Mark has lived in Arizona since 1974 and has had a long career in the Aerospace industry beginning with Sperry Flight Systems in the early 80's. From Sperry he moved on to W.L. Gore & Associates where he was involved in microwave coaxial interconnect designs used in avionics, radar and medical devices. If you had asked Mark at age 12 what he wanted to be when he grew up he would have said "an inventor!" He is named as "Inventor" or "Co-Inventor" on 13 U.S. and European Patents so it looks like he fulfilled this dream pretty well.
Dave has had an interest in aviation and flying since childhood but didn't start lessons until he became a flight medic in the Air Force in 1969. Being on a flight crew and various temporary duties forced him to put his training on hold, however. He started flying again in the late 80's, but again had to stop because of the bigger priority of growing a custom woodworking business. In the early 90's, he sold that business and started managing the family tree farming interests and working as a glassblowing artist.
Chris Berge was raised in Santa Cruz, CA, for 13 years until his family moved to the San Francisco bay area, where he has resided ever since. Currently, he and his partner, Ruth Bley, own an electrical construction company performing work on bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure projects. Chris is the father of two daughters who are currently in school.
As editor-in-chief of Pilot Getaways magazine, John Kounis criss-crosses the country in his Cessna 185 researching fun destinations, but prefers the backcountry for fun. Before starting the magazine, he spent eight years in Germany, where he flew his Cessna 172RG more than 1,200 hours in over 40 countries-as far north as Spitzbergen about 800 nm north of the Arctic Circle and as far south as Cape Town, South Africa.
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.
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 girlfriend enjoy flying all over the backcountry in their planes. He is still an active instructor and in his spar
Lots of you probably know Tim Clifford, which tells you about the big shoes Jack has set his sights on filling. Jack, Patricia and son Devin all caught the flying bug in the late 80's and each got their licenses in the 'Family RV' - a '75 Grumman Traveler. As the 90's ended, they all took to the water; although for Dev it meant leaving Navy ships and Air Stations to get airborne (which he does to this day). Jack & Patricia took off in a sailboat to see the world, which they did for 11 years and 53 countries. No sooner was the boat sold in Australia than they went scurrying back to aviation and a Grumman Tiger. As many RAF members will know, the boating community can be a very tight and friendly one…which they knew they had found once again the instant they visited the RAF booth at Sun 'n Fun. Jack recently left another 501.c organization after serving as a Board member and President, and it too had a geographically diverse membership but a joint kindred soul.
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.
Joe's passion for aviation began early in life as the son & grandson of Air Force Fighter Pilots. His earliest memories involved voracious reading of anything aviation related and overtime he became fascinated by the adventures of bush pilots, a natural progression given his interest in the outdoors. As a dedicated outdoorsman and former fly fishing guide, Joe has had the privilege of fishing in many different places throughout the world.