Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Acro Camp Announces Cast

Acro Camp Announces Cast: "We’re very pleased to announce the cast of Acro Camp. The “campers” if you will. Here they are in alphabetical order.

Paul Berliner. Paul started flying at the age of 10, earned his private pilot certificate in 1977, and has gone on to become a professional airline pilot. He has more than 12,000 hours of flight time and is rated to fly lots of heavy iron, including, among others, the Boeing 727, the Boeing 757, the Boeing 767, and the Lockheed L-1011. For all the airline experience, he has very little aerobatic experience other than spin training for his instructor certificate and recurrent upset training in simulators for his airline job. Paul has only two items left on his aviation bucket list: To train in aerobatics/tailwheel and to obtain his seaplane rating. He lives in Geneva, Illinois.

Michelle Kole. Michelle is a psychologist and flight instructor from Manhattan Beach, California. She has about 475 hours of total flight time and usually flies Cessna training aircraft and Beech Bonanzas. She earned her private pilot certificate in 2000 and has been expanding her capabilities since then. Michelle has had the spin training associated with her instructor training and been through an emergency maneuver training course, but no other aerobatic experience. She is looking forward to aerobatic training both for the fun of it and to help expand her capabilities and confidence as a flight instructor training the next generation of pilots.

Lynda Meeks. Lynda is a professional pilot who flies business jets for a fractional operator. She began her aviation career flying the UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) helicopter for the US Army. Since earning her initial pilot rating in 1993, she has built more than 5,000 hours total flight time in various rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft. Other than spin training as a part of her fixed-wing transition, she has no aerobatic experience. She runs Girls With Wings (, an organization that encourages girls to pursue careers in aviation and provides role models for girls to emulate. The organization is probably best summarized by its tagline: “Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales.” She lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Jim Rodriguez. Jim is a major and judge advocate in the US Air Force Reserve. He works as an intellectual property and commercial litigation attorney in Dripping Springs, Texas. He served on active duty with the US Air Force as an aerospace engineer and manager in the US Air Force Space Command. Jim has about 300 hours of flight experience. He became a private pilot in 1998 and has since added an instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate. He’s a Civil Air Patrol major and a member of the Lawyer Pilot Bar Association. Not surprisingly, Jim’s favorite airshow performers are the USAF Thunderbirds for their speed and precision.

Please join us in welcoming the cast. We’re very much looking forward to seeing them fly. In fact, Director Steve Tupper and IP Don Weaver had lunch with camper Michelle Kole at KJXn this afternoon, after which Don had the opportunity to give Michelle a demo flight in an OptAir-managed Cirrus SR-22.

More news soon! And watch for an Airspeed episode featuring all of the campers within the next week.

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