Staff, Columnists and Contributors

Staff Columnists Contributors

Carl Marbach
Mike Busch
Bob Kaputa
     Managing Editor

Mary Grady
     Senior News Editor
R. Scott Puddy

     Features  Editor

Brenda Carol
Glenn Pew

Liz Swaine
Arturo Weiss
Jennifer Whitley
     News Editor
Michael Maya Charles
     As The Beacon Turns
John Deakin
     Pelican's Perch
Rick Durden
     The Pilot's Lounge
Howard Fried
     Eye Of Experience
Joe Godfrey

Irv Siegel
Don Brown
     Say Again?
Paul Bertorelli
Brent Blue, M.D.
    Aviation Medicine
Kim Broadwell
    Aviation Medicine

Jeb Burnside
     Contributing Editor

Keith Connes
John Frank
Dave Higdon
     Special Projects
Brian Jacobson

Phil Kolczynski
     Aviation Law
Doug Ritter
     Special Projects
Tom Rogers
John Schwaner
Peter Yost


Carl Marbach -- Publisher

Carl MarbachCarl Marbach (cmarbach@avweb.com) is a co-founder of AVweb and its Publisher. Carl is a 4,000-hour pilot, and commutes between homes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Aspen, Colo., in his 1978 Aerostar 601P. Carl was the founder and CEO of Professional Press which published five computer magazines including DEC Professional. After Professional Press was acquired by a venture capital firm, Carl founded Internetwork Publishing Corporation and now devotes himself to the emerging field of electronic publishing via the Internet. A lifelong resident of Philadelphia until 1994, Carl and his wife Helen now live in Boca Raton, Florida.


Mike Busch -- Editor-in-Chief

Mike BuschMike Busch (mbusch@avweb.com) is a co-founder of AVweb and its Editor-in-Chief. Mike is a 5,000-hour pilot, CFIA, CFII, CFIME. An aircraft owner for 28 years, Mike presently owns a pristine 1979 Cessna Turbo 310, and performs virtually all the maintenance on it himself. He is an instructor for the Cessna Pilots Association, a long-time sysop of the AVSIG aviation forum on CompuServe, and was formerly a Contributing Editor for The Aviation Consumer and IFR magazines. Mike and his wife Jan live in a semi-rural area of the central coast of California between Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. Prior to founding AVweb, Mike retired from a long and successful career in the computer software business.

Bob Kaputa -- Managing Editor

Bob KaputaBob Kaputa (bkaputa@avweb.com) is Managing Editor of AVweb. Bob started out as a staff photographer for a daily newspaper, working on feature articles and writing a weekly motor sports column. Moving on to a second career in electronics at a large company in the Midwest while also obtaining his private pilot certificate and instrument rating, he brought his skills as a senior maintenance specialist to the airport, working on his own airplane and as a part of the "annual team" at the local FBO. Prior to joining AVweb, Bob served for ten years as manager of the AVSIG aviation forum on CompuServe, and now brings his unusual blend of skills and experience full-circle to electronic journalism here on AVweb. He lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Bob was also one of the first employees at AVweb and, of course, was associated with other av-related organizations and groups in one fashion or another for quite some time before that. In his own words:

"You eat, sleep, and breathe AVstuff 7 days a week, 365 days a year long enough, and it will affect your thinking. A dozen or so years with AVsig. Reading AVweek, AVdaily, AVconsumer, AVsafety, etc. Six years with AVweb, with AVflash, AVmail, AVlaw, AVscoops, AVnews, till you're ready to AVbarf your AVgas. A real AValanche for an AVid AViator. And since I'm one to AVoid the AVerage, I tend to look for offbeat AVenues to express myself."


Mary Grady -- Senior News Editor

Mary GradyMary Grady (mgrady@avweb.com) is AVweb's senior news editor and an accomplished feature and news writer. Mary has worked as a news editor for The Providence Journal, a daily metropolitan newspaper; a science writer for the University of Rhode Island's oceanography school; and a book editor for the National Geographic Society. She is also a contributing writer on aviation topics to Showcase magazine/The Robb Report. Her aviation credentials include certification as a Private pilot in airplanes, a Commercial pilot of hot-air balloons, and an Advanced Ground Instructor. Mary taught ground school for many years and also worked as a flight-school operations manager in Florida. During college, she loaded freight for FedEx at PVD and spent many happy hours in the jumpseat of B727s and DC-10s. Mary won AOPA's 1999 Max Karant Award in the print category for a Providence Journal feature about woman pilots entitled, "Their Dreams Took Wing."

