Timothy is a flying addict with a 45 year re incident record. He holds a SES and SEL rating in the US, but long ago flew commercially in South America with additional ratings including multi-engine. He is 100% English/Spanish bilingual. After several near-death experiences he erroneously decided that practicing law in the United States was safer. He is the author of Pirates, Scoundrels and Saints: Paraiso – the first of a series about modern day piracy in the Caribbean. Theodore, his renegade doppelganger flies a Twin Beech in the series. He also writes for the Bonanza Magazine on a regular basis. A local paper recently published his flying articles about his attempt to become the benevolent dictator of Belize after arriving in his 1947 Beech Bonanza. He has several thousand hours of logged time in most every single engine plane and in South America, and he flew twins including the Beech 18 and Aztec.
Cary grew up in Wyoming where he went to college and law school. He spent the first 5+ years of his legal career as a USAF JAG. He learned to fly while stationed at Elmendorf AFB, AK. After leaving the USAF, he earned his commercial, instrument, CFI, and CFII. For a decade in the 70s and 80s, he was a part-time instructor and flew Part 135 charters. A couple of years ago, he added SES to his certificate. He has been flying 44+ years. Retired from law practice, he continues to fly regularly at age 73, in his 1963 Cessna.
Matt Askin has been a private pilot for just three years and is optimistic for a prolonged honeymoon phase. With family airline ties, his childhood vacations swapped 12 hour road trips for 2 hour flights—plus 10 hours of plane-spotting while waiting for non-revenue seats. His aviation obsession reinforced, he saved to fund his ASEL certificate and is now based with a New Jersey flying club. He currently logs hours at a corporate cubicle to support those spent in the Cessna at a ratio of 80:1, but is hopeful for potential subsidies in the form of scratch off lottery tickets.
Born in 1966, Cris Atkin was just old enough to remember the moon landings. He has always had a healthy (?) interest in aviation, with the stated goal of being an astronaut. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and for a reward toured the Johnson Space Center, escorted by Dr. Don Lind. Cris earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1985, and joined the Army in 1988. Using his GI Bill benefits, Cris earned his A&P, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Management. He now works as an A&P, owns a Cessna 152 SparrowHawk, and flies whenever he can. He is working on his IFR, Commercial, and CFI.
Gennaro (Bill) Avolio was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and took his first flight lesson on January 13, 1946. He worked as a mechanic (including time as a crew chief on P-51s) and was in the Oregon Air National Guard for 24 years. He spent time as an instructor pilot in the T-33, F-94B, F-89 and F-102, and even performed atomic cloud sampling. A commercial pilot, flight instructor and A&P, he holds the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.
William Babis grew up as an airport bum at sunken Lunken in Cincinnati, Ohio, working for his father who owned an avionics business. He earned his ratings through ATP and flew every type of GA aircraft imaginable. As a Civil Air Patrol cadet he received the Spaatz Award and made many lasting friendships. William enjoys the personal contact and challenges of corporate flying and has stayed in it for over 40 years. Along the way, he graduated from Embry Riddle University and acquired a dozen type ratings along with commercial glider and rotorcraft ratings. Currently, he flies for a great company in east Tennessee and often takes his beautiful bride of 40 years along as his co-pilot as he continues to live the dream.
Gary J. Bakewell (aka CloudDancer) is today retired from a major U.S. airline. Logging his first flying hours at age 13 in 1967, his 29,000+ hour logbooks include over 12,000 hours flown in arctic Alaska. Those hours provided both the drama and the laughter contained in his stories. Since running away at age 19 to Alaska, Gary remains devoted to “The Great Land.” He has written a series of books, available at his website: www.clouddancer.org
John F. Banas earned his Private Pilot certificate in 1979 while attending college. He had hoped to fly for the airlines but life intervened and he was launched on a successful technology career. Yet he’s never been far from aviation and is now the Safety Officer for the Fox Valley Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol in Illinois and is working his way up to becoming a mission pilot. In his spare time, he pretends to be a novelist and is currently completing a book in the thriller genre.
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 now operates an aviation consultancy business based in Australia and the USA.
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.
Bill’s fascination with airplanes dates to early childhood, age two, and a small balsa wood glider. Later he grew up under the base-leg flight path of the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. His favorite aircraft of the 1950s was the mighty “Peacemaker” of all times, the B-36. His personal involvement in the aviation world began when he was forty years of age. Since then, he has earned his Private Pilot License, single engine land with tail wheel endorsement, and the FAA Airframe Mechanics License. He was also employed at the Gulfstream Aerospace facility, Bethany, OK. Since 2008 he has been the Commander, Squadron 3, Youth Aviation Adventure’s annual event held at the Gordon Cooper Aviation Technology Training Center, Shawnee, OK. He served as a Shawnee Airport Advisory Board Member, too. In 2014 Bill founded a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Heartland Aeronautical Experience, Inc., with the mission of “Inspiring Individuals to Choose an Aerospace Career.”
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.
Jason Blair is an active single and multi-engine instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with 5,000 hours total time and 3,000 hours instruction given. In his role as examiner, over 1000 pilot certificates have been issued. He writes for multiple aviation publications and actively works within the general aviation and training industry.
Stephen Booth is the President and CEO of a building materials distribution company located in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. He started flying because “It was something I’ve always wanted to do!” He has been flying for over 21 years and uses aviation for both business, pleasure and fun with the grandkids. He currently owns and operates a Cessna 414 with PPL, SEL, MEL Instrument. He is a member of The Twin Cessna Flyer and AOPA organizations.
Alexandre Bouchard is a French private pilot with around 200 hours of VFR flying in his logbook. He’s currently studying to become an Air Traffic Controller at a small field west of Paris near Versailles. He has been studying at the ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, which is the French aviation university) for 2 years. His father used to be a skydiver (only as a hobby, not a job) which explains why Alexandre fell in love with aviation at a really young age – he spent a lot of weekends staring at airplanes behind the fence. Always in search of more knowledge, he loves reading aviation books. Now he is beginning to love writing aviation stuff.
Grant Boyd is the owner of Boyd Aviation Group, an aviation marketing and communications firm based out of Wichita, Kansas. In addition to owning his own marketing firm, he works for Textron Aviation and The Wichita Aero Club. His professional plans are: growing his business into a household name in the aviation industry and showing youth the joys of general aviation. Mr. Boyd grew up around aviation and earned his pilot’s license at age seventeen.
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.
Kristin was born in 1971 and grew up in central Illinois. She paid her way through college by serving in the United States Air Force from 1989 – 1993. While in the Air Force, bases included Great Falls, Montana, and Mildenhall, England. She then attended the University of Illinois, as well as the Institute of Aviation beginning in 1994. She earned a degree in Entrepreneurship and her certificates and ratings. She flight instructed at the Institute of Aviation, before becoming a First Officer and then Captain for a commuter and is now Captain for a major airline. She has many leather bound books and her house smells of mahogany.
Colin earned his private pilot licence at age 17, and holds a multi-engine IFR rating. He considers Dick Collins a lifelong flying mentor and has not missed many of his articles or books since 1972. Colin lives near Toronto, Canada, and has co-owned 4 aircraft including a Navajo and a Cessna 421C. His writing has been published by the Canadian Owner’s and Pilots Association, including a feature that won their 2009 best story award. He spent the summer of 2015 flying gliders and is currently re-learning the art of low-and-slow flying in a Cessna 182T based at Brampton, Ontario.
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.
Born in Rhodesia during the height of the bush war, Richard’s aviation affliction was brought on by Allouette helicopters, Cessna 337’s, Dakotas and Hawker Hunters. He would draw, then redraw them as he grew more technically aware of the aircraft. This love was to become his career and Richard now sits in the left seat of the Boeing 747-8 and Boeing 747-400 boring long tunnels through the skies around the world. Back home, a Yak18T and a Radial Starduster sit patiently for their ignition moments when the passion to be free from RNP airspace beckons. Cape Town, South Africa, is an ideal platform from where to enjoy such delights.
Tom has been smitten with airplanes since he was 3 years old, and finally got his private pilot license when he was in his 30. He’s been writing software for his career, and been lucky enough to work for two airlines, and have 5 years writing air traffic control software. Tom has also built and flown a Cozy MkIV.
Bruce J Buchanan served in the U.S. Army, 32nd Army Air Defense Command in Wiesbaden, Germany. He is a Private Pilot and U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Captain/Merchant Marine Officer. Bruce spent 28 years in the radio broadcast industry, including as a programming consultant for format changes and station rebuilding. Companies included American Broadcasting Company, Disney/Shamrock, Doubleday, AVCO, Fairbanks, McLendon, & Citadel. Related activities included commercial and jingle production in Dallas and New York City, as well as Operations Manager at Intermountain News Network, a 130-station network located the Rocky Mountain states. He produced live on-site radio broadcast coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, for a Washington, D.C., broadcast group, and is currently President of the Naples Auto Repair Association, Inc.
Alex Cabot has always had a love of airplanes. From his first general aviation experience in a 1946 Luscombe 8 taildragger at the age of 13, to his private certificate (many years later), the open sky has constantly beckoned him. A managing partner of an investment company and author of two books on personal finance, Alex somehow makes time to fly every once in a while. His focus now, apart from work and family, is logging cross country hours on his way to an IFR ticket. Alex is passionate about travel and expects aviation to help grow that passion!
