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State Liaisons

Freeman Swank
Ohio State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
440-506-0949
RAF Email Address: 
Steve Thompson
Oklahoma State Liaison

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.

Telephone Number: 
580-277-0640
RAF Email Address: 
Richard Mayes
Oregon State Liaison
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.
Telephone Number: 
916-220-2041
RAF Email Address: 
Bill Repucci
South Carolina State Liaison

After graduating with an engineering degree from Western Michigan University and spending four years living with roommates who were in the aviation program, Bill began flight training shortly thereafter. In the ensuing 30-plus years he has flown over 90 different makes and models of aircraft. “I have some very generous friends, for which I am very thankful,” he says, noting that he has been fortunate to fly everything from antiques and warbirds to many unique homebuilts. He currently flies his Van’s RV‐9, which he completed in 2007 with the help of his wife Nora.

Telephone Number: 
704-607-4572
RAF Email Address: 
Ray Jilek
South Dakota State Liaison

Ray grew up on a family farm in southwestern North Dakota and moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota in the late 80s where he met Laura, the love of his life. Laura and Ray now live in Spearfish and have two daughters.

Ray learned to fly in a Cessna 150, then bought a C-172 in which he earned his instrument and commercial ratings. In 1996 Ray started an Aerial Application business based in Sturgis, SD and expanded into banner

Telephone Number: 
605-641-2787
RAF Email Address: 
Steve Lewis
Tennessee State Liaison

Steve was born and raised in northeast Tennessee. He graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1971. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant through ROTC, he went on active duty in the U.S. Army in the early 1970s. His first civilian job was as a flight instructor at Tri-Cities airport, (KTRI) which eventually led to a 30-year career in corporate aviation, including dairy product transport pilot, among other interesting jobs.

Telephone Number: 
423-647-2511
RAF Email Address: 
Chase Snodgrass
Texas State Liaison

Chase Snodgrass is one of those fellows who had the skill to solo an airplane at age 14 but had to wait until he turned 16 so he could do it legally.  He spent his junior high, high school, and college years sweeping hangar floors, washing planes, and pumping avgas as a means of paying for flight training. 

Telephone Number: 
832-588-8888
RAF Email Address: 
Steve Durtschi
Utah State Liaison

Steve is a Utah resident and after 60 years lives less than a mile from where he grew up.  He and his wife Cathy and have been married for 35 years and have two children.  (Their daughter is a FSS briefer in Prescott - ask for  Stefani as she loves hearing from back country pilots).  Steve has a degree in Geology from the University of Utah and worked as a Utah geologist before beginning a 25 year career as an engineer in the solid rocket propulsion industry.  He retired in 2010.  His first love is airplanes and he has restored and flown an Aeronca Chief, Boeing Stearman, Cessna L-19 Birddo

Telephone Number: 
801-678-1293
RAF Email Address: 
Wayne Loeber
Utah State Liaison

Wayne was born on a sugar beet farm outside Sheridan, Wyoming in 1946 and did not experience running water or electricity until the age of 10 when we moved to Southern CA.  Wayne attended high school and college in CA where he soloed in a Super Cub at the age of 17.

Telephone Number: 
801-541-9473
RAF Email Address: 
R.M. "Bob" Burley
Vermont State Liaison

What began as frequent 12 mile bicycle rides to a local Vermont airport in the early 1950's quickly evolved into a full-fledged airport rat manifestation.

Along the way, peripheral excursions have included: retired international corporate executive (F-10 company), former Air Force officer, pilot, stints as Highway Engineer, logger, Operations Director for a large New England FBO, aerial surveying, Museum Aviation Curator and other fruitful stops.

Telephone Number: 
802-888-3409
RAF Email Address: