Meet the Authors

Air Facts Masthead



Maurie BastonMaurie Baston

Maurie Baston spent 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force with a strong focus on pilot training, membership of six separate aerobatic teams, solo aerobatic display flying, and numerous overseas liaison appointments. He flew Convair 880’s with Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong before returning to Australia, eventually setting up his own company: Air Transport Management. His 11 years with the (then) Australian Civil Aviation Authority involved him at senior executive level in project management and restructuring roles including the introduction of the District Offices concepts, as well as industry oversight of airline B747/767 operations. In his 15 years involvement in airline operations with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, United Airlines and Air Nauru, he has worked as an airline operations manager/chief pilot, on route and fleet development all over the Pacific. He still flies his own Piper Twin Comanche, and operates an aviation consultancy business based in Australia and the USA.

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Larry BaumLarry Baum

Larry has been flying since 1973 when he purchased 1/3 of a 1952 Piper Tri-Pacer. 4600+ flying hours later, he’s still in a partnership, co-owning a 1979 Aerostar 601P/700P. After the Tri-Pacer, he has owned or partnered in five airplanes including a Piper Arrow, Piper Seneca, Navajo, Cessna 340 and now the Aerostar. Larry learned to fly from a bunch of charter pilots in Ithaca, NY. Back in the early to mid-70s, whenever there was a freight run or some kind of dead-head requiring only one pilot, Larry and other students got to ride along as well as fly left seat on the empty legs. Flying different airplanes in all kinds of weather into small and large airports throughout the northeast was just part of the training. It was a great way to learn. Everything was done with a purpose and all aspects of flight were constantly evaluated. Larry holds a private pilot’s certificate, with an instrument and a multi-engine rating. Professionally, Larry was a newspaper photographer and reporter before beginning a computer technology company in 1978. He is also a board member of the East Hill Flying Club and an avid Young Eagles pilot.

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Dan BaxterDan Baxter

Dan Baxter, regrettably, is not closely related to former FLYING contributor Gordon Baxter–although each of them spent years in broadcasting and both loved old airplanes and the people who keep them flying. He is mostly an Oklahoman who has used up more lives than an unlucky cat. Dan owned several almost-new and classic airplanes, including two Stinson Voyagers, before he retired from obstetrics and gynecology. Carolyn, his wife of nearly fifty years, tries to keep him out of trouble. They now live in northwest Arkansas where he lists his current profession as “curmudgeon” on his business cards.

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Liad BitonLiad Biton and family

Liad Biton is a 37 year old VFR pilot based in San Diego (MYF) with 250 hours and is working on his instrument ticket. Born in Israel, he met his wife in high school before moving to the United States. Liad now runs a software company in San Diego.

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Matt BeattieMatt Beattie

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.”

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Robert BernsteinRobert Bernstein

After retiring ten years ago from a career in research and practical applications of weather satellite information, Robert finally had the time and money to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. He and his wife divide their time between San Diego and Portland, Oregon. When early summer arrives, he repositions his Diamond DA-40 north, returning it to San Diego in October (“…just like the geese”). He holds a commercial/instrument license, with emphasis on recurrent training every few months.

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Trevor BradleyTrevor Bradley

Earning his Canadian Private Pilot’s license before a drivers license, flying has always been a top priority for Trevor Bradley. Trevor learnt how to fly at Boundary Bay Airport in Delta, British Columbia, and can currently be found above the rugged shores of Atlantic Canada. As an avid advocate for General Aviation, he is an active member of COPA and BCAC, and flies with clubs in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Trevor also runs a Digital Marketing Consulting business – Pielot Communications. And continues to work with innovative Aerospace & Defence companies in the US and Canada.

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Bob BrewerBob Brewer

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.

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Jill BrownJill Brown

Jill Brown is a private pilot who received her flight training in her home of Anchorage, Alaska and in Long Beach, California. She is completing her Masters of Aeronautical Science in Unmanned Aerial Systems at Embry Riddle University and currently works as a Graduate Researcher at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia, where her research focuses on the emerging commercial drone industry and FAA regulations. She loves flying, Alaska, old warbirds, and her yellow labrador, Betty. Jill earned her private pilot’s license in July 2015.

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Rob BuckRob Buck
Rob Buck is a retired airline pilot with general aviation roots and heart. He lives in Waterbury Center, Vermont, is married, four children and a dog. Rob was flight-afflicted at two in 1951, flying with his father in Leighton Collins’ Piper Clipper. Mentally never landed, he had teenage solos in gliders and a Cessna 120. Chasing ratings and experience, he was an obsessed glider pilot, and wrote a bit for Air Facts. Graduated from Northrop University in Engineering Technology. Wandered the industry as an aircraft salesman, instructor, tow and charter pilot, Tech Editor for Business/Commercial Aviation then flew Twin Otters. Rob joined Delta Air Lines in 1979 for 27 years. Retired flying 767’s transatlantic but loved the stick and rudder flying of the 727 Shuttle years. He currently flies a Cessna 170, sailplanes and model airplanes.
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Linda Burton RicksLinda Burton Ricks

A graduate of Auburn University in Aviation Management, Linda currently flies a Challenger 300 and is Executive Director for Tuckaire, Inc. Her career in aviation started with summer jobs at her local airport. She learned more about flying and prose, writing the Accident Recap Column for Aviation International News. In the last ten years she’s earned her ATP, and type ratings in King Air, Learjet and the Challenger 300 models. Volunteer efforts include: Aviation Exploring mentor and a Director for the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition. She and her husband, Duffee, consider themselves fortunate to work, fly and have raised two pilots together.

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Arlo CaineArlo Caine

Dr. Arlo Caine is a private pilot and a professor of mathematics at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. He learned to fly as a teenager through an incredible opportunity from his relatives, two career aviators, by working construction on their home at Tenkiller Airpark (44M) and being paid in room, board, and flight lessons from two incredible CFIs. After a 10 year break from flying for school, family, and early steps in his career, he rejoined the active ranks of pilots in 2012 and enjoys creating and sharing aviation adventures with family and friends.

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Alan CarrAlan Carr

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, especially relatively unknown stories of aviation history.

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George CatalanoGeorge Catalano

George started flying back in 1977 in Colorado while in engineering school. Back then it cost $800 to get your pilot’s license so with just enough saved, he spent it all and never looked back. From his second flight in a C150 he was hooked (got sick on his first flight) and knew that he wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. He flew non-stop and burned through all his ratings and acquired my CFII+MEI+ATP. He was simply the luckiest guy around when he had an opportunity to own a T-34 when his parents co-signed the loan. He paid my way through college and always had enough to make those airplane payments! He couldn’t buy my way into a flying job in 1980 when he graduated, so he went into engineering. It was during this time he happened upon an entire squadron of privately owned warbirds based at the same airport he was. In short order he got the opportunity to fly everything from T-6’s, B-25, A-26 and P-51. He helped restore and maintain those planes and eventually raced a T-6 at Reno for a few years. He has owned a lot of planes over the years and is currently enjoying the spirited flying of a Lancair 360 out of AZ after he completed a partially done project.

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Greg ChestnutGreg Chestnut

Greg is a Colorado native with a passion for adventure and new things. He has a beautiful wife that he’s been married to for 14 wonderful years, a 13-year old daughter and an 11-year old son. With his brother, he owns a contract glass company in the Denver area and has sister companies on the western slope of Colorado and in Colorado Springs. Greg is always on the go with his family, riding ATVs, playing hockey, or being a taxi service for the kids’ activities. Other non-aviation activities are hunting, golf, shooting, photography and camping. As far as flying goes, Greg has about 160 hours, ASEL instrument rated with a mountain flying checkout. He received his flight training through Aspen Flying Club at Centennial Airport (KAPA). Their instructors and staff are awesome and their fleet now has grown to impressive numbers.

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Frank ChristopherFrank Christopher

Frank always wanted to fly and was flying various computer flight simulators since he was 12 years old. He finally earned his private in October of 2006. He has been to Oshkosh three times and he always feel a pull to get there, even though he can’t always swing it. Frank has been trying to get an Instrument Rating but life always seems to get in the way.

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Chris ClarkeChris Clarke

Having a childhood dream of aviation, Chris became an active Aviation Explorer, motivating him to earn his private pilot’s license as a teenager. During his four years at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University he earned his commercial, multi-engine certificate with an instrument rating. While experimenting in seaplanes, gliders, and a variety of other personal aircraft, Chris developed a passion for general aviation and shares that passion as he develops aviation training apps and videos for Sporty’s Pilot Shop.

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Harry ClementsHarry Clements

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.

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Wayne CochraneWayne Cochrane

An administrative law judge in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Wayne Cochrane has been a private pilot since 1975. He bought a Piper Cherokee 140 in 1980, intending to keep it for a couple of years. He still has it, in a hangar at the wonderful Debert airport, from which WWII RAF and RCAF pilots once learned to fly Hudsons and Mosquitos – and a student pilot is said to have once accidentally happened upon, and attacked, a German submarine. His favorite flying memories include: a moon rise suddenly illuminating Maine’s Mount Katahdin above a cloud deck on a 600 mile night flight from Ottawa to Halifax; a low level flight along the length of Cape Cod at sunrise; the wonderful, remote, waterfalls of Labrador; and landing at Oshkosh. He’s accumulated more than 400 volumes of aviation autobiographies.

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Michael CohenMichael Cohen

Michael Cohen has logged 900 hours since learning to fly at age sixty. His club plane is a 150 but he also flies 172s, PA-28s and taildraggers. He and his wife live on the Blood River in Kentucky when they are not in the Tucson Mountains.

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Richard L. CollinsRichard L. Collins

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.

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Ralph ComptonRalph Compton

As a farm kid raised in the 1940s, Ralph was always fascinated by the flights of military aircraft training near his place. After the war, his father and a neighbor bought a Taylorcraft and Ralph says he still remembers the smell of that little airplane. He learned to taxi and take off an airplane in that Taylorcraft, then started taking flying lessons in Oklahoma City with instructor Burlee Tibbs at Downtown Airport. He had no idea that Mr. Tibbs was a famous aviator and had taught Wiley Post how to fly. Ralph operated a farm and started an insurance agency right out of school in 1960, but in 1968 when needing crop spraying and unable to hire it in a timely fashion, he started Compton Flying Service. In about 1971, being short of pilots, he started ag flying and eventually retired from ag work in 2011 afer 40 years with no accidents and 17,000 hours of flight time. In 1995 Ralph became involved with the Satloc company as a dealer in sales and service of GPS guidance and flow control equipment for agricultural aircraft. During the 1990s, Ralph invented the “GPS Quick Antenna Mount” for ag aircraft and the Glass Vacuum meter for precision measurement of agricultural chemicals. Ralph still has a Beechcraft and Citabria. He has been active for many years in the National Agricultural Aviation Association, served as president of the Oklahoma association and has been involved with numerous state associations.

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Ben ConlinBen Conlin

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.

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David CookDavid Cook

David Cook, of Virginia Beach, Virginia is a commercial helicopter pilot and instrument rated fixed wing pilot with over 1500 hours in helos and over 1000 hours in fixed wing aircraft. He owns a 1974 Cardinal 177RG and flies it frequently, mostly cross country to visit his family. AOPA member, Angel Flight Volunteer Pilot, Police Helicopter Patrol Pilot and was featured on the cover of AOPA magazine in March of 2010. He attends Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide; working on his bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics. With only a few classes remaining, he hopes to fly professionally after retirement.

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Tom CurranTom Curran

Tom is a contract instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. He started flying at Seattle’s Boeing Field in 1978, and holds ATP, CFII/MEI, and SES ratings. His early exploits included instructing in Florida and Alaska. After college, he helped produce Alaska’s first Aviation System Plan and several airport master plans. Tom joined the USAF in 1984, and served as an Instructor and Evaluator in the F-15C and B-1B. His adventures included tours in Europe, Japan, and Southwest Asia. His “day jobs” included Commander of a B-1B squadron, and Director of a NATO Air Operations Center. He retired in 2010, after serving as Deputy Commander of the DoD‘s Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence. His credentials include degrees from Embry-Riddle and Florida Institute of Technology. A devoted airport bum, he lives in Gig Harbor, WA, and WILL fly for food!

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Michael DeBerryMichael DeBerry

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.”

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Will EifertWill Eifert

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.

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Andreas EisslerAndreas Eissler

Born in Germany in 1978, Andreas started flying gliders at the age of 16 in a local flight club. When he graduated from high school/college (Gymnasium) in 1998, he was thinking about a career as a military pilot at first, but got exempted from the obligation to serve in the military due to some family relief law, and because of the lack of money for civil commercial flight training, he decided to become an aircraft mechanic first. After vocational training he worked at a police helicopter squadron for a few years. In the meantime, Andreas started to take flight lessons for a PPL-A, but switched to helicopter flight training later. After earning his license, he served as a mission helicopter pilot and AME in Indonesia (Borneo and Papua) for three years before returning to Germany. Due to the fact that helicopter mechanics are more in demand than pilots here in Europe, and since he is much more experienced a mechanic than a pilot anyway, he has been working for the German Air Rescue (Deutsche Luftrettung) as a mechanic ever since, even though he wouldn’t refuse if he got a chance to lift off a pilot career again.

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Mike EngleMike Engle

Mike Engle is a veteran NASA engineer, and has worked as a spacecraft designer, an astronaut trainer, and a Space Shuttle flight controller in Mission Control. He’s currently the Chief Engineer for the Astronaut Office. Although he makes his living working with rockets and space ships, his first love is old airplanes, and when he’s not doing spaceflight stuff, he’s flying his 1946 Aeronca Champ. Mike has a commercial license (ASEL and ASES) and an instrument rating. In addition to his Champ, he’s logged time in Piper Cubs, Tiger Moths, T-33’s, T-34’s and Space Shuttle simulators. His second love is University of Kentucky basketball.

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Trip FarmerTrip Farmer

Trip Farmer, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, received his Private Pilot License in 1978 while in college. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a BS, Management in 1979, and received an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1992. He joined Angel Flight Southeast in 2000 and flew many missions including 2 medical missions to Gulfport, MS the week after Hurricane Katrina hit. Owner of a PA28-235 (8501N) from 2000 – 2007, he was Treasurer & Controller for the UAB Educational Foundation from 1993-2005 and Director of Contract Administration at the University of Alabama from 2005-2015 (retired).

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Mark FayMark Fay

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.

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Matt FerrariMatt Ferrari

Matt Ferrari is an aviation enthusiast who, while learning to fly in small planes, wanted nothing more than to fly big planes. Now that he flies big planes, he can’t wait to get home to fly small planes. He is currently flying the world in a Boeing 747-400 for work and flying his Piper Cherokee 180 for fun. He can be reached at:

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David FlynnDavid Flynn

David is a student at The University of Mississippi, majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). He started taking flight lessons when he was twelve years old, and received his private pilot’s license at eighteen. He is the founder of Hangaround, a social platform that builds close-knit airport communities while providing tools for the younger generation to get involved in aviation. He plans to start his instrument training soon.

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Brandon FreemanMark Fay

Brandon grew up always looking up, especially 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, a tailwheel endorsement and hopes to soon add a glider rating. 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 club’s C150 and C172s, and blessedly counts his wife as his favorite passenger.

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Sarah FrittsSarah Fritts

Sarah is dedicated to helping aviators get better at their craft. Sarah is a West Point graduate and Army combat aviator. She flew the OH-58D during the invasion of Iraq in ’03. She also flew C-12s in Afghanistan in 2013. She currently flies the King Air 350 full time out of the Portland International Airport. In her spare time she flies the LUH-72 for the National Guard. She recently wrote a book called The Instrument Pilot’s Survival Guide. You can find more of her work on her website:

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Jim GoldfussJim Goldfuss

Jim Goldfuss has been flying since 1989 and holds a Private license with Multi Engine endorsement as well as an Advanced Ground Instructor rating. Jim lives on Long Island and flies out of Republic Airport in Farmingdale (KFRG). When he can, he is flying a C172SP (G1000) or a PA28-181 Archer (Garmin 430’s) and in the future wants to work up to the Cirrus SR20/22. He has been around airplanes all his life, his dad working for United Airlines, and him with TWA and United. “I always aspired to be an airline pilot, but in the end, things just didn’t work out”. To stay involved, Jim is an AOPA member, belongs to Downwind Pilots Association as well as IMC Club, and if he’s not in the air, he’s in the sim practicing. He currently writes a blog about flying in general and his experiences maintaining currency.

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Brian Graham-MooreBrian Graham-Moore

Brian Graham-Moore, 78, currently has 1,200 hours as a SEL private pilot. He and his pilot wife, Robin, fly a 1997 Cessna 172R. After acquiring 82 hours in gliders, he transitioned to powered flight in 1989. After 31 years of teaching and research, Brian is now an Emeritus Professor of The University of Texas at Austin. Their home airport is at Smithville, TX (84R).

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John GrantJohn Grant

Born pre-war in the north of Scotland, John became a civil engineer which was an excellent basis for working around the world. He trained first with the RAF on DH Chipmunks on a university programm and that base led to his Private Pilot License in Kenya initially (in 1968) and subsequently to hold PPLs in Botswana, Greece, UK in addition to his Kenya license. Following his departure from the ideal flying conditions of Africa, John flew sky-divers in Scotland (never joining them in mid-air!) and enjoyed time on Tiger Moths, Cessna 150, 172, Rheims Rocket, C182 and C 208, Piper Cub, Cherokee 140 and 180 etc. Before retiring he enjoyed some time flying out of Punta Gorda in Florida.

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James (Jim) GriffithJim Griffith

Jim obtained a private pilot’s license in 1955 through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet scholarship program, his RCAF wings under the NATO Flying Training program in 1958 and joined Trans Canada Airlines (Air Canada) in 1959 until retirement in 1997.Throughout his professional career and beyond he was a member of several recreational aviation organizations and was a founding member of the Aerial Experiment Association, (AEA 2005 Inc.) that built a flying replica of Alexander Graham Bell’s Silver Dart for Canada’s Hundredth Anniversary of Flight in 2009. Jim has accumulated 20,000 hours on recreational, military and airline aircraft.

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Jeff GriggJeff Grigg

Jeff is the owner of a small marine repair shop in South Carolina. A former powerboat racing APBA Formula V National Champion three times, he earned his Private Pilot license in February, 2013. He owns a 1959 Cessna 172 and is a member of the Vintage Airplane Association Chapter 3. He’s also a local historian with his first book set to be published in mid-2014. Jeff is also involved in historic preservation at the old Walterboro Army Air Field.

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Matt HansonMatt Hanson

Matt Hanson is a 30-year old, instrument rated private pilot with 1,000 hours in single engine Cessnas. Cutting his teeth as the autopilot in his father’s 185 since age four, Matt has operated several tail-dragger Cessnas before moving up to a T206. As a small business owner in rural Washington, Matt is a true believer in the value of general aviation for business and looks forward to more experience traversing the nation as his needs grow.

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Hunter HeathHunter Heath

Hunter Heath is an endocrinologist, medical school professor, and medical researcher now retired in Indianapolis, who was licensed in the early 1980s and only recently retired from flying as PIC. He was fortunate to train with career CFIs who were veterans of the WWII CPT program, one of whom flew P-38s. Airplanes owned include a 1966 Cessna 172, part of a J-3 (briefly), and a 1946 Aeronca 11AC Chief that was sold in 2015 in far better condition than when he acquired it. He has a long involvement with the EAA, including founding and chairing the EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council and publishing extensively in Sport Aviation and To Fly. Writing, photography, music, and travel help fill the void left by the absence of aircraft ownership and independent flight. His heart still accelerates and his eyes rise to the heavens at the sound of a round engine.

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Alec HelmkeAlec Helmke

Alec has been passionate about aviation ever since he developed an interest in World War Two. While studying this historic conflict, he was inspired by the stories of courageous pilots who fought to protect our nation. Alec earned his Private Pilot License at age 17 and flies Cessna 152s and 172s out of Middleton/Morey Airport in Wisconsin. Aside from using his license to explore and to spend time with friends and family, Alec also hopes to pursue tailwheel and instrument training and thus, grow into a more experienced and capable pilot.

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Graf HilgenhurstGraf Hilgenhurst

Graf Hilgenhurst, MD got some flying lessons for his birthday when he was 19 (thanks, dad)! Then life intervened, and a very expensive medical education, a wife, two children, and a mortgage put flying on indefinite hold. Years went by, but the dream never died. After opening a successful medical practice in Smyrna, TN, he discovered there was a world class airport and flying school within walking distance of his office. He dusted off his logbook and rekindled the dream. Now, when he is not practicing medicine, he can be found flying around Middle Tennessee in a Cessna 172.

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Pete HodgesPete Hodges

William “Pete” Hodges grew up on a farm and has been around all types of machinery since he could walk. When he was about 12 he went to an EAA airshow in New London, VA and got his first airplane ride in a rag and tube airplane. Watching the controls, cables, and control surfaces gave him and instant understanding of how airplanes work hooked him for life. He began working for a Caterpillar dealer, Virginia Tractor Company in Richmond, VA, and in January of 1979 was transferred to the Custom Engine Department and has been working on Diesel Generators ever since. About that time Pete started taking flying lessons at New Kent Airport outside of Richmond. Over about 8 months he put in 30 hours of flight time and soloed, but then stopped. In 1985 Pete went to work for Alban Engine Power in Baltimore. He worked for Alban for over 20 years and was their top man for more than 10. During that time he studied aerodynamics and flying techniques in his spare time and tinkered with various airplane designs on paper to learn more. Pete remarried in 1995 to his wonderful wife, Bette. In 2004 he and Bette took flying lessons together. Pete earned his PPL and together they bought a 1968 Piper Cherokee 140.

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Ian HoytIan Hoyt

Ian Hoyt is a private pilot who resides in Columbus, Ohio. He currently is the owner of an aviation focused creative marketing agency called Wilbur. In his spare time he loves to fly, slowly build is Vans RV8 aircraft, and spread the love of aviation with fellow pilots on his aviation focused blog (

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Stephen HunterStephen Hunter

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.

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David L. HuprichDavid L. Huprich

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).

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Larry JamesLarry James

Larry James is a former journalist and current chief flight instructor at a Part 141 school. Larry attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois studying English, Journalism and Radio and TV. His involvement with aviation began in 1976 as a member of SkydroPhobia, a 4-way free-fall RW skydiving team. In 1989 he realized a view almost as good could be had from inside the airplane and so began his training as a pilot. An instructor since 1992, Larry specialized in giving glass cockpit training during a four-year stint in London, England. Since 2012 he has been instructing and enjoying the view while flying and teaching inside the Flight Restricted Zone surrounding Washington, DC.

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Michael JanikMichael Janik

Michael is currently studying electrical engineering at the University of Central Florida. He was inspired as a young boy when his uncle took him for a flight in a Skyhawk over the south Florida beaches. He later obtained his private pilot certificate in high school, working after school every day to pay for it. He plans to graduate and go back to flight school, where he wants to teach people how to fly for a living.

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Ben JonesBen Jones

Ben grew up in Boulder, CO, where he and his father began taking flight lessons while Ben was in middle school. For the next several years, he worked for a local flight school, eventually obtaining his CFI license during his senior year of high school. Throughout college, he flight instructed and towed gliders. After college, Ben commissioned into the United States Air Force, and recently completed USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training in Texas.

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Joseph KirwanJoseph Kirwan

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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Frank Ladonne

Frank Ladonne is a Principal Engineer for Underwriters Laboratories. He has been with UL 37 years. Frank’s first flying experience was at the age of 16 flying with a friend who was a tow plane pilot for a glider club. He never forgot the dream to one day fly himself. Then “life intervened.” Married, had a daughter, chauffeured her around hither and yon, college tuition (OMG!). When he finally wrote that last college tuition check, he enrolled for his private. He now has his private and instrument rating and a Cessna 172XP which he and his wife have named Volare! (to fly).

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John LamingJohn Laming

It would be difficult to describe an aviation career more colorful and varied than that of Captain John Laming. His first job in aviation was in 1948 as a “general dogsbody” (that’s British slang for someone who does menial work) for Sydney Morning Herald Flying Services. One of his jobs back then was to throw newspapers out of Lockheed Hudsons and DC-3s as part of a newspaper delivery route throughout New South Wales, Australia. He began a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1951 where he flew a wide variety of airplanes including the Mustang, Vampire, Lincoln, Convair, Viscount, Dakota, and HS748. In addition, he spent some time as a flight instructor and accumulated time in Wirraways, Winjeels and Tiger Moths. His wide experience also led to a stint as an aircraft accident investigator. After 18 years in the RAAF, he worked in Melbourne as an Airways Surveyor, and later flew DC-3s and F.27s performing airways calibration duties. In 1976, Captain Laming was hired by Air Nauru, flying F.28s and later 737-200s on routes throughout the South Pacific. His next move was to England in 1989 where he flew 737s for Paramount Airways, covering European and Middle Eastern routes. He continued flying until 1992 when he had to retire due to the “age 60” rule. He returned to Australia where he kept flying as a flight instructor and charter pilot.

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Mary LeSueur Miller, Capt, USN (Ret)Mary LaSueur Miller

Mary’s childhood home? Wichita’s Cessna plant as her dad’s shadow. Jim LeSueur, who lived his wisdom (“Kiddo, figure out what you love to do and find somebody to pay you for it”) flew anything with wings. Mary loved art, math and jets. Artists were starving. The only rich artists were the 10 or 12 best in the world. They were all dead. Alive is better. “Kiddo, engineering makes you a better pilot. We might not live to see girls fly military jets. If you’re a great engineer, you can make that your art.” A Navy scholarship covered her Rice ChemE degree; Rickover’s Nuclear Draft changed her flight school orders. Wrapped in khaki through a whirl of shipyards, submarines, carriers, lasers, nuclear plants, doubles volleyball and windsurfing, she’s still getting paid to do what she loves to do.