Chuck Cali is a working CFII/MEI, CSIP, and part-time factory instructor for Cirrus. He is a long-time CFII with over 8000 hours and extensive IFR cross country experience. Chuck has specialized in glass cockpit training since 2007, integrating simulators whenever he could. An active instructor pilot, Chuck is an evangelist for simulator training.
Tom Callahan is a 1,300-hour commercial rated pilot living and flying out of Morristown, NJ (KMMU). He has four daughters, who are fond of complaining about the lack of WiFi in his Cirrus. His passion is public service flying for both two legged passengers and four. He was named the 2017 Rescue Pilot of the Year by the Home for Good Dog Rescue.
Tim Cantrell is a retired airline A&P mechanic. He also holds a Commercial Airman Certificate, Fixed and Rotor Wing, SEL, MEL, SES, Glider, and is instrument rated in both fixed wing and helicopter. He began his career with the U.S. Army in 1973 at Ft. Carson, Colorado, as a Chinook helicopter mechanic. It was at Ft. Carson that he earned his Private, Commercial, instrument and Multi engine ratings. He went on to crop dust in Florida, attend and graduate rotary wing flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and work as a heavy jet mechanic for FedEx in Memphis. Retired in 2008, he lives in Murray, Kentucky, and flies his Bushcat LSA from Kyle Oakley (CEY) airport.
After the Air Force Steve went to school and eventually secured a tenured faculty position at a small college. He lives in Seattle and owns and flies a 172, a plane that was pushed through the factory door a couple of months before he graduated from high school. He’s a lucky guy…
Ciro is working full time as an Electrical Engineer and is the son of a Sport pilot. He became a Private Pilot as a way of saving precious time when traveling long distances and meeting new places. It turned out, for him, that flying is the best combination of addiction and therapy, the moment he expects anxiously the whole week, and he simply loves to see the happy faces of his passengers as they get off his good old C172N. It was a 10 year journey until he passed his exams, then over 40 hours of taildragger fun until cleared for his first solo flight. Worth every second.
Ben Chapman is a college student in nutrition and environmental sustainability. He aims to make the world a healthier, happier place through public policies to improve childhood nutrition. In his childhood, he played baseball and soccer, but primarily focused on his classical ballet training, which gave him opportunities to dance in San Francisco and Chicago. Besides writing on Medium, he enjoys making model airplanes, exercising, and writing music. He has written on a broad range of topics such as meditation, voting reform, and animal ethics.
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.
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.
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.
For over 50 years, pilots 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 Cessna 172s and P210s, Collins wrote about safety, weather and air traffic control from first-hand experience. He was the author of numerous books, including Logbooks, published in 2016 by Sporty’s Pilot Shop. Collins passed away in April, 2018.
Since early on, Tom had a keen interest in flying, innovation and technology, so an aviation and drone/UAV based career path has been the perfect fit for him. Tom has been piloting drones since 2012 and obtained his UAV Ground School certification soon after that. To be just a little different from everyone else, Tom went from drones to piloting real aircraft and obtained his private pilot’s license (PPL) in 2015. Since then he has gone on to earn his multi-engine license and is studying hard towards his full instrument and commercial flight ratings. Tom is the proud owner of a 1977 Cessna 337G, which he uses to transport his drone teams and equipment to and from job sites and to get the “big picture” in aviation. These days Tom is happiest building custom camera rigs in the shop, flying whatever he can get his hands on, and shooting stunning photos and video using available technologies.
Alan Connor achieved a life-long dream of becoming a private pilot in 2008 at the age of 36. He holds an airplane SEL certificate and is “this close” to taking his instrument check ride. He most often flies a Mooney M20 owned by a flying club that he helped form. Alan resides in Charlottesville, Virginia and is the CEO of a medical device manufacturing company.
Jeff Copeland is a lover of all things aviation from C-152 to C-130, Cub to King Air. He is an Air Force T-1A instructor pilot, active general aviation pilot, sometime historian, and full-time husband and father of three. He is an aviation blogger who writes about general aviation, military aviation, and the intersection of both. Visit his blog at www.thrustandvector.com.
Phillip Cowart is a 15-year veteran of the US Air Force, flying as a navigator on the C-130, specializing in formation low-level and airdrop operations and remotely piloting large and small unmanned aircraft, hunting down enemies of freedom and afterwards driving home to sleep in his own bed. He is currently serving in the Air National Guard in Oklahoma City as a combat systems officer. As a CFI he enjoys introducing aspiring aviators to flying every chance he can get. His goal is to pass along the joy of flying to his three children and convince his wife that buying an airplane is a great idea.
Mary Rawlinson Creason joined the Aeronautics Bureau, then part of the Michigan Department of State Highways, in 1977, and became the first woman pilot in state government. She earned her private pilot’s license in 1943 while a student at Western Michigan University. Creason’s career included owning and operating the Ottawa Air Training and Transport Service in the 1960s, managing the Grand Haven Municipal Air Park from 1974 to 1975, and serving the Bureau of Aeronautics for 11 years, retiring in 1989 as the assistant deputy director. Responsible for expanding aviation education in Michigan’s public schools, she helped develop the “Come Fly with Me” curriculum that earned her the Federal Aviation Administration Administrator’s Award for Excellence in 1987. She earned two consecutive presidential appointments to the FAA’s Women’s Advisory Committee on Aviation, and competed and won honors in the Air Race Classic, a 2,600-mile transcontinental race for women pilots.
Robbie Culver is an instrument rated private pilot, flying under sport pilot privileges. He has made more than 3000 skydives, many with multiple cameras on his helmet, and has over 1000 hours PIC in single engine aircraft. He has owned a 1966 Cessna 150F, a 1973 Piper Cherokee 140, and is the builder and pilot of Sonex 1517. An active participant in aviation since 1984, he and his wife Brenda live in Naperville, IL, with their son and two rescued dogs. He bases his Sonex at the Aurora Municipal airport (KARR).
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!
Fredrick Danielson is a general aviation enthusiast who received his private pilot license in 2006. His love for aviation stemmed from a “behind the scenes tour” of a Chicago air show that afforded him the opportunity to take his first SEL flight from the former Meigs Field (KCGX) of Chicago. Since the first flight, Fredrick has been pursuing opportunities to remain airborne and enjoys sharing his love of aviation with others.
Bill grew up building and flying model airplanes, and still does. His first job in aviation was a line boy at Colts Neck airport in New Jersey. He started instructing in 1975, and is an ATP and CFIAMEIIG, along with several jet type ratings. Bill holds a low level aerobatic waiver, and is a commercial hot air balloon pilot. He has been making his living flying something for over 40 years. When he’s not flying a jet, Bill is at the airport building an airplane or giving instruction in a Pietenpol Aircamper. In short, he is an airplane nut.
Jim took his first flight lesson on his 15th birthday, but didn’t finish his PPL until his early 20s when he owned a 1/3 share of a Piper Cherokee 180 with his dad and his brother. After getting married he took a 25-year sabbatical from flying until his two children were through college. He got current in 2015 and joined Sky-Vu Flyers flying club where he now owns equity in 5 airplanes. Jim flies about 150 hours per year, has earned his instrument rating, CPL and is working on his CFI.
Randall H. Davis is Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Phoenix Air Group, Inc., a worldwide provider of specialized jet aircraft services to Government and Industry. He holds ATP and CFI Certificates, with ratings for ASEL, AMEL, ASES, Rotorcraft/Helicopter, Learjet, Citation 500 and Gulfstream/II/IIII. Phoenix Air operates more than 30 turbine aircraft, primarily Gulfstreams and Learjets. Its special mission work over the years has included movement of explosives and animals, electronic warfare training to military forces, and complex international air ambulance movements (the company still has the only aircraft capable of moving Ebola and highly infected or contagious patients).
Brian De Camp is a private pilot and junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, majoring in Aviation Business Administration. Born in Fremont, California, he has been in love with aviation since he was nine years old. At the age of 15, he began taking flying lessons and received a private pilot license during his first semester in college. After graduation, he hopes to fly for the California Air National Guard and, eventually, open his own business. Until then, he is splitting his time between Florida and California and plans to begin training for his instrument rating.
Jim Densmore is an SEL and glider pilot, Cessna 180/185 (Type) Club Regional Director and Chief Tow Pilot for High Flights Soaring from Colorado Springs, Colorado. To support his flying habit, he is a software engineering consultant and Principal Agile coach for his day job. He is happily married to Linda, the half-owner of his 1956 Cessna 180. His parents bought his 180 in 1960, so Jim pretty much grew up in the airplane. Jim hopes to be ADS-B-equipped some day.
John has had an interest in flying from a young age, getting up early with excitement to watch the Saturn V launches, the moon landings and Neil Armstrong step foot onto the moon. He never pursued his dream of flying until 2008 at the age of 49. With encouragement from his wife, brother, family and friends, he decided he didn’t want to look back and say “I wish I would have.” He immediately called the local FBO and scheduled his first flight and was hooked. A change in job, job responsibilities and aircraft availability all have limited his time to work on an instrument rating, but he believes now is the time to finish it. After that maybe a commercial rating, a certified flight instructor, or who knows – the sky is the limit.
