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State Liaisons

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: 
Jeff Smith
Kentucky State Liaison

Jeffrey grew up in rural New Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap. His father exposed him to flying at 15 with an introduction to Ernie ‘Pete’ Billows at Trinca Airport in Northern New Jersey.  Jeffrey soloed on his 16th birthday in a J-3 Cub on skis, landing in a cornfield.  “After a year of pumping gas and washing airplanes to help pay for lessons, I passed my Private at 17 in a 50’s Cessna 172,” he said. 

Telephone Number: 
502-593-1005
RAF Email Address: 
Andy Rowe
Maine State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
207-837-9155
RAF Email Address: 
Craig McCullough
Maryland State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
410-241-3475
RAF Email Address: 
Rene Robillard
Massachusetts State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
617-797-7351
RAF Email Address: 
Brad Frederick
Michigan State Liaison

 Brad Frederick’s son taught him to fly. You read that right. The Michigan native says, “At age 55, learning to fly from my son Ed remains one of the absolute highlights of my life.”

 

Telephone Number: 
248-761-5615
RAF Email Address: 
Kirk Hiner
Minnesota State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
612-619-0436
RAF Email Address: 
Kurt Pennuto
Minnesota State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
612-209-3478
RAF Email Address: 
Jim Dickerson
Missouri State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
816-560-4869
RAF Email Address: