PEGGY A. WHITSON, PH.D
Space and Science Consultant
Precious few human beings are able to say they’ve been lucky enough to travel to space. Peggy Whitson, however, is in a league of her own, The veteran astronaut has an incredible list of record-breaking accomplishments to her name: first woman to command the International Space Station which she did twice (2008 & 2013); first non-military and first female Chief Astronaut, most spacewalks (10) of any female astronaut in the world (at 60 hours, 21 minutes in total), and she has spent more time in space than any other American – 665 days.
Mark Baker President AOPA – Mark has been flying for more than 35 years, using airplanes for fun, commuting, and business. With more than 10,000 hours in the left seat and a commercial pilot certificate with single and multiengine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s, Mark’s favorite plane is a Piper Super Cub he’s owned for more than 25 years. Before taking the helm at AOPA, Mark had a distinguished career in top leadership positions at companies including The Home Depot, Gander Mountain, and Orchard Supply Hardware.
Dr. David Strahle – Dr. Strahle’s early interest in aviation, beginning in 1965, led to his becoming an avid pilot and flight instructor. By the age of 21, he had already taught numerous people to fly. Expanding on his extensive aviation background, Dr. Strahle graduated cum laude with a degree in aerospace technology in 1972, which included studies in aeronautics and advanced computer systems. During his senior year, his research paper won first place at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Research Forum. It presented a new concept for identifying and tracking thunderstorms, which initiated the Datalink program that was fully installed nationwide in 2000. He continues in the development of Datalink and trains pilots on its use for thunderstorm avoidance.
Tom Clements – Tom has been flying and instructing in King Airs for over forty-seven years, first at the Beechcraft factory and, since 1979, with his own company, Flight Review, Inc. Along the way, he has been a corporate pilot and has flown worldwide. Tom has over 23,000 hours with more than 15,000 in King Airs. He is type-rated in the BE-300, BE-1900, Learjet, DC-3. He is a Gold Seal CFI. He is the author of The King Air Book and the Director of Training for the King Air Academy. He and his wife, Pam, live in Cave Creek, Arizona, and spend summer months in Westcliffe, Colorado.
Kenneth Stahl, MD, FACS, ATP – Dr. Ken Stahl has led parallel lives in surgery and aviation. As a surgeon, he is one of only a small handful of doctors who have attained triple board certification. Primarily a cardiac and trauma surgeon he is also certified in surgical critical care and general surgery. In his aviation career, he has climbed the ranks to achieve ATP certification with complex, multi-engine and instrument ratings. He is an active pilot with thousands of hours as PIC and owns and flies his own airplane for business, pleasure, and charity.
John S. Raniolo, D.O. – Senior Aviation Medical Examiner & Federal Air Surgeon’s Cardiology Consultants – Dr. Raniolo is one of the Federal Air Surgeon’s Cardiology Consultants (FASCC) and serves as a Panel member. He participates in aeromedical certification for airmen who have had a disqualifying cardiac condition. Airmen’s medical records are reviewed, and recommendations for recertification are made to the Federal Air Surgeon. The Panel meets at the Civil Aviation Medical Institute (CAMI) every two months in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He specializes in General and Interventional Cardiology and provides Cardiovascular evaluations. He has practiced in the Phoenix area since 1984. Dr. Raniolo is the pilot’s advocate and provides unique assistance to pilots who require Special Issuance (waiver). He has been a private pilot since 1989 and continues to be active in all aspects of aviation. Our mission is to “KEEP PILOTS FLYING.”
Dean Benedict – Beech hired Dean in 1975, straight out of A&P school. He cut his teeth on the earliest 90s and “grew up” with the 200, the B200 and subsequent models. He went from line mechanic to facility manager, but customers never let him stray far from his toolbox or their aircraft. In 1985, as DOM for a corporate flight department, he maintained King Airs, Barons, a turbine Beaver (converted by Dean) and an Aerobat. These gave way to Citations, Bell and Astar helicopters, and assorted twins and singles. In 18 years, no flights were missed for maintenance reasons. Meanwhile, customers from his Beech days dogged him on evenings and weekends. Finally, Dean opened his own shop. Word spread quickly and Honest Air Inc. became the place to take your King Air for maintenance. “Excellence at a Fair Price” was the motto. After a lease buyout by the landlord, Honest Air closed its doors in March 2016. In his new venture, BeechMedic LLC, Dean consults with owners, pilots, managers and mechanics on all their King Air concerns
Paul Sneden – Paul has been involved with General Aviation since 1972 in numerous roles including aircrew and maintenance. After spending early years serving as a co-pilot and maintenance manager for an E90 King Air, a four-year hiatus with the US Air Force gave him the formal training for both instruction and Avionics. Paul has a diverse background including Line Maintenance, Avionics, Project Management, and Quality Assurance. He has been instructing in King Airs, Aircraft Wiring, and Maintenance FARs since 2006. His current Business, KingAirDOM LLC, guides King Air owners and operators through the maze of pre-purchase, required inspections, maintenance, tracking, and vendors while controlling maintenance costs.
Kim Burton – Kim leads Textron’s Turboprop product support department (Team Turboprop). Located at Wichita’s service center, this passionate team of experts fields thousands of calls and emails every month providing technical assistance to King Air owners, pilots, operators, and mechanics all around the world. Kim is a private pilot and electrical engineer who joined Textron 17 years ago to integrate and certify new avionics systems on production models. She is proud to be a part of the ever-growing King Air community that keeps this reliable fleet up to date and in the air.
Robert Winchcomb – Robert has been with Pratt & Whitney for over 25 years. He began his career as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician and working with the PT6A since 1985. He joined P&WC in 1994 as a Field Support Representative in Brisbane, Australia and moved within P&WC in various Customer Support Departments including; Field Support, Warranty, Service Center, Fleet Manager, DPHM and now a Manager with PT6A Customer Service. Robert’s specialties include P&WC Engine Diagnostics and PT6A Engine control rigging.
Raj Narayanan – Raj currently serves as the CEO and Sr. Managing Partner of Aerospace Quality Research and Development Inc. “AQRD.” AQRD focuses on novel aerospace engineering solutions, and repairs of transport category and military aircraft. He also serves as a consultant to NASA, DARPA, and the USAF in matters related to aircraft sustainment, aircraft composite construction, and flight hardware certification for space mission platforms as well as other Defense Department military programs. Raj has also presented to the United States Congress on a variety of aviation, aerospace and military issues and policy and he currently serves on the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors, as well as Chair of Operations Committee and serves on the Infrastructure Working Group. Raj takes a special interest in unique and novel aircraft and has spent time recertifying and rebuilding the Beechcraft Starship, in addition, he is the proud owner and operator of a historic USAF advanced jet trainer the Lockheed T-33. He exhibits, personally flies, and uses the aircraft for flight test work within the efforts of his company. Raj holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and recently committed to supporting the United States Air Force by ensuring that the T-33 is shown at airshows which spearheads Raj’s efforts to share his aviation passion with the community by generating interest in aviation careers as well as supporting our military veterans.