Mario Donick was born 1981 in northern Germany, near the Baltic Sea, and now has a PhD in communication studies. For many years, he was only using flight simulations, about which Mario also writes reviews, tutorials and manuals for FS MAGAZIN (German bi-monthly print magazine). He does freelance work for simulation add-on developers, supports customers in this field, and provides independent research on the perception of simulations and games, currently mainly related to virtual reality and flight simulation. His real aviation career started in 2017, when he finally – despite his fear of flying – decided to go for an ultralight license.
After four years in the US Air Force, Ed learned to fly in a Cessna 150, flying from a grass strip on a farm near Gorin, Missouri. He earned his Private Pilot’s License on July 1st, 1973. Ed flew as a Flight Instructor, Charter Pilot, Commuter Airline Pilot, and then Chief Pilot for a corporation. He went to work for Flight Safety International as a Simulator Instructor and later became a Type Rating Examiner. Ed retired in 2006 with more than 18,000 hours of flight time. He recently published his first book, “My Journey to the Clouds”, describing the adventures and misadventures of his career as a pilot.
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.
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.
A former career Naval officer, Kent’s varied civilian positions have been: Chief Pilot, High Performance Aircraft Training, Director of Flight Operations, Eclipse Aviation, Chairman, TGV Rockets, Inc. and President of Leitch Video Corporation. Prior to his civilian career, Kent was Commanding Officer of the USS America (CV-66) during Desert Storm. In his Naval Career he also commanded USS Sylvania (AFS-2), Carrier Air Wing Seventeen, and Attack Squadron Sixty Six. He has flown 13500 hours in over 100 different military and commercial aircraft, and made over 1150 carrier landings. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. A Dayton, Ohio native, Kent also is a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Class 65. In 1986 he was selected as a Senior Executive Fellow to the Harvard JFK School of Government. He has been a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots since 1976 and is a life member of the Association of Naval Aviation and the Tailhook Association.
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.
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: email@example.com.
Andrew Flieder has loved airplanes since he was a kid and finally had opportunity to begin flight training in his mid-20’s. Now in his early 30’s, he holds FAA and Transport Canada Commercial licenses with single engine land and sea ratings as well as multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He is currently an American expat living and working as a C-182 jump pilot in Western Canada. He plans on continuing working in the aviation industry and strives to hone his skills to eventually work as a missionary bush pilot.
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.
Josh Ford is a 34-year-old, 400-hour private pilot in FT Worth, TX. As a kid his parents would take him to the roof of the parking garage at Tampa International Airport to watch the airliners take off and land, and that’s how he caught the bug. He finally got to pursue his dream of flying while living in Anchorage Alaska, learning from the best bush pilots around. In his short flying time, he’s been able to fly snowmachine equipment for an Iron Dog team in western Alaska, fly the trench through British Columbia in a C170, and island hop through the Florida Keys in his PA-28. He is actively working on his instrument rating and would love to become a flight instructor someday.
Rick always wanted to fly, and finally took his first lesson on December 12, 1975. He soloed on March 31, 1976, and earned his private license on November 12, 1976. He enjoyed many years of flying with family and friends. He is currently rated as Light Sport Pilot. He lives on the coast of Maine so the beauty from the skies around New England is incredible. During his career, he managed a resort in Bar Harbor, Maine, and also became a real estate broker and later a real estate instructor. He retired in 2009. Rick also pursued a simultaneous career as a radio announcer from 1962 until late 2016 – radio work was the easy part of learning to fly! He is now 73 and fully retired.
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: ThinkAviation.net
Craig is a typical “airplane kid” of his generation who turned a model airplane hobby into a full-scale airplane hobby when he earned his private pilot license in 1981. In over 35 years of flying he has acquired over 2,000 hours of flying time in a several different aircraft. He currently flies an RV8A that he completed in 2008. He is a retired engineer and currently lives in a residential fly-in community just outside of Fayetteville, NC.
Geoff Gartshore is a private pilot living in Waterloo, Ontario, with his wife Barbara. They have 3 adult sons – David, Stephen and Daniel. He has logged more than 775 hours in a variety of aircraft (Cessna 172, Luscombe, Katana DA20), and an X Air Hanuman Advanced Ultralight that he has owned since 2009.
David started his private pilot training in 1981 but did not complete this rating until 1991, all in Prince George, BC, which is very near the geographic center of the province. Soon after he flew 200 hours, he enrolled in commercial training at Boundary Bay/Vancouver. The reason being is that any significant trip goes over the Coastal Mountains or Rocky Mountains and most often he had my children and wife on board – which is pretty precious cargo. David’s first 1,000 hours was on a Cessna 182 and at the end he enrolled in IFR training again at Boundary Bay. He has had his IFR rating for around 10 years now and sold the 182 and bought a 1975 Beech Bonanza V35B. He now has just shy of 2,000 hours and still loves flying and especially loves doing full procedures in the Bonanza. Getting his pilot license is one of the best things he has done in his lifetime and he never tires of cross-country trips – which extends into his work as a real estate appraiser.
Jose Ignacio learned to fly at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) in the city of Chamblee, a northern Atlanta suburb in 2005, and two years later earned his instrument rating at the same school. He grew up in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where he caught the flying fever when he rode along on an instructional flight with a childhood friend and his father. A failed attempt later while studying Management at Purdue, made him table the dream until life, marriage, and kids allowed. At 63 and 700+ hours and counting, the dream is for more expensive toys.
Michael Jarrette Gordon was born in 1927. He joined the CAP as a teenager, then the US Army. He retired after more than 20 years and was then with World Aviation, Exxon Mobil, before retiring again. He is familiar with almost all national and international airports along with some “bush” airfields notable in the world – ask him about flying Alaska, Libya, South America and Africa. Michael received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot’s Award for 50 years flying with a perfect safety record.
Shane got his private in January of 1969 while stationed at Ft. Carson, CO. He was not a military pilot, he just took advantage of a program the Army offered to learn to fly at the base airport. He now has 2400 hours total time with 450 of those hours as a CFI. Shane also has 122 hours in gliders and worked for two seasons as a tow pilot. He currently owns a Cessna 172XP based in Carson City, Nevada, and now lives in Reno.
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).
Rolf Grandstaff currently owns an experimental Zenith 601 that he has hangared at Fuquay/Angier (78NC) with the Kennebec Flying Club. The club has a grass airstrip with an eclectic mix of airmen and aircraft born and built anywhere from about 1935 and up. Rolf caught the aviation bug at a young age from his dad who had served with the Army Air Force during WWII. This malady was further aggravated when Rolf served with the Marine Air Wing (MAG-12) in Vietnam. He is looking forward to retirement within the year and spending as much time flying as his wife Katrina and their budget will let him.
Steven D. Green started flying at age 14, and soloed on his 16th birthday in 1972 off runway 9R at Palm Beach International. He began his airline career flying a Convair 240 for Providence Airlines around the Great Lakes, then flew Metroliners up and down the east coast through the 80s and then all over the world for TWA, Eos and American. Beginning in 1986, he participated in numerous aircraft accident investigations as a representative of the Air Line Pilots Association, including TWA 800. Association with the 1994 Roselawn accident involving Simmons 4184 led to work with ALPA’s Inflight Icing Certification Project, as well as the Ice Protection Harmonization Working Group ARAC. He has remained involved with aircraft icing issues, writing a number of papers on the topic and continuing to serve as a consultant to the FAA. He and his wife have lived in Vermont for 27 years, and have two grown sons. He is currently a Boeing 737 captain.
Like many other pilots, Richard caught the flying “bug” from his dad, who was a private pilot for many years. He was a private pilot, and he has been flying regularly since earning his Private Pilot Certificate in May of 2001. He lives in Greenville, NC, and flies out of Tradewind Aviation International flight school, in New Bern, NC (KEWN). Richard mostly flies with his son, Brendan – who is a great co-pilot – and they enjoy flying over the coast of North Carolina. Brendan loves to fly, and one day he would love to be a pilot too! Professionally, Richard has been practicing medicine as a Physician Assistant (PA-C) for the past 18 years.
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.
Maj. Ralph Grigg, USAF (Ret), spent 20 years in the Air Force, with over 1200 combat sorties. He received the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters. He is an ATP, CFI, MEI, and CFII with over 8600 hours total time in 34 different models, including the Boeing 737, Stratocruiser, Convair line, Sabreliner, DC-4, and King Air. He was previously a Civil Air Patrol Squadron Commander and Chairman of the UZA Airport Commission. He is now a corporate pilot and contract pilot.
As a child, Joe only had incidental exposure to aviation. In his senior year of college, his best friend went into USAF pilot training. Aviating sounded good and soon Joe was flying in the USAF Reserve. Way too soon that tour ended and he was in the real world working as an engineer. Fifteen years later as owner of an engineering business he bought N5332A, a 1957 Cessna 310, for business travel. Fourteen years and 3,000 hours later, Joe and ’32A are better than ever. Favorite flights include missions for Angel Flight South Central’s North Texas Wing.
Tom Gumbrecht is a lifelong resident of Long Island, NY, an area rich in aviation history. A Private Pilot at age 20, he is currently holding off a sedentary senior citizenship by running a construction trade business and a small horse farm, and occasionally flying rotorcraft from the right seat. He has enough tales of flying fixed wing aircraft in the 70s and 80s to hold his grandson’s interest, and is more than happy to enlighten anyone who will listen about the strength of character which aviation training built and how it has benefited his personal and professional life.
