The Bountiful resident was a speaker at a recent Plane Talk at the Hill Air Force Aerospace Museum and has seen his share of heartbreak as well. His brother was killed in 1954 flying an F-86 Saber Jet.
Griffiths would go on to flight school and qualify in the T-34, T-28 and finally the C-123 cargo aircraft. His goal was to get his training with the Air Force and move later to flying as a civilian with the airlines. He graduated from flight school in January of 1956.
The C-123 to which he was assigned after basic flight school is a cargo aircraft. It has two engines and is designed to take off and land on short unimproved runways.
Some other countries are still using the aircraft. It had a long career with the USAF and with the CIA in Vietnam. The plane was featured in movies like Air America with Mel Gibson and Con Air.
Griffiths pointed out that the aircraft was a very forgiving plane and it could take a lot of rough handling and still get pilots where they wanted to go.
"After flying this single- engine aircraft through training, this was a much different aircraft. It was the first time I had seen a yoke for flying the aircraft instead of a stick," he said. While flying in Europe he carried a lot of material but one time, Griffiths' human cargo included none other than Elvis Presley.
He noted that the aircraft could get off the ground and land with only 1,200 feet of runway.
Griffiths was employed with the Federal Aviation Agency as an air traffic controller at the Salt Lake Center for 31 years.