Member Profiles

Members are encouraged to submit there own profiles to the web editor.

Some topics to cover in your member profile should include:

  • How and when you became interested in aviation;
  • Aviation related activities, including homebuilding and/or restoration projects;
  • Aircraft that you have flight experience in and/or own;
  • Any FAA licences or ratings that you hold or are working towards;
  • Chapter leadership positions you have held;
  • Non-aviation activities including family (spouse's name), work, hobbies, etc.;
  • Anything else you would like to reveal about yourself.

If possible, please include a photo of youself with your aircraft. Images may be submitted in jpeg format no bigger than 4" X 4" at a maximum 300 dpi.

Online Member Profile Form

Please make your submission to Vickie Vandenbelt.

Note: Profiles may be edited by the web staff.


We are proud to honor those chapter members who have passed on. Though they may no longer be with us, they are not forgotten.

Member Memorials


Attention Member Veterans!

If you are a Veteran, the chapter is going to feature a more in-depth profile written by one of our staff writers. This is an effort to show our appreciation for the service you have given to all of us.

Veteran Profiles


Member Profiles
Dick & Barbara Bacon
Tom Botsford
Kyle Bradford
Lloyd & Joyce Brown
Lynn Brown
Pete Chestnut
David & Debbie Groh
Chuck Hacker
Gordon Hempstone
Steve Houghton
Greg Hover
David James
Delbert Johnson
Terry Lutz
Deanna McAlister
Don McAlister, Jr.
Warren Miller
George Moore
David Paul
Ron Pierce
Joe Pirch
Bill Purosky
Dan & Margaret Schiffer
Tom Schroeder
Tom Sheehan, Jr.
Jim Spry
Ken & Vickie Vandenbelt
Jack Voss
 

 

 

Dick & Barbara Bacon

Dick and Barbara have been members of Chapter 55 since 2001 and have worked at many chapter events. They have been married over 62 years and have three daughters. Dick started flying in April 1944 at the age of 16 and received his private pilot license the following year. He has flown most of the single engine Cessna class aircraft through the 182s, and has experience in Pipers, including the Cherokee Six and Commanche 180, as well as Navions. In 1958, he became an A&P mechanic and IA in 1962. Dick has been service manager for several FBOs and owned Bacon Aviation in Grand Ledge, Michigan. He was also in the insurance business for 22 years.

In addition to many years in the military (see Veterans page), Dick has served his community as choir member together with Barbara at Holt Presbyterian Church for over 55 years, Kiwanis Club member since 1955, Delhi Fire Department volunteer for over 12 years, 7 plus years as Delhi Township supervisor, and many others. Barbara served as a crossing guard for Holt Schools for 20 years and currently volunteers making heart pillows for Ingham Medical Hospital.

 

Tom Botsford

Tom is a past chapter vice president. He owns and maintains a beautiful 1946 Cessna 140.

 

Kyle Bradford

Kyle has completed two Pietenpols, a Sky Scout and an Air Camper. He is great source of information on lots of classic and antique aircraft. After serving in both the US Navy and Air Force he flew for commercial airlines.

 

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd is a member of Spartan Wings and more importantly to many of us and our airplanes he rents hangars at KTEW. He is pictured here with his wife, Joyce.

 
 

Lynn Brown

Lynn worked on building the Mini-Max here and just enjoys being in group related to aviation. He was C.A.P. Cadet at Mason High School when we picked up first stones on east/west runway at Mason Airport under construction 1945/46. Lynn spent 38 years in the insurance industry.

 
 

Pete Chestnut

Pete has restored a rare1941 Stearman A75-L3. This is one of a few civilian Stearmans. It left the factory on the March 26, 1941, for Parks Air College, East St. Louis IL where it was flown until 1964. Pete's restoration won the Deed Levy Award at the National Stearman Fly-In at Galesburg IL. Pete ferries DC-9s from California to Romania.

 

Dave & Debbie Groh

Dave and Debbie's current project is a T-28. Their last, a PT-17 Stearman, was awarded the best PT-17 at the National Stearman Fly-In in Galesburgh, IL. They were instrumental in getting the crosswind grass runway added to the KTEW airport master plan, for which all of us tail wheel pilots are eternally grateful. Debbie was originally chosen to be an Honorary Member for all the work she put in at chapter events, along with Dave, she is now a chapter member.

 
 

Chuck Hacker

Chuck completed his Zenith CH701-SP in 2003. He flies a Cessna 175 Skylark on floats with a huge Lycoming O-470. Chuck says he always has time to talk about flying and projects.

 

Gordon Hempstone

Gordon owns 3 Cobra ultralights and is looking for more. He is also looking for a “real” airplane project.

 

Steve Houghton

Steve is a member of Spartan Wings. He is building an RV7a. As of the fall of 2011, he is about 90% done. His goal is to have the plane in the air by early 2012.


 
 

Greg Hover

Greg is working on an RV-6A. He is getting ready for the finish kit. A Mazda 13-B will power the plane. Greg works very hard behinds the scenes making all the chapter function operate smoothly. He is responsible for making sure our chapter hanger is always in perfect condition, making it a pleasant place to meet!

 
 

David James

Dave has a Piper Pathfinder (Cherokee) 235.

 
 

Delbert Johnson

Delbert is the current chapter secretary. He owns a Glastar with a Mazda (rotary engine).

 

Doug Koons

Doug, builder extraordinaire, joined the chapter in 2000 and readily donates his time and skills to the chapter, making himself indispensable.

Doug first flew when he was 16, and had 3 lessons before he ran out of money, but he made a promise to himself that when he turned 40 he would get his pilots license. Keeping his promise he now is charter member of Spartan Wings, and flies a Cessna 172 and Piper Archer. Doug lives near Mason with his wife Mary who he met a college in 1978., and he has two sons. Doug works at the Ingham County Parks Department and is responsible for several parks in the area.

 

Terry Lutz

Terry currently resides in France and serves as test pilot for Airbus (pictured here in the A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, which he landed for the first time in the U.S. on 03/19/2007 at JFK International Airport in New York). Before becoming a test pilot, he flew and trained other pilots for Northwest Airlines. He also flies a 1940 Luscombe 8A, is building a RV-8, and is restoring a 1941 Luscombe 8B. Terry is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, and is a Chapter Flight Advisor and Web Editor.

 
 

Deanna McAlister

Deanna is a flight instructor and member of Spartan Wings.

 
 

Don McAlister, Jr.

Don is a member of Spartan Wings. He flies their Cessna Skyhawk and Piper Archer.

 

Warren Miller

Warren joined Chapter 55 in 1982 and helped complete the new facility which was being built at Mason-Jewett airport. He later became Vice President for two years and then held the office of President for two years. He is currently the Chapter Newsletter Editor. In the past twenty two years, Warren has been active in Chapter projects such as the restoration of a 1948 Champ and construction of the MiniMax. He was appointed, project manager for construction of the Chapter builders hangar, where he contracted a builder for the project and assisted in the construction of the building and the steel hangar door. Meanwhile, he has been involved with many activities such as the fly-in breakfast, air shows and young eagles.

Warren built a modified Fisher 303 ultralight in the mid 80's and flew it for ten years. The little plane was capable of reaching a speed of 70 mph and was a joy to fly. As a trade off to this project, he had to build an in ground swimming pool for his wife Bonnie, as there would be no flying until it was done!! Warren later purchased a 1971 Cessna 150, soloed it in 6 hours and flew it for 12 years.

Being a career State employee, Warren worked 38.5 years in various departments, DNR, Military Affairs and later retired from the Dept. of State, Bureau of Automotive Regulation in 1996 where he was an Investigator in the Compliance Division. He lives in south Lansing, near Holt, with his wife of 34 years who is also retired from State employment and they now enjoy riding a new Harley Soft-tail Classic motorcycle and going to Florida for the winters.

 

George Moore

George lives in Napoleon, Michigan, where he built, with his son, Craig, a new home in 2002. Now retired, with degrees in science from Eastern Michigan University and U of M, as well as, an associate degree in digital electronics, he taught general science and biology at Forsythe and Scarlet middle schools, Ann Arbor, and Huff Jr. High school in Lincoln Park, Michigan. He later instructed at Washtenaw Community College teaching botany, zoology, physiology, earth science, digital electronics, and applied math. He also worked for the University of Michigan Hospital as a medical transcriptionist. Since his retirement, George has developed a part-time business doing medical radiology reports using his home computer.
He learned to fly at the Detroit Wayne Major Airport in 1957 and holds an instrument rating. A lot of his flying time is in a Mooney, and much of it was on instruments. On many of the great days we have at the Mason Airport, you can see George in the air in his beautiful KIS aircraft, an all-fiberglass design featuring a 135 hp Subaru Legacy 2.2 liter engine. The airplane looks great, has it's own unique sound as it flies overhead, and really moves through the sky. George is now an experienced homebuilder and true experimenter, as he has taken the steps to learn about the Subaru engine and it's electronic engine control system, and the integration of an auto engine with the requirements of an airplane.