A 21 year old student at MIT, Matt Guthmiller is a world record setting pilot, entrepreneur, and speaker. Since his first solo at 16, he has earned a commercial pilot certificate with numerous ratings and logged more than 1,300 hours in dozens of aircraft. At age 19 he became the youngest pilot to solo circumnavigate the globe by air, flying a 1981 A36 Bonanza 30,000 miles, and has flown in some of the most extreme situations a pilot can find. Most days he can be found flying around the country for business or pleasure, practicing aerobatics, and occasionally doing his homework.
George’s introduction to flying began at an early age. He went with his father to a nearby grass airport in Eastern Ohio to watch a Twin Beech during its low pass hook the air mail bag from the line suspended between two poles. This was the Pony Express of the late 1940s. His flight instruction began as a student at The Ohio State University; Cessna 150 N19OSU. He made it through a cold, snowy winter nine weeks in 1963. His last flying was also at Ohio State as an instructor in the University’s Flight Training Clinic. After his ASEL Private, George added the commercial, instrument then flight instructors, CFII. MEL and ATP followed later. His flying was never an occupation however always a devoted avocation. George flew through 2200 something hours.
Dave Harris is a retired airline pilot from a major US airline. He is a product of the modern airline industry and his airline background includes flying for Bonanza Airlines, Air West Airlines, Hughes Air West Airlines, Republic Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines. Dave attended the University of Illinois studying business administration. He is a Vietnam veteran and flew the Army U1A (single engine Otter) in Nam. Dave started flying at 15 and soloed 3 days after turning 16. He got his Commercial and Flight Instructor tickets and taught in general aviation for 6 years before getting his Army Commission in 1965. Dave had a heart attack in 1985, ending his active airline pilot career. He continued in the airline industry for the next 10 years and designed, implemented, and taught Crew Resource Management as a consultant for the last 10 years of his career, consulting with numerous airlines, including Republic, United, Alaska, U.S. Air Force C5 and C9, Pan Am, Delta, Comair, American Trans Air and several small regional carriers. Dave and Nancy, his wife of 56 years live in Boise, Idaho.
Gerry Hawes entered Air Force pilot training in 1966 after graduating from Denison University. He spent three years as a KC-135 pilot before flying as a forward air controller (FAC) in Vietnam and spending time as an air liaison officer with the Republic of Korea. Gerry went on to become a C-141 instructor and Squadron Executive Officer at McGuire AFB and then spent 32 years as an airline pilot for Eastern and Northwest. He was later recalled to active duty for Operation Desert Storm. He is the recipient of the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben is a 38-old private pilot with an instrument rating. He considers himself a relatively new pilot: he got his private certificate in 2012 and his instrument in 2014. He does most of his flying around the Gulf Coast; he’s a flatland pilot. Ben is a chemical engineer by day which provides the means to fly, and he has two children, 12 and 19. He bought a 1965 PA-32 which he used to get his instrument rating and uses to fly around. He has flown to Oshkosh twice, in 2015 and 2016. He says it is quite interesting to be awoken to the roar of jets and WWII fighters at 6am every morning.
John was born in Minnesota and has had a love affair with the north country all his life. While working for the Minnesota DNR, he had the opportunity to ride with Bob Hodges, a flying game warden, in a float-equipped Cessna 180. They were working out of Ely, Minnesota, and cruised around the BWCA for a look see. It was a life changing experience for John – he just had to fly floats. The access to the back country was too compelling. He decided to make a full time career out of aviation while working as a flight instructor, and was lucky enough to land a job in Alaska flying for a hunting and fishing outfitter. That lasted 10 years flying Super Cubs, C180/185s, Beavers, and Otters. Next John went into flying big airplanes, namely Douglas DC-6s and Boeing 727s, all over the state of Alaska and even in the Lower 48. He says he wouldn’t change a thing.
Ken Howell first soloed in 1957 in an Aeronca 7AC. After leaving the Air Force in 1960 he obtained his Private Pilot license and began to work on his advanced ratings. In the next four years he gained his Commercial, CFI, Multi-engine and Instrument ratings and started his life-time avocation as a part time Flight Instructor. He added his Multi-engine Instructor and ATP ratings in 1977. In addition to flight instructing he has flown Part 135 Charter and Corporate Operations. He also holds Private Pilot licenses in Germany, the UK and Australia. Ken always had an interest in warbirds and has had the opportunity to fly the Vultee BT-13, Ryan PT-22, and the North American AT-6 and P-51D.
Kim Hunter is a 2000-hour commercial pilot. He learned to fly at an airport outside Detroit in the 1960’s but was too young to solo. Soon thereafter, h shifted his financial priorities toward the fair sex and soloing got delayed by thirty years. Today he flies occasionally for business but mostly for pleasure. And, yes, he finally obtained an instrument rating.
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.
William Ippolito attended Long Beach City College, majoring in music, but dropped out in 1958 after his first flight solo to pursue a career in aviation. He was hired by Delta Air Lines in 1963, as co-pilot and flight engineer on the DC-6, DC-7, and DC-8. In 1969 he was promoted to Captain flying the DC-9, Lockheed L100 (Hercules), B-727, B-757, B-767, and the Lockheed L1011 Tristar. After retirement, he wrote a memoir titled “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” and sailed six of the Seven Seas. He completed construction in 2016 of an experimental RV-12, that he is currently flying.
Patrick Irvin, who earned his certificate later in life, is a Senior Analyst at a media company. Patrick is an avid member of several aviation organizations including AOPA, EAA, Civil Air Patrol, and Soaring Society of America. Patrick also serves on the airport authority board of his local airport. After having his certificate for a few years, Patrick obtained his glider license and now flies as a volunteer for the local Sheriff’s Dept. in a Ximango AMT200S. He also volunteers for the local Civil Air Patrol Squadron. Patrick’s favorite flying activity is sharing the joy of flight with the community.
With a Father in the RCAF, Scott was raised a “PMQ Brat” at several airbases on the Canadian Prairies and in Germany. While in high school, he was a member of 418 (City of Edmonton) Air Reserve Squadron and he used that work experience to get hired with Air Canada Line Maintenance in Vancouver. Working steady midnights and learning to fly during the days for the next three years, Scott was very fortunate to be hired into Flight Operations with minimum time. Retiring in 2010 after 41 years as Line Pilot, Instructor Pilot and Check Pilot, and having enjoyed flying the DC-8 and -9, Boeing 747/727/767/777 and Airbus 320/330/340 plus the fabulous Lockheed TriStar, he also owned a string of airplanes, beginning with a Clipped-Wing Cub, a self-built Pitts Special, a Skyhawk and a Turbo Centurion. He now owns a Cardinal (his wife’s Lunch Buggy) and a slow-built RV-6, as well as co-owned a Twin Comanche. Ten years ago, he earned his Instructor Rating and, after teaching three of his four children, is now instructing out of Skyquest Aviation in Langley, British Columbia and residing in nearby Ocean Park with his wife (who thought there would be less “Airplane Days” after he retired).
Jeff Jacobs soloed at the age of sixteen, and earned his private pilot’s license at seventeen. He worked his way through college as a flight instructor at Long Beach, California. Flying was an important adjunct to his 40-year career as an attorney in California, Washington and Oregon. He has owned a succession of airplanes, including a Cherokee, Cessna 150, Grumman-American Cheetah, Beech Bonanza, CubCrafters Sport Cub, and currently a Cessna 172. Retired from the practice of law but not from flying, Jeff and his wife of 43 years now reside in Arizona.
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.
Shyam Jha is a CFI/CFII, and Cirrus SR22 owner based in Tucson, AZ. A pilot since 1992, he teaches at Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Seminars, and FAA Safety seminars. He is also a management consultant to startups and Fortune 500 corporations. Earlier, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. He has lived and worked in 5 countries in Asia and Europe before making the US his home. He is an electrical engineer with an MBA, and has worked at executive levels in international corporations.
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.
Natalie Kelley is a private pilot, currently working on her instrument rating. She is passionate about encouraging other women to pursue aviation as a hobby or career. She is the CEO of flyGIRL, LLC and Fly Foundation, Inc., which are dedicated to inspiring others through her website, blogs, personal travel photos, videos, retail products and annual scholarship for females. She is constantly pursuing her dreams. She loves to share her life lessons with others in the hopes of helping women find their passion and the initiative to pursue their purpose. She is a wife, mom and philanthropist currently living in the Cincinnati area.
Based in the West of Ireland, David is private pilot with modest skills but grand ambitions. Enthralled since childhood by all things aeronautical, his background runs from Physics to PR and he loves how flying is a source of both joy and learning. Balancing his job as a systems administrator with playing on the floor with his toddler, he flies his 1940’s Luscombe whenever he can, blogging about it at www.clearofcloud.ie. He admits to daydreaming about flying big piston warbirds but points out that owning his own aeroplane used to be just a daydream too. Oh, and he can occasionally be found playing euphonium.
Drew Kemp is a pilot and flight instructor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born and raised in Berkeley, he cajoled his way into a job at the Oakland Airport and started flying at age 15 in the Champion Citabria. He soloed at 16, and then perfected a 10-minute aerobatic routine, which he demonstrated for the DPE on his checkride. Two weeks after receiving his Private, he and his 19 year old friend ferried a new 7ACA Champ from Wisconsin back to OAK by way of El Paso. Now on his third career (he was previously a roadie for some major rock & roll bands back in the ‘70s, then had a 30 year career in engineering), you can usually find him at KOAK enjoying a free FBO cappuccino, if he’s not up torturing some poor, unsuspecting pilot. Drew is also on the Board of Directors of KidsCareEverywhere, and travels to developing countries, teaching the PEMSoft Mobile Pediatric Emergency Medicine Application to Doctors.
Galen King first got the urge to fly airplanes growing up on the farm in Southeast PA. After 34 years of waiting he finally started taking flying lessons. Years of practice produced Commercial, AMEL, and Instrument notations on the license, even a G100 type rating. He has been privileged to fly for the poorest and the wealthiest people of this world, both with great equipment. A volunteer bush pilot in Guatemala and corporate jet driver out of Pennsylvania USA. He has owned three small airplanes and even likes to talk about how he has owned the current airplane, a Cherokee, twice. Another story….
Rick Kennett was born in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation and the home of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. After an unsuccessful run at becoming a rock star in the eighties, he decided to finally cut his hair and go to work in the family business. Today he is the CEO and president of the same family business, a finance company and car lot, located in Piqua, Ohio. Somehow, he was able to convince key members of the family business to buy an airplane and then volunteered to be the company pilot for no more salary than what they were already paying him. This paid big dividends in his piloting experience and rating collection. Although the days of a company airplane are long gone, Rick still flies the occasional trip, via contract pilot services, to a handful of buddies who own airplanes, but have no idea how to fly them. A Commercial, Multi, Instrument rated pilot with 2,000+ hours, he has time in the Aztec, Navajo, Cessna 340, and the Cessna Conquest.
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.
Vinton is a native of Norfolk, VA, and was fortunate to grow up in the early 60s when Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA was the home of NASA. His father worked at Langley in the early years of the Mercury Space Program, and he provided an exciting introduction to aviation and space to his young son. Like many pilots from that era, Vinton earned his private pilot license with money earned from paper routes during high school. His wife has endured his love of aviation for over forty years! God Bless Her! Vinton spent thirty five years with 3M Company in sales and sales management, and retired in March of 2016. He currently owns a Cirrus SR-20 with three other partners at Cherokee County Airport in Ball Ground, GA. He is a 700 Hour Commercial Pilot, with an Instrument Rating and holds an Advanced Ground Instructor certificate. He plans on providing ground school classes for prospective Private and Commercial pilot aspirants at his home airport in Canton, GA.
While enrolled in college, Jerry earned his Private Pilot license in 1959. He joined TWA in 1964 as a Lockheed Constellation flight engineer, progressed to Convair 880 first officer, and upgraded to Convair 880 captain in 1968. For the next 30 years he flew captain on the B-707, B-727, B-757, B-767, B-747 and Lockheed L-1011 on both domestic and international routes. Although a loyal TWA employee, Jerry was active in the Air Line Pilots Association, serving as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Training and Standards Committee.
Tyler is an attorney in Columbia, SC, married with two young children. His father and stepmother were both airline pilots for Piedmont and later U.S. Airways. He took some flying lessons at 16 but did not make it to solo before losing interest. In 2012, after flying R/C aircraft for several years, Tyler started taking glider lessons and earned a private pilot-glider certificate the same year. In January, 2016, he started taking powered airplane lessons, and purchased a 1965 PA-28-140 a few months later.
An airplane aficionado since childhood, Dan is an 1800-hour Commercial pilot with SEL, MEL and Instrument ratings. He learned to fly in 1972. Dan graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1976 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He went on to work at the USAF Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Cessna, and Boeing before settling in at FlightSafety International in 1981. Today he is a Staff Scientist at the company’s Simulation Systems unit in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Dan is a specialist in the field of Flight Dynamics. In addition to presenting at several industry conferences over the years, Dan was a member of the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (ICATEE) from 2010 – 2012. This was a unique opportunity to meet and interact with highly experienced pilots and engineers from all corners of the aviation community. Dan has logged time in some 36 types of light aircraft over the course of his flying career.
After joining the Experimental Aircraft Association some years ago, Ted became aware that the chapter was doing great things in the community such as Young Eagles flights, working with Boy Scouts to help with their Aviation Merit Badges, and supporting other aviation get-togethers with breakfasts and lunches but not getting much publicity about it in the local newspapers. As a result, he volunteered to do their publicity by writing about and photographing their events. After four years of doing this it has led to becoming sort of a freelance aviation journalist. Aviation had always been a keen interest of Ted’s, so this has been a good fit.
Duane grew up fascinated with airplanes and lived for rides in his brother’s Super Cub. He built RC planes and soloed in high school but really couldn’t see a way to fund his flying til after various manual labor jobs, he went to A&P school in Sydney, Nebraska. He used a mechanic’s scholarship there to get his private and went on to an old school FBO where he could be a mechanic and work his way up through the ratings. Duane has flight instructed, flown charter, air ambulance, been a Director of Maintenance and corporate pilot. He currently flies a great plane (Cessna CJ2) for a great company in Rapid City.
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.
Sal grew up on Long Island, NY, and spent many days at old Zahn’s airport chasing pilots around and talking to anyone who would chat about airplanes and flying. Influenced by his parents’ love of airplanes and flying, Sal started learning to fly in 1988, finally earning his private pilot license in 1997. He shares ownership of and currently flies a 2013 Cirrus SR20. Now instrument rated, he appreciates the value of general aviation, using the Cirrus to travel up and down the east coast and parts of the Midwest for work, as well as annual trips to Oshkosh.
At sixteen Mark worked as a lineman at a local FBO and started flying lessons. By the time he was a sophomore in college, he was flight instructing. Flight instructing didn’t last long because he “landed” a job as a copilot flying the night mail on a Beech 99. He flew the night mail and carried a full college load until his senior year. From there, a stint with a few non-scheds until a thirty one year career with a major airline. Since retiring, Mark was SO lucky to find my way back to the DC-3 and intends to have the last logbook entry he ever makes be on the “Grand Old Lady.”
Mike Mason was born in Toledo, Ohio, and grew up less than a mile from the Toledo Express Airport, just to the right of the final approach path to runway 25. He used to ride his bike to the overpass on Eber Road that overlooked the runway threshold and watch planes land for hours. One of his biggest thrills was to catch a glimpse of the white-helmeted head of an air national guard pilot as he landed his F-84F Thunderstreak with a puff of blue-gray smoke curling up from each main gear. He started flying lessons at 16 and eventually earned a commercial license with SMEL, instrument, and CFI ratings. He also has an aircraft dispatcher ticket. He has worked as a CFI, dispatcher/flight follower, ramp agent and aircraft refueler. These were all fun, but none of them ever earned him much of a living. To feed his family, he worked for many years in health care and education, both much less enjoyable.
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.
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.
Chris has been an active pilot for more than 35 years. He flies a 1967 Cessna O-2A in which he has provided over 100 flights for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program. He and his family volunteer at AirVenture and Chris regularly flies in the Warbirds portion of the air show (when the schedule allows for a lowly aircraft like his O-2 take part). Chris is also a mission pilot, cadet orientation pilot, instructor pilot and check pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. His ratings include Certified Flight Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot and Remote Pilot.
Steve started flying near the peak of the general aviation boom (1979). Back then, his $4.12 hourly wage matched up nicely with a $13 per hour (wet) brand new Cessna 150M and a $5 per hour (ex-Air Force C-130) instructor. He now owns and flies a bicentennial Cessna 172M that’s equipped with amazing gadgets that would have been utterly inconceivable to the post Apollo era builders. Steve lives in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts and flies out of Nashua, New Hampshire’s Boire Field. Harvey Stovall would have described him as “a bit too frank”.
When people ask Mac McClellan what he does for a living, he replies, “I fly airplanes and write about them. And I’m one of the most fortunate people in the world to have been able to make a career of doing what I love.” Mac has been a pilot for more than 45 years, an aviation writer for more than 40 and has been lucky enough to get to fly just about every type of personal and business airplane in production from the 1970s onward. He was on the Flying Magazine staff for 35 years and editor-in-chief for 20 of those years. He has private pilot privileges in single-engine airplanes, commercial pilot in helicopters and ATP in airplanes with more than one engine. He holds several business jet type ratings and has logged more than 10,000 hours. His first airplane was a Cessna 140 and for the past 27 years he has owned a Baron 58 flying it more than 5,000 hours to cover the aviation industry. And now he is a part-time corporate pilot flying a King Air 350.
Shane McHugh has always been interested in aviation and obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 1991. He has a Commercial Pilot’s License ASEL/ASES & Rotorcraft – Helicopter. In addition to pilot qualifications, Shane also has a Master’s Degree in Aviation and Transportation. He is currently working on his Instructor certification.
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.
George Stuart Mendenhall, MD is a cardiologist specializing in cardiac electrophysiology who lives in San Diego, California. He was a chemistry and physics major at Harvard University, where he stayed for medical school and residency. For many years he commuted weekly to an outreach medical clinic by air to serve his patients in Pennsylvania, accumulating hundreds of hours every year with true weather flying.
Grace Miller grew up as a proud Air Force brat and now lives on the southeastern coast of the United States, where she is a rising junior in high school. Her fondest childhood memories include airborne adventures with her dad and sister in their 1952 Cessna 170 named Blitz, aviation-themed weekend science experiments, and wide-eyed tours of military base flight lines. Her most prized possession is a necklace charm that accompanied her dad at Mach 1.5 on his final flight in the Air Force. She has been hooked on flight since she was eleven and is currently pursuing her pilot’s license.