See all articles by Mary LeSueur Miller



Kyle LibbyKyle Libby

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.

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Dan LittmannDan Littmann

Dan Littmann is a software manager in the flight simulation field. An airplane aficionado since childhood, he is also a 1400-hour Commercial pilot with SEL, MEL and Instrument ratings. Dan has logged time in some 36 types of light aircraft over the course of his flying career.

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Dennis LongDennis Long

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.”

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John MahanyJohn Mahany

John Mahany has been flying for over 37 years, and has been a CFI since 1980. He has corporate, airline and charter experience. John spent 4 1/2 years flying in Alaska, where he learned bush flying, and gained experience on floats and snow-skis. He is currently a King Air and Citation Instructor at FlightSafety International in Long Beach, CA. John is actively involved in the aviation community, locally, as part of the FAASTeam and as Flight Advisor for EAA Chapter 7 in Long Beach. He is a 5 time Master CFI. He is a founding member of SAFE, an organization for aviation educators. He is also in a partnership in a 1953 Cessna 180.

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Mort MasonMort Mason

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

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Robert MatisseRobert Matisse

Robert’s love for aviation dates back to his youth. The highlight of summer visits to his grandparents in Europe was all about “getting there” as far as he was concerned. While Robert earned his private pilot certificate in the mid 1980s, it wasn’t until 2010 when he began to fly regularly (after considerable ground and flight “refresher” training). Currently Robert rents Cessna 172s from a flight school based on Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. 2016 aviation related goals include restarting his instrument rating training, earning a tail wheel endorsement and writing articles on the topic of GA flight safety.

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Fernao Pedroso MazzeiDr. Mazzei

Fernao Pedroso Mazzei’s grandfather was Italian, but he is Brazilian born (at S. Paulo State), on November 10, 1935. He is a Phd lawyer and speaks five languages. He has flown since 1956 in several aircrafts types: biplanes, mono, bimotors, and gliders. Dr. Mazzei is an aircraft, glider instructor and tow pilot. He also has an instrument rating. He has owned four aircraft: an Aeronca plus a Cessna 172, 210 and 337. He flew five times between Brazil and the Unites states with mono and bimotors, and has a HFB-320 Hansajet qualification. Between 1982 and 1984, he built and flew a VP-1 with Volks engine. After an aerodynamics course with Martin Hollman, Oshkosh 1982 designed a six place, amphibian biplane with diesel 350 HP still to build. He is returning to fly again.

See all articles by Fernao Pedroso Mazzei



Bruce McGregorBruce McGregor

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.

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Bart McPhersonBart McPherson

Bart McPherson, now 84 years old, was born and reared at Beatrice, AL, and graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in 1952. He was in the USAF for two years, 1952-1954, working for the NSA at Arlington Hall Station in Virginia. He then spent 35 years in the apparel industry, living all over the eastern US, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Bart learned to fly Cessna 150s in 1967 at Bates Field, Mobile, and got his instrument ticket, single engine in 1977 at Little Rock, AR. He has about 600 hours total and is now retired from all except hobbies and nature gazing.

See all articles by Bart McPherson



Chris MeelkerChris Meelker

Chris Meelker is a 29-year old Private Pilot in Toronto, Canada. After spending his childhood dreaming of airplanes and asking for models every Christmas and birthday he enrolled with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, where he was fortunate enough to be selected for a Glider Pilot Scholarship in the summer of 2003, followed by a Private Pilot Scholarship in 2004. Chris spent the next two summers as a gliding instructor with Cadets and is currently enjoying life as a casual pilot working towards building skills and ratings with the dream of owning his own plane one day.

See all articles by Chris Meelker



George MendenhallGeorge Mendenhall

George Stuart Mendenhall, MD is a cardiac electrophysiology attending physician living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a chemistry and physics major at Harvard University, where he stayed for medical school and residency, and recently finished cardiology training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In Pittsburgh he was finally able to become a private pilot and obtain instrument rating after a lifetime of interest. He uses his certificate to fly to an outreach clinic every week to better serve his patients, but must reluctantly drive when there is icing or thunderstorms present.

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Dan MilliganDan Milligan

Daniel Milligan is a crop duster/bush pilot/A&P/IA in Uganda, East Africa, where he lives with his wife and son. Originally from upstate New York, Dan was first exposed to aviation as a kid in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, where the bush pilots from Mission Aviation Fellowship formed the only link between their village and the outside world. Dan completed flight school at Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, Washington in 2007 before serving as a banner tow pilot and flight instructor at Aero-Tech Services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When the rare opportunity came up to fly in Africa, his wife Heather took the plunge. They have been living in Uganda for three years where they are working toward adoption of their son.

See all articles by Dan Milligan



Chuck MooreChuck Moore

Chuck Moore has been flying since he was 19. He joined the Army after high school and spent 4 years on active duty, including a year in Vietnam, then went to college at Florida Institute of Technology. There he earned his bachelor’s degree in aviation, along with several fixed wing ratings, including a Flight Instructor certificate. After that he joined the US Navy and flew the F4 Phantom off the USS Coral Sea. After a stint flying Boeing 737’s for Air Florida in Miami ended with the airline going bankrupt, he went back in the Navy and flew DC-9’s around the world. He has been flight instructing for 46 years, and has owned several airplanes. He started out in the Army instructing in the AH-1G Huey Cobra helicopter gunship, which he flew in Vietnam (at 20 years old), trained Navy pilots to fly the DC-9, and is currently a free-lance flight instructor working out of his hangar at the Willow Airport in Alaska.

See all articles by Chuck Moore



Russell MunsonRussell Munson

Russell Munson’s first pictures taken at age 12 with the family Kodak were of airplanes. The love of airplanes led him to the love of photography, and he combined his two passions from then on. Munson made all of the photographs in Richard Bach’s classic book, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull;” wrote and photographed the book, “Skyward: Why Flyers Fly;” and wrote, photographed, narrated and produced his DVD, “Flying Route 66,” with music by Crawford Brown. Munson’s commercial photography and writing has appeared in advertising and magazines such as Flying where he is a Consulting Editor, and Air & Space Smithsonian. His fine art aerial landscape photographs are in the collections of private collectors, museums, and corporations. Munson holds a Commercial Pilot License, with Instrument, and Multi-engine ratings, and a DC-3 type rating. He has owned his beloved 1962 Piper Super Cub for over 35 years, and in some 40 years as a pilot has flown a variety of aircraft from ultralights to corporate jets.

See all articles by Russell Munson



Brent OwensBrent Owens

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, a general aviation blog that discusses a wide range of topics applicable to pilots.

See all articles by Brent Owens



Anandeep PannuAnandeep Pannu

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.

See all articles by Anandeep Pannu



Neil PatonNeil Paton

Neil Started flying gliders in New Zealand over 50 years ago and first got his pilot’s license in Canada soon after. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland and MIT and spent most of his career on various aspects of the space program, including examining moon rocks and working on the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Later on he worked on materials for gas turbine and rocket engines, and most recently was President of Howmet Research Corporation, a division of Alcoa. He still does some consulting for the aerospace industry and he and his wife of 50 years live in Southern California. They enjoy going to interesting places in their Cirrus, which they have owned for 13 years.

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Mark PhelpsMark Phelps

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

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Stephen PhoenixStephen Phoenix

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.

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Franklin PorathFrank Porath

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.

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Eric RadtkeEric Radtke

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.

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Ron RaymondRon Raymond

Squadron Leader Ron Raymond RAAF (Retired) served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a General Duties officer (pilot) for 25 years. He held a variety of appointments including squadron pilot, flying instructor, executive officer RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam, Unit Commander RAAF Papua New Guinea, Air Staff Officer and Chief Flying Instructor 1 Basic Flying Training School: Mentioned in Despatches, Queens Commendation and US Air medal. Ron went on to fly for 20 years in Australian and New Zealand airlines after he left the RAAF. He now lives with his family New Zealand and teaches heavy aircraft performance in a NZ University.

See all articles by Ron Raymond



Joe ReavisJoe Reavis

To paraphrase Three Dog Night, Joe was born in Oklahoma “but really don’t remember.” He was reared in the Texas Panhandle town of Dumas, earned a marketing degree at Oklahoma State University and worked 33 years in the newspaper business, the last 26 as owner of The Fairfield Recorder, a weekly newspaper in Fairfield, Texas. Joe sold the newspaper two years ago. He and his wife, Theresa, are parents of one son, Brady, who is an aviation major at Oklahoma State. He owns a 1969 Piper Cherokee PA28-140 that is upgraded to 160 horsepower.

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Gary ReevesGary Reeves

Gary Reeves is an ATP and Master Flight, Instrument, and Multi-Engine Instructor. He has taught over 200 students and was the 2014 FAA Safety Rep and Instructor of the Year for the Long Beach FSDO. Gary now spends most of his time as the Chief Safety Pilot for, a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing GA accidents. A well-known national speaker, he issued over 10,000 FAA Wings credits in 2014. Contact him anytime at

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Arnold ReinerArnold Reiner

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, 46 Driver, is available from Bluewater Press and Amazon. He lives with his wife in Pensacola, Florida.

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David ReinhartDavid Reinhart

David started flying when he was 16 and earned his PPL at 20. He learned to fly at Barstow-Daggett Airport (DAG) in the Mojave desert of Southern California, flying Champs and Cessna 150s. While attending college in Tulsa, OK he flew out of Riverside (now Jones) airport. In 1979 he got a chance to ferry a Cessna 120 from Tulsa to Hanscom Field near Boston, MA. David moved to New England in 1982 and has been trapped there ever since. Since 1998 he’s been a partner in a fixed gear Cardinal based at Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT). In 2010 he bought out the other four partners, updated the panel, painted the airplane and sold shares to new pilots. He has about 750 hours logged, most of it in the Cardinal, and earned his IR in that plane. David started free-lancing at 16 to help pay for flying lessons and has also worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and photographer, but his day job for 30 years was in IT. His recently published novel, Osprey Point, is about a murder at a nuclear power plant in Connecticut. A Cessna Cardinal plays a small but important role in solving the mystery. It is available at from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at the iTunes store. The sequel, already in the works, contains a lot more flying.

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Gregg ReynoldsGregg Reynolds

Gregg Reynolds is a retired corporate public relations man who started his career after college working for Boeing with assignments at Seattle headquarters, Cape Canaveral and Washington DC. After nine years with Boeing he moved to Heublein, Inc. There he exercised love of aviation by creating the Smirnoff Sailplane Derby, a stage race for gliders racing from LA to Dulles International Airport. Beyond obvious publicity value, the program aimed at drawing attention of youth to aviation, piloting, meteorology, and navigation studies. Included was an exhibit at National Air and Space museum, Wash. DC., featuring a winning sailplane from the race, plus air-to-air video and still photography. In another education program, during the mid-1980s, he arranged corporate sponsorship of a winning entry in NASA’s national high school science competition which resulted in the experiment flying aboard the Space Shuttle. A lesson plan approved by the NEA was offered to teachers across America. Reynolds is a 3,400 hour general aviation pilot residing in Olympia, WA. He volunteers for AOPA’s Airport Support Network and is a member of the EAA.

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Adrian RyanAdrian Ryan
Adrian Ryan is an electronic and mechanical engineer, recently retired having worked as the Chief Engineer for satellite communications in both the hardware and software disciplines for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for the past 30 years. He always wanted to fly, but the pressures of the job plus family meant that he was unable to devote sufficient time to it until now. He has travelled extensively having lived in Italy, Belgium, USA, Norway, Iceland, Canada and many other places, and has now retired to sunny Cyprus, the “Jewel Of The Mediterranean.” Finally he’s able to devote his full time and energy to flying, and even though now 69, is still a “big kid” at heart. In addition to aviation, he is a ham radio operator, holding the call sign 5B4AIY, a photographer, musician, and a writer.

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Jon SandersJon Sanders

Jon is 30 years old and has been around aviation since he can remember. He started logging flight time at 14 years old, soloed at 16 and earned his Private Pilot license at 18. He spent 8 years in the Air Force as a crew chief and 5 years as a military contractor working with UAVs. He is gearing up for his first competition at Sebring and also working towards his Instrument Rating and Commercial license with the pursuit of becoming a CFI in the not too distant future.

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Dave SandidgeDave Sandidge

Dave Sandidge is a 60-year old pilot for American Airlines, having started with America West Airlines in 1991. He began learning to fly light airplanes in 1969, and started formal flying lessons in 1970 with Wesley Hillman in Roanoke, Virginia. He is now a celebrated member of the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. Most of his aviation background – before the major airline flying came along – consisted of cargo and passenger charter in many varying types of aircraft from single-engine Cessnas to DC-3s. He has a total of just over 24,000 hours of learning in his logbooks, and his favorite airplane is (was) the C-47.

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David SchollhammerDavid Schollhammer

David decided to start working on his private license at age 61 and has passed his written with a 98%. He plans to take his oral and flight exam soon. His home base is Crosswind Aviation in Howell, Michigan (KOZW) and a great place to fly, with excellent instructors and a 172SP with Garmin 1000. David, married for 28 years with a daughter, lives in Fenton, Michigan–about one hour north west of Detroit.

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Dan SchmiedtDan Schmiedt

The ink wasn’t quite dry on Dan Schmiedt’s pilot’s license when he bought a 1946 Luscombe 8A in 2003. After a challenging checkout, a weary-eyed fight instructor told Dan that the only way he’d get better with the directionally-challenged Luscombe was to fly it every day. Since then, he has done his best to do just that, flying it most mornings before going to work at Clemson University. Today, Dan is a part-time CFI and staff advisor to the University’s flying club. When he’s not flying the Luscombe, or flying with a student, he is working on restoring a 1954 Cessna 195B.

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Wayne SchneiderWayne Schneider

Wayne earned his private pilot’s license in 1980. After taking a 20 year hiatus he began flying again 4 years ago. Currently a part owner in a Cherokee 180 with the best co-owner around, he does most of his flying in NE Ohio going for $100 hamburgers or taking friends for rides. His wife also enjoys flying, especially when they fly to KY to visit her brother and spend the day on his house boat.

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Larry ScottLarry Scott

Larry R. Scott is an independent oil and gas producer who lives, works, and flies out of the far corner of Southeast New Mexico. He is a commercial pilot with an instrument rating and almost 1500 hours total time. Along with his commercial pilot’s license he also holds a Repairman Experimental Aircraft Certificate, earning this over a nine year period while constructing a Vans RV-7. Larry flies a TBM 700(C2), a Cessna C-206 and the aforementioned RV-7 most appropriately named “La Otra Mujer”.

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Phil ScottPhil Scott

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.

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Ian SeagerIan Seager

Ian Seager started Seager Publishing Ltd. in 1994. The UK-based company publishes FLYER magazine, the Learn to Fly Guide and various books, and runs aviation training exhibitions in the UK, Eire and Italy. Flyer, has the UK’s busiest General Aviation website, Ian started flying gliders in the early nineties and now enjoys everything from back country taildragger flying to long distance touring, taking his Cessna 182 as far east as Moscow and as far west as Oshkosh.

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Marshall SeversonMarshall Severson

Marshall Severson is a lifelong Alaskan, graduate of the University of Alaska, 30 plus year Flight Services professional and ATP rated. An aircraft owner, Marshall enjoys Sunday afternoon flights among the mountains and glaciers near Anchorage.

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Hal SheversHal Shevers, founder of Sporty's
Hal Shevers is founder/chairman of Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Sporty’s Academy, both based at Clermont County Airport (I69). Hal is a graduate of Purdue University, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. It was in college that Hal earned his private pilot’s certificate as a member of the Purdue Flying Club. After college, Hal marketed a small radio that picked up airport control towers. He sold the radio to pilots by mail, using the trunk of his car as his first warehouse. This was the birth of Sporty’s Pilot Shop. In the early days of Sporty’s, Hal supplemented his income by giving flight and ground instruction. He was a pioneer in the first three-day ground school courses, which he developed and taught for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Hal is an Airline Transport certificated pilot with more than 10,000 hours, of which 2,000 are in Piper Aztecs. In 2007, Hal was inducted into the National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame.

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Stu SimpsonStu Simpson

Stu Simpson is a Canadian pilot and writer specializing in aviation topics. He started flying in 1986 on ultralight aircraft, eventually earning a Canadian UL commercial license, flight instructor’s permit, recreational pilot permit, and in 2013, his private pilot’s license. Stu has written for aviation publications in Canada, the US and Australia. He has owned six airplanes, built one, and rebuilt or heavily modified three more. Stu lives in Calgary, Alberta, and has flown throughout western Canada and the US, including flying his Merlin ultra-light to San Francisco and back. To read more of Stu’s articles, visit

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Adam SmithAdam Smith

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.

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Mark SmithMark Smith

Mark Smith is an Australian who has passion for both flying, and writing about flying. He has a Private license with enough hours to know he still has a lot to learn, even though he’s been flying for 32 years. His primary career was in the Australian media as a professional photographer and later writer, a job that took him across the country and around the world. Today he works from home editing Australian Pilot, the magazine of the Australian arm of AOPA. His wife Michelle is also a pilot and they travel whenever they can, with their eight year old daughter Amy, in their 1966 Beech Musketeer Super III.

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Nathan SmithNathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a 35-year old private pilot from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with approximately 70 hours total time who has just begun a tailwheel course. Spurred by a lifelong interest in aviation, Nathan began flight training in 2002, but was forced to temporarily abandon the endeavor due to the demands of law school. In 2014, ten years after his last flight, he was finally able to resume his private pilot training. With the assistance of an excellent instructor, he took and passed the private pilot checkride several months later. Although a lawyer by trade, Nathan is currently building flight time and intends to complete instrument and commercial ratings. He has yet to meet a plane that he doesn’t like, but his primary interest is in tailwheel and vintage aircraft.

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Patrick SmithPatrick Smith

Patrick Smith is an engineer with 6 years’ experience working on flight simulators for the Navy and Marine Corps. He is an instrument-rated Private Pilot currently pursuing his Commercial Certificate and beyond. Patrick also holds a Ground Instructor Certificate with Advanced and Instrument ratings. He holds a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Computer Science from Colorado State University. If he is not teaching ground school, he is developing a variety of software, including for mobile devices. Patrick resides in the central Florida area. He can be reached at

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Warren SmithWarren Smith

As a WWII Navy veteran, Warren served in several theaters. Following WWII, he attended a CAA flight school and became a commercial pilot. He attended college and worked in a number of military aviation support positions as a civilian, working from the ground up. As a USAF Reserve flight engineer, he flew in the USAF Korean airlift from Japan. Warren spent the latter 22 years of his career doing engineering analysis and technical writing for the Douglas Aircraft Corporation. When he retired he was one of three Lead Maintainability Engineers on the C-17 Globemaster III design team. His latest novel, A SHATTERED PARADISE: The great Quake, is available in print at, or as an eBook from iTunes or Amazon. It has several chapters of exciting aviation adventures in addition to other venues in tragedy.