Brenda Carol -- Newswriter

Brenda CarolAs a low-time, recently-licensed private pilot, Brenda Carol (bcarol@avweb.com) has racked up a considerable log of semi-entertaining aviation-related stories that she will share readily with friends, acquaintances or even perfect strangers who happen to ask, or not ask. She's been eye-to-eye with a California Condor in a Cessna 150 over the Coastal Range, scared senseless more than once by a snippy controller and subjected to an assortment of training theories from CFI-rated crop dusters to NASA test pilots. She's no stranger to misunderstood, intensely regulated fields, having worked as an agricultural writer, photographer and public relations specialist for the past 16 years. She once took a ride on the outside of a crop duster's helicopter, straddling the gas tank, hanging on with one hand and operating a camera in the other -- just to get a good picture. That was before she knew anything about seatbelt regulations. When she's not flying or writing, she likes to kayak in relatively peaceful bays, particularly those close to Carmel.

Glenn Pew -- Editor/Newswriter

Glenn PewGlenn Pew (gpew@avweb.com) earned his Private Pilot certificate in 1991, receiving a perfect score on his written which, as he says, "clearly points to the flaws of multiple-choice testing." Glenn has worked in production design and quality assurance for two companies that develop and produce experimental aircraft. He's built aircraft parts for distribution, public display and as samples for the acquisition of government contracts. Glenn has worked as a consultant for homebuilders of composite aircraft and was employed to create raw footage for a video construction manual. On the editorial side, Glenn worked for Boardroom Inc. (which publishes Bottom Line/Personal), he's written ad copy for the Ellenson Group (a New York ad agency that won honors for their Saab Aircraft campaign) and is contracted to develop and maintain editorial teams and interactive communities for an online magazine and forum. Glenn lives in New York City and has begun taxi testing his recently completed experimental homebuilt.

Liz Swaine -- Newswriter

Liz SwaineLiz Swaine (lswaine@avweb.com) is a member of the AVweb news writing team. A private instrument-rated pilot, she owns and flies a 1966 Mooney M-20E affectionately known as "Mike" and a Russian Yak-52 affectionately known as "Yak-52." Liz's love for aviation began some years ago when, as a reporter at a TV station in Pensacola, Fla., she was assigned the Blue Angels beat. From there, she moved to Shreveport, La. and, as news anchor at the ABC affiliate, traveled the world covering the happenings at Barksdale Air Force Base. She has traveled to Russia to cover the fall of communism, to Saudi Arabia to report on the build up to Desert Storm, and to Israel to look at the Arab-Israeli peace process up close. Her latest position -- as executive assistant to the dynamic mayor of Shreveport -- is showing her what the political world looks like from the inside, and she reports the sausage analogy is right on ... you may enjoy what it tastes like, but you probably don't want to see it being made. The fast pace of her life extends to her play ... she is a former triathlete and currently into high intensity weight training. Liz recently married airshow pilot and airplane builder Steve Culp, who likes airplanes as much as she does and can fix 'em, too. Their dark, hairy daughter named "Mollie" looks suspiciously like a dog.

Arturo Weiss -- Researcher/Newswriter

Arturo Weiss (aweiss@avweb.com) is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach), where he specialized in Aviation Safety, Air Traffic Control, and Aviation Business Administration. After college, he worked for Airbus as a Training Account Representative at the company's Miami Training Center. There, he oversaw the training programs for the Latin-American air carriers and participated in safety conferences with industry groups. In addition, he traveled throughout Latin America promoting the company's programs and products. Later, Arturo served as the Safety Programs Administrator for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wis. In this position, he oversaw the design and implementation of the organization's safety programs. His work also included managing several safety initiatives, writing a monthly safety article, and overseeing 100 volunteers at the organization's AirVenture and Sun 'n Fun events. He also assisted, and provided guidance, to the NTSB on experimental aircraft accident investigations. Arturo has since left the EAA and now is a full-time freelance aviation writer. In addition to his writing for AVweb, he has  composed several Spanish-language articles for South-American publications. In addition to his writing work, Arturo also provides consulting services to the industry, including his role as aviation consultant for Denver-area TV station, KMAS (Telemundo). Arturo lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and son.

Jennifer Whitley -- News Editor

Jennifer Whitley (jwhitley@avweb.com) is AVweb's News Editor. A private pilot living in Austin, Texas, Jen is currently pursuing aerobatics in a Cessna Aerobat. She stays active in local aviation issues as a board member of the Texas Aviation Association, and hopes to fly for Angel Flight in the near future, after she gets her instrument rating. Jen has also been known to jump out of airplanes, on occasion. When not debating the finer points of style with the AVweb editors, Jen can often be found at a bar down on Sixth Street, trying to explain the aerodynamics of a spin to her non-pilot friends, who listen graciously for a while before suggesting that she get the next round.


Don Brown -- Say Again?

Don Brown (dbrown@avweb.com) worked his way through high school and college as a lineman at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Downtown Airport (SPA), graduating from the University of South Carolina (Spartanburg) in 1980. Hired by the FAA in November 1981, he graduated from the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City the following February 1982 and was certified as a Full Performance Level Controller in August 1984, at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center. Don has spent his entire career at ZTL, earning numerous Letters of Appreciation and four Letters of Commendation, including an Outstanding Flight Assist, during his tenure. Don was also one of the initial founders of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and was the very first general (non-officer) member. He was appointed the NATCA Facility Safety Representative for Atlanta Center in 1997 and has served in that position since. He also serves on NATCA's Southern Region Safety Committee. A full-time controller, you can find Don in front of a scope and on the frequency five days a week, just like every other controller at the Atlanta Center.

Michael Maya Charles -- As The Beacon Turns

Michael Maya CharlesMichael Maya Charles (mmcharles@avweb.com) made it to the left seat of a major airline via the long slow flight instruction-charter-corporate route, but never left general aviation in the process. He is still an active GA pilot who has flown hundreds of different aircraft in his 30 years of flying. MMC also holds an A&P certificate and restored and maintains the beautiful red 1979 Cessna 185 Skywagon (N301MC) that he currently owns. He is an established aviation writer who is perhaps best known for his "Pro's Nest" column in FLYING magazine and numerous features in AOPA Pilot. He offers his varied expertise as an aviation consultant and expert witness for the legal and insurance industry, and maintains his own aviation safety Web site, www.airsafetyexperts.com.

John Deakin -- Pelican's Perch

John DeakinJohn Deakin (jdeakin@avweb.com) started in aviation as a hangar-rat and lineboy, worked his way up the aviation food chain via charter, corporate, and cargo flying, then spent five years in Southeast Asia with Air America. He joined Japan Airlines more than three decades ago and just recently retired as a very senior 747 captain -- with over 33,000 hours -- from the left seat (don't miss his column on the Age 60 Rule). Deak now rides in the right seat but you can't tell much difference. He also flies his own immaculate Robertson STOL-equipped V-tail Beech Bonanza (N1BE) and is very active in the warbird and vintage aircraft scene, serving as an instructor in several aircraft and as an FAA Examiner on the Curtiss-Wright C-46, his all-time favorite and the Martin 404.

Rick Durden -- The Pilot's Lounge

Rick DurdenRick Durden (rdurden@avweb.com) is a practicing aviation attorney who holds an ATP Certificate, with a type rating in the Cessna Citation, and Commercial privileges for gliders, free balloons and single-engine seaplanes. He is also an instrument and multi-engine flight instructor. Rick started flying when he was fifteen and became a flight instructor during his freshman year of college. He did a little of everything in aviation to help pay for college and law school including flight instruction, aerial application, and hauling freight. In the process of trying to fly every old and interesting airplane he could, Rick has accumulated over 5,400 hours of flying time. In his law practice Rick regularly represents pilots, fixed base operators, overhaulers, and manufacturers. Prior to starting his private practice, he was an attorney for Cessna in Wichita for seven years. He is a regular contributor to Aviation Consumer and AOPA Pilot and teaches aerobatics in a 7KCAB Citabria in his spare time. Rick makes it clear he is part owner of a corporation which owns a Piper Aztec, because, having flown virtually every type of piston-engine airplane Cessna manufactured from 1933 on, as well as all the turboprops and some of the jets, he cannot bring himself to admit to actually owning a Piper. 

Howard Fried -- Eye Of Experience

Howard FriedHoward Fried (hfried@avweb.com) started flying with the Army Air Corps (the "brown shoe air force before we had an Air Force") during World War Two and has been doing it ever since. After stints teaching sociology and a career in radio, he turned to teaching flying again full time, founding and operating the busiest flight school in the Great Lakes region (turning out over 400 pilots a year for all certificates and ratings). Over 30,000 general aviation hours later, he is still instructing. (He's old, but he's not dead.) Along the way he administered over 4,000 certification flight tests as a Designated Pilot Examiner, until victimized by rogue FAA officials. He holds a law degree and passed the bar, but has never practiced law. He has authored five popular flying books and a six-tape audio program, all available for ordering here through AVweb.

Joe Godfrey -- Profiles

Joe GodfreyJoe Godfrey (jgodfrey@avweb.com) mixes his love of flying with a love of music. He is an instrument rated private pilot who flies a 1974 Bellanca Viking based at Palomar airport just north of San Diego. Joe has been hooked on flying since age 6, when his parents bought a house in the pattern of Blue Ash airport in Cincinnati. He composes music for commercials, films, broadcast and corporate media and has composed and produced thousands of music tracks for America's largest advertisers. In addition to writing for AVweb, Joe contributes to The Aviation Consumer and IFR magazines. He is a director and pilot for Angel Flight West, a non-profit organization that uses private airplanes to fly indigent medical patients. He is married and lives in Leucadia, California. So far, Joe is the only AVweb staff member who has logged time with Ella Fitzgerald and conducted the London Symphony.

