Warren Basler, born on
a farm six miles south of the Oshkosh airport, he was involved in
aviation for over 50 years. Warren soloed a Piper J-3 Cub airplane
on his 17th birthday in 1943.
A Fixed Base Operator
(FBO) on Wittman Field in Oshkosh since 1957, Basler operated a
charter air service for many years. The Basler operation is a family
business with wife Pat being active in all phases of the business.
Basler logged over 26,000 hours as a pilot, over 10,000 hours in the
Seeing the need for
engine and airframe enhancements for the venerable DC-3, Basler got
involved with several modification concepts. Later, with two
aircraft and a wish list, he began the modification and
He applied for FAA
approval of the modifications in February 1988 and eventually
received approval of the Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) in
In the mean time
Basler built a $3 million dollar, 75,000 square foot modification
facility adjacent to the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh,
Wisconsin. The facility can handle up to eight DC-3 upgrades at a
Conversions STC modifications include: cockpit upgrades, instrument
and radio updates, replacing the old radial engines with Pratt and
Whitney PT-6 turboprop engines, addition of fuselage plugs and
overall airframe strengthening. The aircraft designation after
modification is BT-67. These updated aircraft have proven to be very
popular around the world.
Sadly, Warren was
killed in a 1997 plane crash, along with three other Basler
employees, during a marketing photo flight.
Warren Basler and the BT-67
(Photo courtesy Basler Turbo Conversions)