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.
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.