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Jackie SpanitzJackie Spanitz

As Director of Curriculum Development for Aviation Supplies & Academics, Jackie Spanitz oversees maintenance and development of more than 750 titles and pilot supplies in the ASA product line. Ms. Spanitz has worked with airman training and testing for more than 20 years, including participation in the ACS development committees. Jackie holds a Bachelor degree in aviation technology from Western Michigan University, a Masters degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and Instructor and Commercial Pilot certificates. She is the author of Guide to the Flight Review, and the technical editor for ASA’s Test Prep and FAR/AIM series.

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David St. GeorgeDavid St. George

David St. George learned to fly at Flanders Valley Airport in 1970. After earning all his fixed wing ratings, he serves as chief instructor at a Part 141 school in Upstate New York and pilot examiner for the FAA in all ratings. David is a FAAST team lead representative so aviation safety is a major preoccupation. Having logged over 14,000 hours from Alaska to Antigua, with over 12,000 dual, he is most often smiling while flying his 7AC Champ to small grass fields on skis and wheels. You can usually meet David talking at the EAA forums at AirVenture or at He is on the board of directors at SAFE and recently wrote the “SAFE Toolkit” App.

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John SwallowJohn Swallow

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.

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Alec SynakowskiAlec Synakowski

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.

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Jeff TaitJeff Tait

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.

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Bud TeatersBud Teaters

The picture at right was taken at the Fullerton, CA airport in 1974. Bud is now 82 years old and the only thing he flies now is Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. But he does keep up with what’s going on in aviation by reading Flying Magazine and checking in on Air Facts. Bud got his pilot license in 1972 and added the Instrument Rating two years later. His first airplane was a Cessna 172 which he flew for about two years. In 1975 he purchased a new Cessna 177RG (Cardinal) and flew all over the Western US including Canada and Mexico. It was a great airplane. You could flight plan a trip at 150 miles per hour with a fuel burn of only nine gallons per hour. Bud is retired now after spending 36 years in the aerospace industry. He and his wife live in a golfing community and still play a lot of golf.

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Michael TenintyMichael Teninty

Proof of Michael’s love for flying began with the first logbook entry in 1996, logging a flight from Fairbanks to Ruby, Alaska in a Cessna 172. His first solo flight was recorded in Japan in 1998, while stationed as a medic with a US Marine unit. In 2002, the Private Pilot’s Certification was willfully earned. Commissioned as a Naval Aviator in 2004, military training encompassed areas of multi-engine, global reconnaissance experience and commercial multi/single-engine certifications and instrument ratings. Most recently, he completed the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate, intended to benefit personal and professional future achievements in aviation.

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Ryan ThibodeauRyan Thibodeau

Ryan Thibodeau is a 200 hour sport pilot currently working on his PPC. A lover of the outdoors, he calls the Outer Banks of North Carolina his hometown. His passion for motocross racing was one major reason he became a pilot, as the two share a lot in common. He plans to jump right into IFR training after his private pilot check ride with the hopes of one day owning a Bonanza A36. Ryan is a regular contributor to the Carolina Designs Blog , and writes about all types of recreation in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

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Andrea TomaselliAndrea Tomaselli

Andrea Tomaselli was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and now lives in Miami. He has worked in restaurants and as a part time English teacher in pursuit of his dream in aviation. He started flight training in South Florida and later flew as a First Officer in DC-9 and MD-80 aircraft for regional passenger airlines in the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. Andrea then became a part time simulator instructor at Pan Am International Flight Academy and a full time First Officer at Sky Lease Cargo. Currently, he is a Air Facts Magazine enthusiast and serves a captain of MD-11 aircraft with 4000 hours of flight experience.

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Duane TruittDuane Truitt

Duane is a civil engineer and real estate development manager who learned to fly in 1976 while a member of the US Navy, in between cruises on a nuclear fast attack submarine. A couple of years after earning his pilot certificate, the demands of raising a family and attending college on the GI Bill meant dropping out of aviation. Three decades later (2008) Duane got back into flying, finding that it was relatively easy to pick up where he left off. Shortly thereafter, Duane purchased his 1968 Piper Cherokee which he flies mostly on business trips and sometimes for recreation.

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Richard VanGrunsvenRichard VanGrunsven

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.

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Lane WallaceLane Wallace
Lane Wallace is an internationally-known columnist, author, and speaker. She’s been a correspondent for The Atlantic, a columnist and editor at Flying magazine, a columnist at Sport Aviation magazine, and has written for The New York TimesForbesLifeThe Dallas Morning NewsElite Traveler, Flight International, and a number of other national and international publications. She has also written two books on the lessons of adventure (Surviving Uncertainty and Unforgettable), as well as six books for NASA. In addition, she is the founder and editor of No Map. No Guide. No Limits.—a blog focused on taking a more adventurous, entrepreneurial, and passion-inspired approach to life. A pilot for more than 30 years, she’s flown many different kinds of aircraft, including a blimp and a U-2 spy plane. She’s also owned two airplanes of her own: a 1946 Cessna 120 and a 1977 Grumman Cheetah.

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Tyson WeihsTyson Weihs

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.

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Wayne WibbyWayne Wibby

Dr. Wibby is a native of Bangor, Maine. With the completion of dental training, and after finishing his military tour of duty with the Marines in Vietnam in 1969, he returned home to set up his practice. A Private Pilot license, the GI bill, and a love for the beautiful, remote parts of Maine and Canada encouraged the desire to fly – and an off-road airplane (Super Cub) had to be the answer. Now a new era
begins: “The Carbon Cub Rocket Ship.”

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Walt WickWalt Wick

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.

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Douglas WilliamsDouglas Williams

Born and raised in Merrill, Wisconsin, Douglas attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a B.S. in Music Education in 2000. He then moved to California where he met his beautiful wife, Wendy. Together they have four girls. The Jeep bug was the first to hit, culminating in racing of several King of the Hammers off-road races. He then became interested in helicopter flying and obtained his PPL/Rotorcraft-Helicopter certificate in December 2013, and then his Advanced Ground Instructor certificate. Douglas is the newsletter editor and Young Eagles ground instructor for EAA Chapter 845, Redlands, California.

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Trevor WusterbarthTrevor Wusterbarth

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.

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John Zimmerman

John ZimmermanJohn 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.”

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Lawrence ZingesserLawrence Zingesser

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.”

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