - Beyond TOPGUN. Rick's articles and photographs appear within most of the worlds leading aviation publications.
Rick is a lifelong resident of Long Island where he resides with his wife and two children. His interests extend beyond photographing Americas military aircraft. Rick is an avid boater and guitar player as well as a huge fan of lacrosse.