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Team RAF Staff

Dave Powell
Arkansas State Liaison

Few pilots can say they began flying in a Texan T-6 at the age of 12. That’s when Dave Powell was first exposed to flying by his father. They also flew a Navion his dad’s company used for business. Once out of college and working, Dave made the time and had the funds to get his pilot’s license, initially using the privileges to visit family in Texas and Michigan. 

Telephone Number: 
479-586-5540
RAF Email Address: 
Richard "Rick" Lach
California State Liaison

Richard "Rick" Lach, from Kernville, CA, has had a passion for aviation from an early age. He can recall riding his bike to Van Nuys Airport, where he would sit on the railroad tracks and watch planes land. After joining the Air Force he spent four years maintaining F-100, F-101, and F-105 in the Far East. In 1998 he decided that his high-end Computer Communication business wasn't for him anymore, and sold out to buy a Lodge in Alaska. Amongst the wilderness his new venture had a bar, restaurant, rooms, cabins and a 200 foot landing strip.

Telephone Number: 
661-345-7755
RAF Email Address: 
Anthony Longobardo
California State Liaison

Anthony has lived and worked all over the world but “I’ve finally returned home to Southern California for good,” he says. 

He originally got into aviation to provide missionary and humanitarian services in some of the poorest countries of the world. Anthony has worked as a pilot and mechanic for Mission Aviation Fellowship, Samaritan’s Purse, and other organizations throughout Africa, Central America, Indonesia and the U.S. 

Telephone Number: 
919-457-2855
RAF Email Address: 
Tom Haefeli
Colorado State Liaison

Tom was intrigued with flying from the very beginning as a child, in a family whose business was beekeeping in southern Colorado

“I worked in the business through high school then – being a typical teen – I couldn't wait to get out into the world,” Tom says.

Telephone Number: 
719-850-1411
RAF Email Address: 
Patrick Romano
Colorado State Liaison

Patrick Romano always knew he wanted to fly.  So it was not a surprise to anyone when he took his first lesson at age 14 and started instructing by the time he was 18.  After a decade of flying everything from helicopters to business jets, he had to get a real job.  He is now operating several Domino’s Pizzas in the Denver area.  Patrick and his wife Lindsey enjoy flying the backcountry.  He is still an active instructor and in his spare time he consults

Telephone Number: 
512-289-1989
RAF Email Address: 
Bobby Capozzi
Florida State Liaison

Like many others, Bobby Capozzi started his quest for aviation by building and flying model airplanes.  Model aircraft were the stepping stones to Bobby soloing at 16, achieving his private at 17, and purchasing a 1953 PA-22  two weeks later. “I bought it as a time builder and continued preparing for my commercial and instrument at 18,” he said.  “Then I shifted to pursue general aviation as a hobby instead of a career.”  He replaced the PA-22 with an Aeronca Champ six months later.

Telephone Number: 
352-475-1492
RAF Email Address: 
Eric Davis
Georgia State Liaison

Eric was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia far removed from the allure of back­country flying. His first impressions of aviation were limited to the science fiction television shows and movies of the day: Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. As kids, he and his friends would sneak into the Hartsfield Airport terminal and pretend they were travelers going to far­away places.

Telephone Number: 
404-423-3842
RAF Email Address: 
Brett Wilkes
Georgia State Liaison

Brett is a Georgia native, and although school and a job overseas took him away for many years he always hoped he’d return to his roots. As luck would have it an opportunity working in finance for a major airline brought him back to the state about 15 years ago, and he’s been here ever since.

While Brett didn’t grow up in an aviation family, from an early age he had a passion for flying.

Telephone Number: 
404-502-0873
RAF Email Address: 
Mike Hart
Idaho State Liaison

Mike Hart is a nerdy pilot from Idaho and co-host of the Pilot’s Journey Podcast (www.pilotsjourney.com). He received his private pilot’s license when he was 18 and flew most of his early years off a short 1,800-foot grass strip near Paola, Kansas.  Mike moved to Idaho more than 20 years ago and reacquainted himself with flying, adding Commercial and IFR ratings to his list of aviation experiences.

Telephone Number: 
208-528-7672
RAF Email Address: 
Mike Purpura
Illinois State Liaison

After his enlistment in the Navy, Mike earned a degree in Environmental Science and went on to start a brokerage in Eastern Oregon specializing in agricultural land and ranches. Hiring local pilots to ferry him and his clients around large ranch properties, proved to be expensive and complicated. He decided to buy a Cessna 170B and learn to fly. That was the beginning of many long friendships with interesting people and a completely different view of this great country.  Aviation changed his life and opened up many opportunities.

Telephone Number: 
630-936-3282
RAF Email Address: