Det. 3 AMC AOS flight instructor remembered at LRAFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cherise Vaught
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Flight instructor Gary Todd Plaster was well known at Little Rock Air Force Base for helping others. Todd lost his life Aug.13, 2022, helping a stranded motorist when a passing freightliner box truck struck and killed him. Plaster, served as the civilian pilot for certification and testing for Detachment 3, Air Mobility Command Air Operations Squadron, C-130J Maintenance and Aircrew Training System program.

Plaster spent the last 10 years as the sole civilian and subject matter expert in AMC for the C-130J pilot simulator. Furthermore, his overall contributions to the C-130J MATS program spanned 16 years.

Born in Brook, Indiana, on June 25, 1970, Plaster graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs in 1992; and earned a Master of Aeronautical science degree with distinction from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2001. 

Later in his career, Plaster participated in an exchange assignment with the Italian Air Force in Pisa, Italy.

 Following his assignment in Italy, Plaster settled at Little Rock Air Force Base where he eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2012, after serving 20 years. As an Air Force civilian, he continued his service at Det. 3, AMC AOS.

“Todd was more than a helper; he took his ability to know the C-130 in a way that was very helpful to the pilots and loadmasters that were being trained,” said Darrell Penn, Det. 3 simulator equipment specialist. “He was very instrumental and a primary player in representing headquarters AMC for all matters on flight simulators.”   

Those that knew him, said Todd was passionate about flight training and his work has been felt by thousands in the C-130 community who have trained at Little Rock AFB over the past decade.

Plaster’s desire to help others and to inspire Airmen to become better will always be how he is remembered.

 “There just aren't a lot of people in our country with that particular set of unique traits, background, and experience…and that's what he brought to the team,” said Kelly Kendall, Det. 3 simulator equipment specialist.

Todd leaves behind his beloved wife, Martha of 25 years.

Kendall and Penn agree, anyone who knew Todd knew that he was well respected and exemplified the core value of Integrity First in his profession.

“To capture in words exactly how important Todd was and what he brought to the table is somewhat overwhelming,” Penn said. “Todd was more than a SME; he encouraged people and made sure that the training students received was always the best.”