Matt Beattie is attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and he lives in Port Orange, Florida. He is 20 years old, and he has been flying for seven years. He has earned his Private Pilot Glider, SEL, and Instrument ratings. Matt says, “If you’re not having fun with your flying, you are doing it wrong.”
Bob Brewer began his flying career at NAS Pensacola in 1960. Now with more than 12,000 hours, Bob is an ATP and CFI with type ratings in LRJET, BE300/1900, BA-3100/3200, and BA4100. In his aviation career, Bob worked for Piper Aircraft for 18 years in sales and flight operations and as a corporate pilot flying a Lear 55 and a King Air 300. In addition, he flew for a regional airline and was Airline Training Program Manager with FlightSafety. Bob also worked for British Aerospace as a Flight Operations Captain, making worldwide delivery flights and conducting customer demos and flight testing.
Alan has always had an interest in flying as long as he can remember. His interest turned to passion when he worked in Alaska and regularly flew into the backcountry in Dehavilland Beavers. Since then he has pursued his passion for flying while trying to keep up with all that’s happening in the aviation industry. He enjoys writing on what he finds in a freelance capacity for globalair.com, especially relatively unknown stories of aviation history.
Harry Clements wanted to be an airplane designer after riding in a Ford Trimotor in the 1930s, so he attended Wichita University under the GI Bill and acquired Bachelor and Master Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering. He was hired into Cessna’s all encompassing Flight Test, Aerodynamics and Preliminary Design group before getting his Bachelor’s, and was instrumental in preparing the proposal that won the USAF’s T-37 Twin Jet Trainer contract. He later was Chief of Aerodynamics and Chief Technical Engineer during the development of that airplane. Other models he worked on were the 180, 310, OE-2, 620 and 170C and 172, and was a test pilot on three of these. He later acquired an A&P based on earlier experience with FBO and floor manufacturing. He joined the Rohr Corporation and learned big scale aerospace manufacturing and was General Manager of their Space Products Division. After serving a period in Federal Government positions, including Director of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, he returned to aviation, flew skydivers on weekends for the fun, and finished as President of a small Wichita firm manufacturing airplane parts and assemblies distributed both locally and nationally.
For over 50 years, pilots have turned to Richard L. Collins for his unique perspective on the challenges and rewards of flying light aircraft. He started his career working with his father, Leighton Collins, at the original Air Facts magazine. He then went on to work for the leading aviation magazines, including as editor of both AOPA Pilot and Flying. With over 20,000 hours of real world experience, much of it in 172s and 210s, Collins writes about safety, weather and air traffic control from first-hand experience. He is the author of numerous books, including The Next Hour, published in 2009 by Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Ben Conlin is a senior in high school from Cape May County, NJ, who’s juggling classes and college applications while still trying to fit in some time on the beach. He wishes to serve his country in the military as a helicopter pilot after college. Ben is also a proud member and Cadet First Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol.
Michael DeBerry is an 18-year old senior at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He says, “I always knew I had a passion for flying and would one day make it to the airlines or flying corporate for someone.”
Will fell in love with aviation as a child watching takeoffs and landings at Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport. He’s currently pursuing his aviation passion at Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport near Oklahoma City. Will earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Thomas More College in northern Kentucky. He lives in Oklahoma City and works in digital marketing and as a freelance copywriter.
Mark Fay owns a software and consulting company that helps auto insurance companies decide who is legally liable for damages caused in car crashes. He lives most of the year in Naperville, Illinois, and spends the deep winter months in Breckenridge, Colorado. He has a daughter and son in law who live in London, a son in Charleston, South Carolina, and a son still at home. He’s married to the best person he’s ever met. Tired of traveling the country on commercial airliners, Mark got his certificate in September 2009 and bought a 1979 Cessna TR182 in October 2010. He completed his instrument training in August 2011. The aircraft is a turbo normalized retractable 182 with a service ceiling of 20,000 feet and a cruise speed of 165 knots in the mid teens he likes to fly. It is equipped with a Stormscope, WSI Weather, S-tec 55 autopilot, Active Traffic, and a Garmin GNS 480. Most trips are for business meetings at least one state away. He learned to fly at Tailwheels, Inc., an accelerated flight training program in Winter Haven, Florida (GIF). He took instrument training from Jim Harvilchuck of A and M Aviation at Mark’s home airport of Clow International in Bolingbrook, Illinois (1C5). He is an avid fan of Air Facts and Mr. Collins having read all of his recent books at least four times.
Brandon grew up always looking up, when a random airplane happened overhead. A Seattle-area native whose only complaint about the rain is the accompanying lack of VFR weather, Brandon earned his Private Pilot Certificate in late 2007 and has since added a seaplane rating and a tailwheel endorsement. A self-admitted airplane junkie, he’ll find any reason to hang out at the airport, whether to fly or watch other aircraft come and go. He has flown C172s, a 7KCAB Citabria, and a Piper Super Cub on floats. Currently he flies his flying club’s C150, and blessedly counts his wife as his favorite passenger.
For a private pilot Stephen has accomplished quite a lot in his 5000 or so hours of flying since he obtained his English PPL in a Cessna 152 in 1982. He has owned a variety of single and twin engine aircraft, starting with a 1/15th share in a Cessna 172 and progressing to the Aerobatic Bonanza that he flies today. On the way he has owned a Fuji FA 200, a Beech Duchess, a Cessna 310 and an MD520N Notar helicopter to mention just a few and has over 100 aircraft types in his logbook. Among his aviation achievements, he owned and operated one of the largest flight schools in New Zealand, competed in international aerobatic competitions, displayed warbirds and his beloved Notar at air shows around the world and ferried a variety of aircraft across the Pacific ocean. If you ask him why he never took his Commercial Pilot’s License he will tell you that he always wanted to fly on his own terms and not be told by anyone else when and where he had to fly. Today he flies his Aerobatic Bonanza E33C out of his retirement location in Oroville, California with his wife Denise and his ever present co-pilot a Yorkshire Terrier named Agapanthus Mayhem.
Hunter Heath is a semi-retired endocrinologist, medical school professor, and medical researcher now living in Indianapolis, who has been flying since the early 1980s. He was fortunate to train with career CFIs who were veterans of the WWII CPT program and flew P-38s. Airplanes owned include a 1966 Cessna 172, part of a J-3 (briefly), and the current 1946 Aeronca 11AC Chief. He has a long involvement with the EAA, including founding and chairing the EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council. At the moment, he is trying to figure out how to get our ever-helpful FAA to authorize the swap of the Chief’s A-65 for a C-85-12 with an electric starter.
Ian Hoyt is a 20 year old private pilot from Findlay, Ohio. He currently attends Ohio University, majoring in entrepreneurship, and hopes to own his own aviation charter or helicopter tour company someday. He currently owns the aviation clothing brand “Heading 370” (www.hdg370.com) and wants to share his love of aviation with as many people as possible.
Stephen Hunter is a Commercial/Instrument/AGI pilot with a BS in Aerospace Technology from Middle Tennessee State University and an MS in Aerospace Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is privileged to be currently serving as a Lt Col in the United States Air Force assigned to US Central Command. He is also the proud father of two young ladies and blessed to be the husband of Julie Hunter, LL.M. Stephen is an active Civil Air Patrol pilot.
Dave has been a pilot since 1953 and holds a single and multi-engine, instrument license. He also has time in helicopters and gliders, and has owned and shared ownership of several airplanes, including a Christen Eagle. He is an attorney, lives in West Chester, Ohio with his wife, Sue, of 55 years, enjoys writing and is an active amateur radio operator (W8FZF).
Michael is a 17-year old who lives in Florida. He is majoring in the Computer Science program at his local magnet school, and currently works in the development and support departments of a local software development company.
Joseph (“Jody”) Kirwan dreamed about being a pilot as a young boy with airplane models dangling from every square inch of ceiling space in his bedroom. Jody actively pursued flying the last year of law school (it was more fun than studying). Jody lives in Louisville, Kentucky, holds an Airline Transport Pilot (AMEL and ASEL) License, is an active CFI, CFII and MEI, is part-owner of a Beech Duchess and Piper Warrior, and is the Assistant General Counsel for a national energy company.
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Kyle Libby is an aspiring aerospace engineer who earned his Private license at 17. His training took place at a small FBO in Apple Valley, California, his hometown in the desert, which provided for stunning visibility, good weather, and wicked winds. After soloing fairly quickly, he managed school and flying to finish up within a year. He interns at his congressman’s office, is in the Civil Air Patrol, and plays golf. Kyle is energetic, enjoys hanging out with friends, and likes to adventure into the Mojave Desert by hiking or with his Jeep. He enjoys exploring and visiting new airports.