Jeff Miller heads marketing and communications at Aerion Corporation, which is developing the AS2 supersonic business jet. He held similar positions at Gulfstream, Galaxy Aerospace and Learjet, and is a former president of the Kansas Aviation Museum. Early in his career, he was a staff writer at AOPA Pilot, where he had the opportunity to fly and report on balloons, ultralights, kitplanes, seaplanes, bush planes and more traditional light aircraft. Jeff now flies a Mooney Bravo for business and pleasure from a home base in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Lew Miller soloed in gliders in 1973. After serving in the nuclear submarine Navy, he learned to fly, with an engine, in a 1972 Grumman Yankee. In 1980, after seeing the Long-EZ prototype, he spent 4 1/2 years of long nights and weekends building his own Long-EZ. He has flown it over 2000 hours since 1986, from Alaska to Florida, and many places in between. He is retired, after a career in the civilian nuclear industry. His favorite flying is near the snow covered crags of the Cascades, within gliding distance of a place to land, and CAVU.
Born in 1954, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from Italian parents, Vittorio Miraglia likes to cook and loves family meals. He played basketball for the Ecuadorian Olympic team in the 70s, but was not tall enough to qualify to the Olympic Games. He has been a runner since 2001, participating in some marathons in the USA. He is now a Private Pilot and Cessna T182T owner and loves to fly to Salinas, Ecuador, with his wife and two folding bikes, where they enjoy rowing. He has two children and two grandchildren. Vittorio graduated as an economist and worked as the manager of Hotel Palace Guayaquil, a family business opened in 1958. He is now retired.
After a successful career Dan sold his business to spend time with his three children (yeah!) and his adoring wife (when are you going back to work?). He has SEL and MEL instrument tickets and a rotorcraft license. He once held a ProCard from FlightSafety for the BE-20, a personal best as a PPL. Dan is partner in a PA-32R, a 1st Lieutenant with the Civil Air Patrol, and is building a Just Aircraft SuperSTOL with his son. You can read about his latest flying shenanigans at www.farmerflier.com or his farming misadventures at www.ninjacowfarm.com.
Colonel (ret) Steve Mosier served nearly twenty-seven years in the Air Force flying F-4 and F-15s in TAC, PACAF and USAFE. He was the TAC HQ F-15 requirements officer, and later the Chief of the Checkmate Group in the Pentagon. Memorable experiences include a combat tour with Satan’s Angels; taking the 336TFS to Germany on REFORGER; and leading the TAC F-15 Demonstration team, a KC-10 and B-52, to Santiago, Chile. He and his wife, Pat, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Marietta, GA where they live near their family, Megan, Bill and their four-year-old grandson, Liam.
Wally Mulhearn is a graduate of the University of Louisiana Monroe. He is currently a B-737 Captain and Check Airman for United Airlines. With over 20,000 hours, he is type rated on the B-727, B-737, B-757, and B-767. He also is a Designated Pilot Examiner in Houston, TX. He owns a C-172 and flies for “Pilots for Patients” when not flying for United or administering check rides. His father was an Eastern Airlines pilot and both his daughters are pilots.
A retired Fire Division Chief/Emergency Manager for the City of Reno, NV, Sandy Munns began flying lessons while still in high school and obtained his private license in 1981. He owned an Aeronca Champ, but stopped flying in the early 1980s when family, career and other activities intervened. He got back into flying in 2012, and purchased a Beech Sundowner. With 400+ hours, Sandy is pursuing his instrument and commercial ratings. Every flight from Reno is a mountain flight, making flying a challenge. He loves to fly for Pilots N Paws, EAA Young Eagles, and the Civil Air Patrol.
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.
Keith graduated from Purdue with a BS in aeronautical engineering in 1959, MS in 1969 from University of Santa Clara. He worked in aerospace as an engineer in the 1960s, then went on to earn his Private Pilot license in 1987, instrument rating 1992, commercial license 1993. He has logged over 3000 hours, mostly in the Grumman American AA-5B. Keith has flown from the Boston area to Anaktuvuk Pass, AK, and across the country several times. Also, he has flown from the east coast to the Florida Keys and Treasure Cay in the Bahamas. He belongs to AOPA, EAA, AYA (American Yankee Association) and hopes to join United Flying Octogenarians (he just turned 80).
Gerry is a Senior Content Developer creating training content for software developers. He had a passion for flying since high school and wanted to join the Canadian Air Force but didn’t have 20/20 uncorrected vision. So he put flying out of his mind until moving to the U.S. where he was able to earn his Private Pilot certificate in Seattle, flying out of KBFI. He has enjoyed taking family and friends on their first general aviation experience and still loves the freedom that flying brings. His next aviation ambition is to add a rotorcraft rating.
Dick O’Reilly is a retired Los Angeles Times journalist who now works for FEMA, as needed, writing news releases at disasters. He began flying in 1985, and earned single-engine commercial-instrument privileges. He has owned six airplanes ranging from an experimental light sport Thunder Gull to a Piper Comanche 250. He bought an Interstate Cadet S-1A four years ago and flies it as a light sport pilot.
Chris learned to fly in 1972 on a Royal Air Force Flying Scholarship and joined the RAF in 1976 after university, flying the Harrier GR3/T4 at Gütersloh and Wittering as a weapons instructor. In 1988 he joined Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong where he flew the L-1011 Tristar and Boeing 747-400 as First Officer, and the Tristar and Airbus A340 as Captain. In 1996 he returned to the UK and joined Virgin Atlantic on the A340 fleet. He added the A330 to his type list in 2014 and converted to the Boeing 787-9 in 2016. Flying experiences includes Stearman flying at Chino, California, floatplane flying in California and on a UK PBY Catalina, ferrying a TB-10 Tobago from Hong Kong to Guanghan, China, ferrying his A36 Bonanza from Pretoria to the UK in 1998 and sending his eldest son solo on a 1947 Cessna 120 (he now flies the Typhoon). His total flying time is 19,500 hrs, with 2,300 of that in Single Engine Piston.
J.C. Pennington attended The Ohio State University journalism school and graduated from Capital University, Columbus, OH, in 1974 after serving five years active duty in the U.S. Army. Prior to attending helicopter flight school, he graduated from the Air Force Air Traffic Control School and worked as an Army air traffic controller. He also served as an Army Chief Warrant Officer helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1968-69, flying both Huey transport and gunship helicopters for the 174th Assault Helicopter Company. He retired after 35 years as a newspaper publisher and president. He lives in Belton, TX, with his wife Cindy.
Jay PerryCook discovered the spirit of flight in 1997 learning to fly in an L-4 Clipped Wing Cub at the Watsonville Airport in California. His ownership of aircraft started with a Piper Pacer then he moved on to a Maule M7, a Beech 18 D Model, and currently a Cessna 185 and a de Havilland Beaver. Jay has over 2500 flight hours and lives in Gig Harbor, Washington, with his wife and three children. Jay is Owner and General Manager of Eagle Commercial Services, Inc., a General Contracting company, building cellular communication towers. He also founded, owns and operates PerryCook Flight Services, LLC, a Part 135 Air Taxi Service out of Tacoma Narrows Airport with his Beaver and 185.
Ken has been flying for more than 32 years with a background including flight instructing, corporate flying and over 22 years flying for a major airline. He has flown numerous transport category and general aviation aircraft and holds several certifications including B757/767/ER170/ERJ190 type ratings, CFII (Gold Seal), Flight Engineer Turbojet, Advanced Ground Instructor and FAA 8099 certifications. His experience also includes operating procedure design certification and implementation, safety investigations and courseware development. Ken is currently a Captain and Check Airman and former Fleet Manager at a major U.S. air carrier. Ken has been an adjunct professor teaching advanced aviation management courses and has been an invited speaker on numerous occasions. He holds a Masters degree in Aeronautical Science with Operations Specialization from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor’s Degree in aviation from ERAU. In his free time Ken enjoys flying his Piper Warrior from the airpark where he resides and chasing his Beagle appropriately named “Piper.”
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.
Luca Pineda is a corporate pilot and helicopter instructor, CRM instructor, doing Risk Analysis for private and commercial SMS programs. His 30-year aviation career started in helicopters in 1988, then he spent 20 years working in the airline industry as a pilot, Chief Pilot, Operations Director and DPE for the DGAC. He is on the board of directors for a flight school and a logistics group in Central America. He is a fixed wing and rotary wing ATP, with type ratings in the G-159, SD3-30, BAC1-11, B737, A320, and GV. Luca is passionate about aviation, safety, teamwork, learning, teaching, family and health.
Kevin Poole lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he is a professor of the history and literature of Spain as well as a private pilot. His interest in aviation began during his teenage years, but it wasn’t until his late 30s that he decided to explore it further. While living in New Haven, CT, Kevin began taking lessons toward Private Pilot certification, which he finished at Capital City Aviation after moving to Columbus. He is currently studying for the Instrument written exam and exploring the various aircraft owned by his flying club. Eventually, he hopes to achieve the Commercial rating.
After leaving university, Elke’s first aviation enthusiasm breakout was becoming a flight attendant with Lufthansa, working on the B747 and B727 for 10 years. Her husband’s aviation passion fueled not only him to earn a private pilot license, but also their two grown sons’. In 2010 Elke and her husband bought their beautiful Cessna 182, which gave her the ultimate motivation to also go for it. So she earned her private pilot license in 2013 at the age of 57 and has been enjoying flying and sharing her family’s passion big time in Europe as well as in the US since then.
Born in 1996 in Cleveland, Ohio, Audrey Rabe’s determination to become a pilot first took hold of her when she was twelve. She took her first solo flight in a Cessna 152 before she had her driver’s license, and since then has earned her Private, Instrument, and Commercial AMEL ratings while attending Liberty University, in addition to competing on Liberty’s Track and Field team as a pole vaulter. She is currently working on her A&P certificate with the hopes of using her aviation skills overseas as a bush pilot/mechanic for humanitarian work.
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.
Jeremiah “Jerry” Ragadio has been a US Navy helicopter pilot since 2002 with over 2,500 total flight hours, mostly in the Sikorsky S-70 (SH-60B and MH-60R “Seahawk”), flying from Navy aircraft carriers and other surface ships. He is a military instructor pilot and was the Navy’s Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Lead Evaluator for the MH-60R (equivalent to a corporate check airman lead). He holds Commercial Pilot (Rotorcraft helicopter, Instrument Helicopter) and Commercial Pilot (multi-engine land, Instrument Airplane) FAA certificates, but hopes to do more civilian flying as his logbook only shows 1 flight in a non-military airplane.
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 PilotSafety.org, 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 www.PilotSafety.org.
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.
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.
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.
As a boy Giancarlo Riolfo’s dream was to become an astronaut. Unfortunately the requirements were too high: 20/20 eyesight, a PhD and thousands hours at the controls of a supersonic fighter. Living in Italy did not help in an era when you had to be Russian or American. Withdrawn from the idea of becoming an astronaut and being too lazy to do a serious job, Giancarlo choose to be a journalist. For more than 30 years he wrote about cars, but he never lost his interest for spaceflight, working on this subject for Italian newspapers. He writes also for the leading Italian aviation magazines “Volare” and “VFR Aviation.” Giancarlo flies a light aircraft, but he loves to jump in old warbirds’ cockpits every time he can.
Steve Robbins was the airport kid, that kid who rode his bicycle to the little airport at the edge of an Ohio town and hung out. He’d found his place. What came first was an avocation, then an enjoyable 32-year career at US Airways. After retirement a chance meeting with the pilot/owner of a CitationJet led to an adventurous second career of corporate flying in Cessna Citations. He has now gone back to his roots, a grass runway in the country where he flies a Cherokee 140. He feels he is damn lucky to be there.
David is a professional pilot based in Naples, FL, where he flies a Gulfstream GV for an aerospace company on domestic and international trips. He spent a good three years of his spare time building a Pitts Special and presently enjoys flying his V35B Bonanza with his lovely wife, Sophie, who is also a professional pilot.
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.
Marty Sacks is a second generation aviator living in Maryland who thanks his Dad for passing along what has become a lifelong love of flying and the appreciation for great aviation books written by legends like Robert Buck and Richard Collins. Marty recently became a flight instructor and enjoys working with the next generation of pilots. He is a very active member of the Maryland Wing of Civil Air Patrol. He is married to his best friend and occasional passenger Mary Beth. They have three grown sons. By day he works in the broadcast industry for an equipment supplier.
Sandro Salgueiro is an aviation researcher at MIT focusing on the design and implementation of advanced PBN instrument approach procedures. He has previously been involved with the design of avionics for the Embraer KC-390 and the Gulfstream G500. He is an instrument-rated private pilot with 250 flight hours, and is responsible for organizing fly-outs for the MIT Flying Club. He currently flies a 1989 Piper Arrow, and is based in Bedford, MA (KBED).
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.
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.
Jeff grew up in Wichita, KS, watching F-4s and B-52s fly out of McConnell AFB, but he never seriously thought about being a pilot until graduating from college in the same year that Top Gun was released. He, along with thousands of others, marched right down to the Navy recruiting office to sign up for that gig, but the Navy decided his feet were too flat. The dream smoldered for several decades, until a friend took him for a ride in his Cessna 172, which relit the flame. He now has 1300 hours on his PPL, and flies mostly for pleasure and some business in a Mooney Ovation 3. He also volunteers for Angel Flight and Pilots ‘n Paws missions, and finally gets to exercise his “need for speed” by racing the Ovation 3 in the Sport Air Racing League events. So far, he has never been beaten in the Factory class, but encourages everyone to give it their best shot.
Chris’s introduction to flying came through a great friend who happened to own a Cherokee PA28-140 and was a flight instructor. He started training on 12/28/2011, and got his private pilot certificate on 5/12/2012. In June of 2017, he was blessed to purchase N29HL and has flown about 150 hours since, including the addition of an instrument rating. He is a veterinarian by day, and husband and father to the most amazing wife and two beautiful girls alive. Chris is passionate about aviation safety, and using small airplanes for travel and fun.
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.
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, www.flyer.co.uk. 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.
Joe Sener is an 800+ hour private pilot with an Instrument Rating. He flies his Piper Cherokee Dakota out of Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK) in Illinois. In his other life, Joe is a Professional Engineer and VP of Quality in the medical device industry. His most recent challenge was successful completion of a High Mountain Flying Course in Colorado.
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.
A UPI foreign correspondent for UPI in France, West Africa, Belgium and Italy, Adam Shaw returned to America during Watergate as a reporter for the Washington Post. He then wrote SOUND OF IMPACT «The Legacy of TWA # 514.» His first aviation job was instructing aerobatics tailwheel training at the University of North Dakota. A consultant pilot and Programs Manager for SABRELINER on their EFS (Enhanced Flight Screener) program flying a SIA Marchetti SF-260E, he then worked for Jim Bede on the BD10 project. Moving south, he then taught at Mudry Aviation, of “French Connection” fame. Years later, back in Europe, he co-founded CAPTENS, a formation airshow demo team. An FAA CFII, and EASA aerobatic instructor, he teaches in a CAP 10B/K and a Super Cub.
Michael Sheetz is a graduate of Bremen Senior High School in Bremen, IN and Purdue University. Raised on a dairy farm with a grass strip on it, Mike has always had an interest in aviation. He has been involved in various businesses and retired in 2013 after 11 years with Edward Jones in Nappanee, IN doing financial planning. He chaired the Wings and Wheels Show for the town’s Apple Festival for those 11 years. Mike learned to fly with his CFI brother, Harry, getting his private ticket at age 62. He now lives on the east side of Indianapolis, where he enjoys golf and aviation activities, which include being involved in a flying club, an EAA Chapter, and AOPA. Mike’s accompanying photo was taken by a friend with Mike in the backseat of a T34 Mentor.
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.
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 http://crufc.ca/articles/.
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.
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.
Dan Sobczak is the founder of Flight Chain app, a mobile app that helps pilots learn from accident chains and improve their ability to recognize and break a potential accident chain in their own flying. He authors the blog http://www.AheadOfThePowerCurve.com, a collection of columns and experiences designed to help pilots anticipate what could happen rather than just react to what is happening in any given moment. Dan’s most memorable flying moment is cruising over the magnificent snow-capped Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his father-in-law in Jane, a Cessna 182Q.
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.
Chuck Stone lives on a small lake in the suburbs of Kansas City. He always says that he logged his first 1000 hours sitting backwards: he was a US Air Force tail gunner on a B-52 at the height of the cold war with the Soviet Union. That was about 40 years ago. After his discharge, he spent the next 10 years as a flight instructor and charter pilot in Connecticut, West Virginia, and Tennessee. He married Sandi in Kirksville, Missouri. The next 20 years of their life together, he flew mostly 19 passenger turboprops for a regional airline in Missouri and Wisconsin.
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.
“Aviation adventurer with a briefcase” is one way of describing Jules Tapper. A 4th generation Southlander from New Zealand ,he has from early years had an enduring passion for the outdoors, aviation, tourism and business. He co-founded the Hollyford Valley Walk & his own bush flying operation in Fiordland, NZ. Twelve years in senior positions in the corporate tourism/aviation industry capped a fascinating journey all over the world. He has served nationally in senior aviation positions in both commercial & private sector representative organisations along with local area trusts & promotional groups. He has flown nearly 10,000 hours on over 130 different types of aircraft, helicopters, gliders and paragliders over five decades and is still actively flying in all disciplines. In the 2010 Queens Birthday Honours he was conferred an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his long service to aviation & tourism.
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.
Jerry Thomas is a retired commercial artist living in Cary, IL. He has had a lifelong interest in way too many things, as his wife will attest. Jerry became a student pilot some 33 years ago, when he traded his commercial artwork abilities for flight time with a CFI. He is an active member of the EAA chapter at Galt Airport. He enjoys long walks in the woods with his dog, Rocko, an activity that his wife staunchly encourages, and is the long-time builder of a standard-gear Sonex that he hopes to complete sometime during this century.
Growing up around aviation, in a family that owned an FBO, Steve soloed on his 16th birthday, but later set flying aside for college, career and family. He got back into flying at age 47, and now flies weekly in his Citabria 7KCAB, Luscombe 8A and Vans RV-12 with his father, a long time pilot. Steve’s interest in aviation is fueled primarily by his desire to learn and accomplish – he’s always looking forward to the next endorsement or rating. He says the best thing he ever did was to get his tailwheel endorsement. His biggest regret? “Not doing my primary training in a tailwheel airplane!”
Jerry grew up in central Kansas where his father farmed after flying Navy Hellcats during WWII. Although his father never flew again, Jerry was awed by the way he lived his life and riveted by his reluctantly shared flying stories, and it was his love and respect for this special man that ignited his passion for aviation. Jerry flew 747s (E-4Bs) and other types for the Air Force, MD-80s for Jet America and Alaska Airlines, and numerous corporate aircraft for Mutual of Omaha. However, he now really enjoys flying a pristine 1946 vintage Ercoupe.
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.
Renato Tucunduva is a 57-year old Brazilian doctor who started taking flying lessons after graduating medical school in the seventies. For some time he even thought about changing careers, but decided to continue flying just for the fun of it. After renting planes for some years, he rebuilt a “vintage ” Citabria 7GCB, before changing to an Archer II. In Brazil these were made by Embraer under the name of Embraer 712 Tupi. The new plane allowed him to start traveling with the whole family through the immense country that is Brazil and they have still lots of places on their bucket list of flying.
Charles G. Turner, III, ASEL, AMEL, IA, Comm, AGI began his aviation life in 2001 and it quickly grew into an obsession that had him immediately into the air a minimum of 3 days a week. Exposed to a number of great instructors, he took meticulous notes on every aspect of his training and experiences, and wants to expose his readers to the golden nuggets of wisdom which have been handed to him over the years. When not reading or writing about the lessons learned in his adventures as a pilot, Charles continues his career as a published fiction writer. He resides in Northern Virginia.
Charles (C.B.) Umphlette, Jr. has been a glider pilot for almost 30 years and has 1300 hrs. in sailplanes. He is a member of the Soaring Society of America and the Tidewater Soaring Society where he first soloed and has been a board member of the club for several years. He and his wife share a Schweizer 1-26B with a sports canopy and he also owns a Schweizer 1-35C. He is a member of the Vintage Sailplane Association and has participated in several of the International Vintage Sailplane Meets at Harris Hill , Elmira NY. He lives in Suffolk, Virginia with his wife, Marita Rea.
Tony Vallillo is a retired American Airlines Captain and Air Force Pilot who currently flies Cessnas for the Civil Air Patrol. After college Tony entered USAF Pilot Training in 1971 and subsequently flew the C-141A and the C-5 on active duty and in the reserves. Joining American in 1977, he flew the 707, 727, Airbus A-300 and the 757/767 over a 31 year career that included stints in management as a check airman and chief pilot. Tony flies a Thorp T-211 SkySkooter when he is not instructing and evaluating pilots for CAP.
Joris is a Belgian, married to a Brazilian woman, expat in Saudi Arabia who has his home base in the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Flying has fascinated him since his first air baptism at the age of 12 because via technology – which is his profession and his hobby – the dream of moving in the 3rd dimension is realized. He evolved from aircraft modeling, over flight simulator to real flying in gliders in a 50s-built wooden Ka7. For several years he flew paragliders until he could afford an amphibious aircraft, which he operates from the tropical beach near his home.
Born in 1999, Aidan is a home-schooled high school graduate and is attending Liberty University as an Honors student. He is majoring in Aeronautics, and will be working towards his Instrument, Commercial, and CFI ratings before reaching his goal of being a missionary pilot. He has been fascinated with aviation his entire life, but the thrill of flying captured him during high school. He received his Private out of a grass strip in Northwest Florida in a Piper Cherokee at age 17. Aidan enjoys flying down the coast while not working at his local Chick-fil-a.
Darcy Vernier was born in Palo Alto, California, and grew up in Great Falls, Montana. He attended high school in Brazil and received his BA from American University. In 1967 he was commissioned into the Marine Corps and attended flight school in Pensacola, FL. During the Vietnam War he flew CH-46 helicopters and was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses and Fifty Air Medals. Upon his release from the Marine Corps he went into commodity futures brokerage and didn’t fly more than a few hours for the next 18 years. In 1990 he returned to aviation, flying Twin Otters for Island Air in Hawaii. Once he made Captain he was off to Africa. There he flew UN missions in southern Sudan. Two articles about his experiences were published in the fall 1994 Harvard Review. Later, he flew 727s for Champion Air in the US, and 737s for Saudi Aramco Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. He was in Saudi Arabia on 9/11. He spent 6 years as a CFII in the Los Angeles area and now is a full time actor and writer.
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 Times, ForbesLife, The Dallas Morning News, Elite 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.
John grew up one mile from the threshold of Runway 10 at Montreal-Dorval International Airport, and got to see a lot of big planes flying over his house at 300 feet. He got his license in 1974, then graduated with a chemical engineering degree, and flew as much as career, family and money allowed. After 41 years he finally got his instrument rating in 2015 and a new Cessna 206 in 2017, and has since enjoyed flying from New York to Toronto, Ottawa, St. Louis (for the eclipse), and Corpus Christi to visit family and friends.
Joe is a 73 year old retired attorney from Moorestown, New Jersey, presently transplanted to South Florida. He is a 2300-hour commercial pilot with an instrument rating and flies a 1991 black and white A36 Bonanza. Home base is F45. Joe earned his PPL in 1995 at age 53 and is married to his bride of 51 years, Diane, a frequent flyer. Joe’s present aircraft is his second Bonanza and fourth airplane, having owned a Piper Arrow and a Piper Dakota before switching to the Beech line. He is the present record holder of the National Aeronautics Association “Speed Over a Recognized Course” for a flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Jacksonville, Florida, in a Beech Bonanza.
Ed Welch lives with his patient wife of almost 40 years in Corpus Christi, TX, and is blessed with three beautiful grown kids and three grandchildren. He was fascinated with flying by his dad’s WWII tales from his 65 bombing missions in B-26 Marauders. He earned his private license in 1978 at 6R4: old 30 feet wide, 2000 feet long Bird’s Nest Airport, Manor, TX. He passed the instrument written in 2002 but never took the ride. He hopes to one day.
Enamored of airplanes and all forms of atmospheric flight for as long as he can remember, Bob still looks up when airplanes pass overhead. Now retired from engineering (and later, commercial driving) adventures, he and his wife still regularly visit (and sometimes camp on) little airports whenever opportunity presents. He made two large purchases when a senior in college: a car, and in partnership with his older brother, a BD-5B kit (never finished). Thirty seven years later he sold the car for $500 and has flown ~2050 hours in his fifth sailplane, has great respect for all forms of piloting skills and judgment; he’s learned useful, life-applicable, things from almost every pilot he’s met. He’s also authored two books about soaring using his formal moniker “Robert F.”
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.
Rick is presently an independent financial and operational executive and consultant. Rick started his life-long love of aviation building and flying model planes in high school, which led to earning a BS in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA from The University of Texas. Early in his career he was a flight test engineer certifying the Windecker Eagle. Among others, he has held executive roles in corporate finance for Piper Aircraft and Dee Howard. Earning his Private Pilot license in 1970, Rick holds multi-engine and instrument ratings and has accumulated over 1900 hours in over 30 different airplanes.
Brian is an instrument-rated Private Pilot currently living in San Diego, California, with his wife and two daughters. A former Army officer, Brian has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, in addition to conducting several humanitarian missions in Vietnam, Laos, and India. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Missouri, Saint Louis (UMSL) and a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University. Currently, Brian is working on his Commercial License (Part 141) in pursuit of his next career goal as a Regional Airline pilot.
John Yodice is a senior partner of the Law Offices of Yodice Associates, a law firm experienced in aviation legal matters involving corporate governance, DOT, FAA, and TSA certification and compliance, aircraft transactions, and more. He is an accomplished instrument rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, single engine land and sea, multiengine land, and rotorcraft helicopter. He and the firm’s legal staff have extensive experience of over 50 years in representing certificated individuals and companies faced with FAA investigations and enforcement. The firm manages legal services plans for commercial aviation entities, their employees and contractors, and other associations, and works regularly with over 700 correspondent counsel throughout the Country and Internationally. The firm regularly publishes articles and conducts seminars to help educate the aviation industry and their lawyers on many of these topics. He is well-known for his monthly “Pilot Counsel” column in the AOPA PILOT magazine that ran for many years.
Fred Zanegood is a Commercial Pilot, SEL/MEL; Instrument Airplane, Advanced Ground Instructor, Instrument Ground Instructor, Remote Pilot sUAS. His love of aviation was fostered early on by trips to the airport with his father, picking out which airliner belonged with which commanding voice emanating from their small transistor air-band radio. He’s accrued several hundred hours flying traffic patrol, slow and steady over the skies of South Florida, worked in the marketing end of things for industry flight simulation and publishing companies, and continues to fly when life allows. His eclectic skillset includes an educational background in computer programming, electronics, and audio engineering. When not flying–or wishing he were–Fred enjoys doing voice-over work, cycling, playing drums, and spending time with family.
Jerry Ziegler lives in Cherry Hill, NJ, with his wife, Christine, and son, Cash. He is an elementary school teacher and has always had a love of flying. He things he inherited this love from his grandfather, who was also a pilot back in the 60s and 70s. He flies out of The Flying W in Medford, NJ, where he is a member of the Freeflight Aviation flying club. He is currently working on his Private Pilot certificate while trying to enjoy all the adventures and enjoyment of life with his wife and son.
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.”