 
 

David Paul

David currently flies a Cessna 182 and is restoring an Aeronca Chief.

 

Ron Pierce

 

 

Joe Pirch

"Jet Propelled" were the first words out of Joe Pirch's mouth. He soloed in a C-150 and got his private pilot license in 1967. He currently owns a Starduster which he purchased while shopping around for a Cessna 150. Ask him to tell you about picking the Starduster up in Texas.

 

Bill Purosky

Bill has served as Chapter 55 president and vice president. He is president of Spartan Wings and serves on the Great Lakes International Aviation Conference committee. In his spare time, Bill continues to work on his Glastar project.

 

Dan & Margaret Schiffer

Dan has been an EAA55 member since 2000, along with his wife Margaret in recent years. His family has always had pilots and he grew up with aviation in his blood. He was told he took his first ride in a Piper Cub before he was born. He soloed in a 7AC Champ in 1969 and has since acquired multiple ratings. He has also been blessed to fly and/or own a variety of aircraft - including L29 & L39 Czech Jets, T33A &T33C Shooting Star Jets, A37A Dragonfly (Viet Nam era) Jet, F4U-5 Corsair, AT-6 Texan, Stearman, Barons, Cessnas, and Citabria. Dan lists Cessna aircraft are his favorite and he had tears in his eyes when he sold his C182 - but I think that is true of most every plane he has watched fly away. Dan has used most planes for business & pleasure; so, while he has owned over 30 planes (so far), he says he has never kept one for very long. That was until he purchased his first AT-6 SNJ/Texan. He's owned four T6s since 1995 and he lists the T6 as his all-time favorite aircraft. Dan liked the Czech L39 which he owned for 7 years. The family bought several Stearmans right after WWII to fly from the family farm near Remus, MI and it is a wonderful aircraft. His dad even attempted to use a surplus military parachute and jump from the Stearman flown by one of his brothers. At 3000 ft., he climbed out on the wing and while standing there hanging onto the strut, got scared. They landed with him on the wing and had to pry his fingers off the strut. Dan states "My dad also witnessed his younger 16 year old brother's accidental death in a Stearman. That, plus a few other Stearman accidents with his brothers, created a fear of the Stearman in my dad and I grew up with that. My dad never seemed concerned about any aircraft that I flew (not even the Jet Fighters) but he didn't want me to fly the Stearman. After my dad passed, I purchased my first Stearman and flew it 50 hours before I sold it. Physically, I have no problem flying the Stearman; for me it's a mental problem. My cousins, Al & Mike, each have a Stearman and several good friends have them, and now I have another... my dad's spirit still talks to me and I'm working on getting mentally comfortable with this plane."

Dan's hanger is located at TEW Mason Jewett and he welcomes all EAA55 members to visit whenever he is on the field. In 2008, Dan and Margaret retired from their business of 35 years, Schiffer Mason Contractors, Inc. They love to travel, but miss family, friends, airplanes & pets so they limit their travel to 5-10 day spurts.

Dan is active on several boards including the LCC Foundation and the Mason Jewett Advisory Group, hoping to maintain and improve TEW for now and into the future. Dan is also the Airport Support Network Representative for the AOPA. Dan says "I love all aircraft, just some more than others." (ed 10/2011)

 
 

Tom Schroeder

Tom has a restored 1947 Luscombe 8-E. He learned to fly in a Champ at the old Davis airport in East Lansing.

 
 

Tom Sheehan, Jr.

Tom currently flies a Cessna 170B and a Piper PA-23-180 Geronimo. His current project is an EAA Aerosport. Tom lives at the Skyway Estates Airpark. He taught finance at Embry Riddle University and is an alumnus Lockheed-Martin. He has performed management consulting for several airports regarding airport development issues.

 
 

Jim Spry

Jim is building a RV-8. He has the tail done and is now working on the wings.

 

Ken & Vickie Vandenbelt

Ken is the current chapter president and Vickie serves as chapter secretary and membership coordinator. Ken enjoys flying their Cessna 172. Vickie enjoys retirement and is a Yankee Air Force volunteer. Together they are restoring a PT-17 Stearman!

 

Jack Voss

   

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