Dennis Long learned to fly ultralights when he was 20 in the 1980s and then gave it up until 2009 due to family and life’s twists. Twenty-five years passed before he soloed again. He says, “I started flying again and I’m making up for lost time.” He has logged 250 hours in ultralights and another 380 hours in Light Sport types getting, his Sport Pilot rating in 2011. He has flown 250 hours in the last 12 months alone. He adds, “I do a calendar and flyers list for over 350 aviators around the mid-south. I try to promote light aviation where I can.”
Mort Mason soloed on Friday the 13th–April 1956–on an airplane with skis, in a 20-knot crosswind at Lake Hood, Alaska, in a serious snowstorm. Since that day, he successfully completed his Private License check ride on March 4, 1957. His ASES, Commercial and Instrument Rating followed. Mason says, “My logs, not always attentively kept, now show 18,000 flying hours as PIC. About 16,000 of those hours were made while flying the Alaska outback, just another of Alaska’s long list of ragbag bush pilots.” He’s had two books published by Voyageur Press: Flying the Alaska Wild and The Alaska Bush Pilot Chronicles. Both are available through Amazon.com.
Bruce McGregor’s dreams of flight began on his grandfather’s back porch, watching Douglas DC-3s and Convair CV-240s landing and departing from nearby Allegheny County Airport (then Pittsburgh’s commercial airport) in the early 1950s. After years of static, control-line and radio-controlled airplane building and flying, he put aside his aviation dreams for college, military service and girls until earning his private pilot license in 1969. Today with Commercial ASEL, ASES, AMEL and Instrument ratings, he is blessed to own and fly his experimental SeaRey and a Cessna P210 Silver Eagle (turboprop). He is doubly blessed with a wife who, after 20 years as an enthusiastic passenger, became a private pilot. She owns and flies a G1000 equipped Cessna 172.
Brent works as a management pilot for a large fractional operation in Ohio. He started flying in high school in Oklahoma and earned his private certificate his senior year. He attended college at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma while building flight time. Subsequent ratings were obtained at North American Institute of Aviation in Las Cruces, NM. He has flown a myriad of airplanes in his 25+ years in the industry. Although he currently flies a Falcon 2000 at work, his real passion is light airplanes. In 2005 he started building a Vans RV-8 kit, which was completed in 2011. Prior to that, Brent restored a Bucker Jungster I biplane and a 1946 Ercoupe. He also taught for many years helping people obtain private, instrument, and commercial certificates, along with teaching tailwheel transitions. In his current role, he is exposed to industry-leading training and safety practices, such as Threat and Error Management, Safety Management Systems, and Crew Resource Management. Brent is also the creator of iFLYblog.com, a general aviation blog that discusses a wide range of topics applicable to pilots.
Anandeep Pannu, founder of Training Squadron, is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and has been an aviation enthusiast all his life. Anandeep grew up an Air Force brat and now has the good fortune to fly a wide variety of aircraft including sailplanes, aerobatic airplanes, bush planes, Light Sport Aircraft, experimental aircraft, seaplanes, glass panel aircraft and warbirds. At various times he owned and/or co-owned a Cessna 150, a Beechcraft Bonanza and a Christen Eagle II aerobatic biplane. Anandeep is a competitive aerobatic pilot and has also taken part in US National soaring competitions. Anandeep teaches all aspects of flying at Training Squadron including tailwheel, aerobatics and warbird flying. He believes that the way GA pilots are being trained needs to be improved – Training Squadron was founded to train people the right way.
Mark Phelps is a hard working freelance aviation writer and journalist. He got his start at the top of the heap, working for Richard Collins at Flying magazine in the mid-1980s. Since then, he has held senior positions in the editorial departments of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh and Aviation International News in New Jersey. He also served in the communications department at Dassault Falcon Jet. Current freelance clients include all of the above, as well as the National Business Aviation Association, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), the National Aircraft Resellers Association (NARA), International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) and various corporate clients. Mark is an instrument rated pilot and a slowly improving guitar player. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and twin sons, and is always looking for more work to pay for new sneakers… and save for their college educations. He’d love to hear from you at MDPiii@hotmail.com.
A born aviation enthusiast for unknown reasons as there was no preceding family involvement in aviation. Soloed at age 16 in a J-3 Cub in 1967 at Creswell, OR and achieved Private license at age 18 in a Cessna 150 at Billings, MT. His working life has been, since 1977, and currently is as an aircraft engineer on aircraft ranging from ultralights (Sorrell Hiperlite) to the Boeing 737. Stephen holds FAA certificates: Commercial, SEL, MEL, Glider and CFI, CFII along with the old Ground Instructor Basic, Advanced and Instrument and A&P with Inspector Authorization. The FAA also has designated him as an Engineering Representative for aircraft certifications.
