John grew up in New York and had the Navy take him away; eventually depositing him in Massachusetts. John’s father-in-law flew, and in the late 80s, John got bitten by the flying bug as well.
Eventually a SuperCub on floats became his pride and joy. It became a convertible with Bushwheels, skis and floats. He credits his association with SuperCub.org for coast-to-coast friendships and finding a cadre of local
Larry Filener has had a life-long passion for aviation. He began flying at age 16 and has been enjoying flying and backcountry flying every since. Larry currently owns a 1959 Cessna 180 and, along with his family, flies to the backcountry as often as possible. For the last two years, Larry has been involved with the RAF and the New Mexico Pilot’s Association (NMPA). He is Chairman of the New Mexico Recreation Aviation Committee of the NMPA and has headed up their efforts to reopen several backcountry and recreational airstrips.
Toward the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Ron Keller was stationed in Albuquerque and has lived in New Mexico ever since. His first ride in a GA aircraft was with an Air Force co-worker. His interest in aviation began from a maintenance perspective, until he married his wife, Mary Ann, whose father was a CFII that ignited Ron’s interest in flying.
Russ didn't start flying until 50, with a gift from his wife Sue of an introductory lesson. Her comment "You've always wanted to fly ... and you're not getting any younger, you know" was answered with the warning "I might like it, you know!" He set about making up for lost time, pursuing private, commercial, instrument and then his CFI.
Tim comes from a long family history in aviation, dating back to the 1920s. His great-grandfather was the VP of engineering for Curtiss-Wright and Lycoming. His grandfather flew TBM Avengers in WWII, and his grandmother flew Piper Cubs in the late 1940s.
Brian is the first to admit that he's a "flatlander". "I do recognize that the world is round and not every place is as flat as North Dakota." Actually, his portion of North Dakota - Prairie Coteau (French for "pot holes") - is quite rugged with rolling hills. Brian and his wife Elly consider the Utah backcountry their favorite flying vacation spot.
During a career in classical music spanning over twenty-five years, Christine Mortine turned from conducting and playing instruments to flying them. She is now a full-time flight instructor, having spent the past ten years obtaining her CFI, CFII, MEI, Cirrus Training Center Instructor, as well as SIC in the Citation 500.
RAF Ohio State Liaison Freeman Swank is as comfortable piloting a John Deere tractor or a motorcycle, as he is flying his Piper Cherokee.
An Ohio native, Freeman started flying in 1971. He was inspired by the Flying Farmers he met while he was in the Farm Science program at Ohio State. He and wife Mary Jane now reside in Wellington, where he spent his career as both a farm implement dealer and educator.
Steve Thompson was raised on a farm in southern Oklahoma. He was born in 1966 and since his earliest memories he knew what he wanted to do. Fly Airplanes. At age 14 his dad introduced him to a coworker that was in the Civil Air Patrol and soon he started taking flying lessons. By age 16 he partnered on a 1956 Cessna 172.
Richard grew up in Texas and earned his private pilot’s certificate at age 18. His first airplane was a J3 Cub that cost him the princely sum of $1,500. After finishing a couple of degrees in engineering, Richard decided – without much forethought– that his future lay in Alaska. For ten years, he flew a C-185 to remote locations throughout the state.