D.O.M. Magazine Announces the Passing of Giacinta Bradley Koontz

D.O.M. magazine is sad to announce the passing of long-time contributing writer Giacinta Bradley Koontz.

Giacinta Bradley Koontz (Gia) was writing scripts in California in 1994 when she became interested in the life of Harriet Quimby, America’s first licensed female pilot (1911). Her initial research started in the dusty archives of an aviation museum and she has never left. 

With a BA in Anthropology from San Diego State University, Giacinta’s background included field work in historic archaeology, as well as museum curation. Experience conducting oral history interviews and a penchant for literally digging out primary source documents fueled Giacinta’s passion for aviation research. Creating her own niche, she was a self-described “Aviation Anthropologist.” 

Giacinta founded and directed The Harriet Quimby Research Conference, a national aviation history conference (1995-2000) where amateur and professional writers could meet and share their research, which was edited and published as an annual journal. Continuing her research on Harriet Quimby, Giacinta traveled to many foreign countries and flew in dozens of rare vintage aircraft. [www.harrietquimby.org]

Between 1995 and 2001 Giacinta was the founder and director of the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation and Museum in North Hollywood, CA, where the Wright Brother’s mechanic, Charles Taylor and other aviation pioneers are buried. [www.portalofthefoldedwings.net]

In 2002, Giacinta assisted in writing the first state Resolution honoring Taylor (“The State of California - Aviation Maintenance Technician Day”). 

In 2006 Giacinta met Joe Escobar at a ceremony celebrating the donation of a Charles E. Taylor bronze bust to the Smithsonian Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center by Ken MacTiernan and the AMTA. Shortly thereafter, she began writing feature columns for Escobar in Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine and was soon added to the staff of Camp Systems International’s, Insights well as other aviation publications. After the launch of D.O.M. in 2008, she became a regular contributing writer for the magazine. In 2008, Giacinta toured the NASSCO shipping yards at San Diego for an investigative feature article on the construction of the USNS Amelia Earhart published in Logbook magazine. 

In 2010, Giacinta’s story on Charles Lindbergh was on the cover of the Smithsonian’s, Air & Space magazine.

In 2007, Giacinta received a research and writing grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund. In 2008, Giacinta was the only recipient of the National History Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 2011, her book, “Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation,” received Honorable Mention in the New York Book Festival Awards. In 2012, Giacinta was chosen to receive the Long Island Aviation Hall of Fame honors for Harriet Quimby.

Giacinta gave hundreds of multi-media presentations on early aviation, including appearances at EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh). She was featured on PBS and the History Channel in documentaries of the history of early aviation. 

Giacinta contributed to dozens of history books and was the author of four books:

Aviation Campfire Stories (2015) 

Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation (2014)

The Harriet Quimby Scrapbook, the life of America’s first Birdwoman, 1875-1912 (2012)

The Original Grand Canyon Airport – A 1930s Scrapbook of Life at Red Butte, Aerodrome, Arizona (2012)

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Joe Escobar (jescobar@dommagazine.com)
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