Frank grew up flying. His first flight was on his father’s lap in a Piper Pacer and started flight training when avgas was 25 cents a gallon. He’s taught flying, and was the recipient of Red Cross and CAP awards for emergency life-saving search and rescue missions. He’s presented 14 forums at Oshkosh and was the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (the astronaut’s professional society) 2001 featured convention speaker. He received the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, the GE Outstanding Achievement Award, and the INC Magazine 500 Award. Mentored by his uncle, a former Flying Tiger, Frank rebuilt his (IFR!) Stinson Voyager: he imported the fourth Partenavia P68C to the US, perhaps his favorite aircraft. He championed GA programs at the Ohio Aerospace Institute, whilst managing NASA Mars and Venus exploration, artificial heart, breast-cancer detection, and brain-surgery projects. He founded satellite paging, hemodialysis, and consumer electronics companies. In Europe, he consulted for the Alp-Gotthard mega-tunnel railway project. Back in the US, he consults for the Rutgers University Opera Department. Really.
It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. “While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.
Doug grew up off the end of a runway and has wanted to fly before he could ride a bike. As the catalog manager for Sporty’s Pilot Shop, he takes pride in developing products that make flying easier for pilots. After spending a short time in the military including a year in Iraq, his standards are abnormally high for pilot products. A private pilot with an instrument rating, he enjoys small prop planes more than any jet. You’ll normally find him in a Cessna 172 or Skycatcher while on a mission to find the finest biscuits and gravy at an airport cafe.
Tim’s first summer job was as a line boy at an FBO in San Juan, P.R. With an employee discount, he took a flight with an instructor and was hooked. Eighteen months later, he was a Private Pilot. He flew extensively to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands during that time. Life got in the way and he had to stop flying for about 15 years. When he picked it back up, he went on to obtain his Instrument rating, and then work interceded again. He moved overseas and lived in Europe, Africa, Australia and Mexico for another 17 years. Since returning to the States he has gone on to get his Commercial SEL and MEL certificates. He lives outside of Houston, TX and flies as often as possible.
Arnie grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and has a BS degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport. After serving four years as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, he joined Pan Am in 1968 and later was a captain on the Boeing 727 and Airbus A310 with additional responsibilities as the Director of Flight Safety. He joined Delta Air Lines in 1991 in conjunction with the sale of Pan Am’s European routes and retired as a Boeing 727 captain in 2000. Type ratings include the DC-3, Boeing 707, 727, Airbus A310 and several helicopters. His memoir of CH-46 Vietnam flying experiences will be published later this year by Bluewater Press. He lives with his wife in Pensacola, Florida.
Phil Scott, a contributor to Air & Space/Smithsonian for 20 years, is author of six books, including Hemingway’s Hurricane (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Fanatical about airplanes since he was 10, Scott moved to New York to write about flying in 1986. On Christmas Eve that year he received his license in Stormville, New York. Since then he’s also climbed Kilimanjaro, eaten lunch with the Foreign Legion in French Guiana, landed in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia less than two weeks after Russian troops pulled out, learned to ride a camel in Wadi Rum, got no sleep during night ops on the carrier John C. Stennis. And finally, he visited the motorcycle exhibition in the Guggenheim.
Born and raised in northern England, Adam obtained degrees in modern history and museology from the University of Leeds, England and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Prior to relocating to the USA he managed the Scottish National Museum of Flight, located on a historic airfield near Edinburgh. While there, he learned to fly in a World War II Piper L-4. Adam worked for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh from 2001 until 2012 where he oversaw the operation of the EAA AirVenture Museum, aircraft operations, youth education programs, membership programs, Chapters and publications. He also organized the program of features and attractions at the annual AirVenture fly-in. He then joined AOPA as senior vice president of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community. Adam currently owns a Cessna 180 and a clipped-wing J-3 Cub, and is building a replica of a World War I Sopwith Pup using original plans.
