I may be the slowest learner in aviation history as I first soloed in 1963, but did not get my private license until last summer....2010! I followed up with a seaplane rating a month or so later and am presently working on an instrument rating. I’ve owned 2 aircraft, a Champ (in 1963) which my Dad sold while I was interrupting my college years with a visit to Paris Island and Camp Lejeune, and the 180hp Skyhawk on straight PK’s that I own today.
A private pilot since 2003, Craig McCullough received his instrument rating in 2005 and has since flown his Cessna 172 up and down the eastern seaboard to airstrips in Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Charleston, Savannah, Key West and many points in-between. Craig works for Hewlett-Packard managing sales teams that support civilian and intelligence agencies within the federal government.
Rene always wanted to fly, and was lucky enough to find a spouse who came from an aviation family and who also loved to fly. In 1999, his extremely pregnant wife, Heather, was on the ramp to watch his first solo.
After a career change and relocation from Colorado to the Boston area, Rene earned his private pilot license and added instrument and commercial ratings. In 2013, CFI was added with CFII shortly thereafter.
Kirk Hiner, who lives in Kenyon, MN, grew up in an aviation family thanks to his dad who flew B24s out of England during World War II and then continued to fly after the war. Kirk received his private pilot license in 1976, and his commercial, instrument and CFI ratings in the 80s. Over the years as lifelong EAA members, Kirk and his dad have built 5 kitplanes together (three of which they still own) and Kirk continues to give flight instruction from time to time.
Born in the Iowa river town of Davenport, Kurt migrated to California in the mid 1970’s with his parents and eight siblings. Growing up in the central valley of California fueled his interest in the outdoors. Kurt spent his free time fishing, skiing and skateboarding. Midway through high school his family relocated from sunny California to a slower pace back in Iowa. Fortunately, that is where he met his future wife Betsy.
Jim is currently the President and CEO of Prime Business Group in Kansas City, MO, specializing in helping businesses improve profitability and operational and organizational efficiency. With a compliment of restaurant, theatre, printing, shipping, marketing and entertainment operations, Prime Business Group owns and operates a very diversified business portfolio. Jim has a background in business management and development, public relations, broadcasting and communications.
Sarah’s career has been in graphic design and marketing, most recently as marketing manager for an engineering branch of one of the largest construction companies in the US, and the same position for a commercial real-estate development company owning millions of square feet around the country. She has been involved with every facet of marketing, from branding and corporate advertising campaigns to proposal management. Sarah left the corporate world in early 2010 to grow her photography business.
It’s not often a volunteer shows up for an RAF project with a passion for flying the backcountry and a career of cartography behind him. Ronald Normandeau was raised in Polson, Montana, attended the University of Montana, spent 22 years with the U.S. Geological Survey and retired from the U.S. Forest Service after a career as a Cartographer/Photogrammetrist. Ron earned his pilots’ license in 1964 and proceeded to “use every method known to man to find ways to fly and finance flying,” he says. He is currently restoring a 1947 Aeronca Chief and flying a friend’s Taylorcraft.
For 25 years, pilots flying into Montana’s Logan International Airport in Billings probably heard Scott Newpower in the tower. He decided on an ATC career in Hudson, WI, during college when he saw an ad in the local newspaper to become an FAA air traffic controller. After four years in the tower in Grand Forks, ND, he transferred to Billings. Originally from St. Paul, MN, he planned to stay in Billings only a few years and move on, but grew to love Montana and decided to stay in Big Sky Country.