John Swallow is a retired RCAF officer, corporate pilot, and Transport Canada Inspector and has accumulated over 15,000 hours in both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. While in the military, he was a member of two NATO International Air-to-Air Gunnery competitions (Guynemer Trophy Shoot) held in Leeuwarden in Holland. In 1967, he flew the #3 slot with the Golden Centennaires, predecessors to today’s famed Snowbirds. Following retirement, John and his wife, the former Bernice Miller of Placentia NF, moved from New Brunswick to British Columbia, where they are building a Van’s RV-7A. In 2005, John volunteered to act as the editor of the Vernon Flying Club Newsletter.
Alec Synakowski is 24 year old music teacher in downtown Chicago. He is preparing for his instrument rating checkride and aspires to become a flight instructor and professional mandolin player.
Jeff Tait has been a pilot since 1966. He is an ATP who has logged approximately 14,450 hours. He served in the US Navy submarine service in the mid 1960s, followed by flying charter and freight, and some instructing late 1960s thru 1970s. He flew for Braniff Airlines in the late 70s to the early 80s. He has been a corporate pilot since 1981. He currently flies a Citation V and Bell 206L for a corporate operator in New Jersey where he has been employed as a pilot for the last 32 years.
Usually known as Dick or “Van,” Richard VanGrunsven learned to fly in 1956 at the age of 16. He has logged 12,000+ hours (the majority of it in airplanes of his own design) and holds CFI, multi-engine and ATP ratings. Over the past 40 years, Van’s Aircraft became the acknowledged leader in the kit aircraft world. New aircraft, from the RV-4 through the Light Sport RV-12, have been introduced and each has proven successful in the marketplace. For most of that time, Van was chief engineer, head designer and CEO of the company. Today Van continues to lead the company he founded. Although his old titles are held by others, it’s still his name over the entrance. If the weather permits, he flies to work in his original RV-4 – or his RV-10 – or the new RV-12 he and his brother Jerry built, just for fun. Well, almost every day. If the soaring conditions are good, he pulls out his all electric self-launching Antares sailplane, takes a few days off…and goes flying.
Lane Wallace is an internationally-known columnist for EAA’s Sport Aviation magazine, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, and the founder and editor of no map. no guide. no limits., a website focused on taking a more adventurous, entrepreneurial, and passion-driven approach to life. She’s also written six books for NASA on flight and space exploration, a book for young people on flying and designing airplanes (published by EAA), and has worked as a writer and producer on a number of television and video projects. Her first airplane was a 1946 Cessna 120, but her current airplane is a 1977 Grumman Cheetah.
Tyson is a software entrepreneur and private pilot. His first venture was Atension, a dorm-room startup that was acquired by a public company in 1999. He then directed software engineering at BenefitFocus, where flying was part of the corporate DNA. Prior to ForeFlight, Tyson was a venture partner with SMH Private Equity Group. Tyson holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Business Administration from Trinity University and an MBA from Rice University. Tyson is a Private Pilot who owns and flies a Diamond DA-40.
Walt has considerable military aviation experience as a retired Lt. Col. from the Air Force. He has experienced numerous overseas deployments as a fighter pilot and former Squadron Commander. Walt is currently authoring a book, Aviation – The First Ten Years due for publication in early 2014 (the first of an early aviation book series). As a member of EAA, American Aviation Historical Society, and the Tailhook Association he promotes aviation at every opportunity.
Trevor is a 16-year old junior in high school from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. As well as being a student, he plays basketball and baseball. He also enjoys volunteering on the flight line at FLD during the week of EAA AirVenture.
John knows how lucky he is to go to work every day at an airport. As Vice President of Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s Catalog Division, he says, “I get to hang around airplanes all the time, flying regularly and testing new products for the catalog.” Coming from an aviation family, John grew up in the back of small airplanes and learned to fly as a teenager. Ever since, he has been hooked on anything with wings and regularly flies a Citabria and a Pilatus PC-12. Currently a Commercial, Multiengine pilot with Glider and Seaplane ratings, John recently added a Rotary rating, bought a Robinson R44 and flew it to EAA AirVenture, claiming, “A helicopter is the best way to arrive in Oshkosh.” Despite his love of low and slow flight, John says, “I love the challenge of IFR flying in the system. Seeing the runway lights as you break out on approach is a thrill.”
Lawrence Zingesser is a retired neuroradiologist whose first flying was in a Piper J2 when he was in college. He did not take up flying in a serious way until he was in his 30s. Today he is a private pilot, with instrument, seaplane and rotary ratings. He and his wife, also a pilot, co-own a Mooney 231. He adds, “Last year I become a UFO [United Flying Octogenarian] member, and hope to keep flying for a few more years.”