Irv Siegel -- Brainteasers

Irv SiegelIrv Siegel (isiegel@avweb.com) has been a full-time professional flight instructor for more than 25 years. He learned to fly in 1972, became a flight instructor in 1974, and since then has logged 9,000 flight hours, 7,500 of them as an instructor. He holds ATP, CFIA, CFII, and CFIME certificates. Over the years, Irv has held instructor posts in Nevada, Massachusets, Florida, Arizona and California. He instructed at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for four years (one year in Daytona Beach and three in Prescott), and operated his own flight school in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1990, Irv joined IASCO, where he now trains future airline pilots for Japan Air Lines. Irv has also flown volunteer flights for the Environmental Air Force, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other groups working to protect the environment. Irv tells us that he holds a B.B.A. in accounting and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies (although we haven't the foggiest notion of what that is). When not flying, Irv moonlights as an actor in San Francisco area theaters.


Paul Bertorelli

Paul BertorelliPaul Bertorelli (pbertorelli@avweb.com) is a professional aviation journalist and editor, and is Editor in Chief of The Aviation Consumer and IFR magazine. Paul is is also a 3,500-hour ATP and CFIA/CFII/CFIME. He owns a Mooney 201, and flies Part 135 charter missions in a Piper Navajo. In a former life, Paul was a newspaper reporter. For the past several years, Paul as been principal organizer of the Cayman Caravan, a fly-in that attracts hundreds of general aviation aircraft to the Cayman Islands each July. Paul lives nestled in the woods in Newtown, Connecticut, with his wife Val. In his spare time . . . well, actually Paul has no spare time!


Brent Blue, M.D.

Brent Blue (bblue@avweb.com) lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He is a physician specializing in family practice and emergency medicine, an FAA-designated senior aviation medical examiner (AME), and AVweb's chief expert on aviation medicine. Dr. Blue served as medical advisor to the U.S. Aerobatic Team in 1994, is a member of the EAA Aeromedical Council, and owns two airplanes: a Fleet 16B open-cockpit biplane and a Cessna 340 pressurized twin.


D.K. "Kim" Broadwell

Kim BroadwellKim Broadwell (kbwell@avweb.com) is a physician and commercial pilot who has combined both worlds as a specialist in aerospace medicine. He has had several incarnations, including small town doc, flight surgeon for NASA at the Johnson Space Center, and director of the medical clinic at Logan International Airport. He should be an astronaut, but his eyes are too weak and he couldn't get the rules changed while he worked at NASA. Along the way, he has served as an Army Flight Surgeon, and as a faculty member at Duke University and the University of Rochester. An FAA Aviation Medical Examiner since 1980, his medical practice is devoted exclusively to FAA flight physicals and consultations about difficult medical certification issues. He and his aviation-oriented, ex-NASA wife live in Rochester, NY. They live with their son, an E-90 King Air mushing along in the charter business, and an A-36 Bonanza used to visit the King Air when it's in the shop. This image was taken by Kim's daughter, who lives in Washington, D.C. He holds COMM-SEL privileges and the Instrument rating, and recently earned the Airline Transport Pilot-MEL certificate.

Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside -- Contributing Editor

Joseph E. (Jeb) BurnsideJoseph E. (Jeb) Burnside (jburnside@avweb.com) is AVweb's contributing editor. An active pilot since 1973, Jeb has earned his Commercial and Advanced Ground Instructor certificates and holds Single- and Multi-Engine Land and Instrument Ratings. He owns and flies a 1966 Beech C33A Debonair based at Manassas, Va. (HEF).

Prior to joining AVweb full-time, he served for two years as AVweb's Washington bureau chief and news writer, and later served as AVweb's Executive Editor. Previous writing credits include serving as a contributing editor for Professional Pilot magazine and writing the monthly news coverage for that publication. Since Jeb's professional background is in government relations -- he is a "reformed" lobbyist and has almost 20 years' experience on Capitol Hill, coupled with lengthy service as NBAA's chief Capitol Hill representative and as a representative for other aviation and transportation interests -- he brings great legitimacy and deep insight to AVweb's coverage of government affairs. Jeb's perspective on FAA, DOT and Congressional happenings -- and unique insights on the aviation industry -- has been invaluable in helping to make AVweb an effective instrument of change in aviation. Jeb now serves as a vice president for NATA.

Keith Connes

Keith ConnesKeith Connes (kconnes@avweb.com) has been a full-time professional writer since 1945, and has published more than a thousand general aviation articles. Formerly editor-in-chief of Air Progress magazine, Keith is a senior editor of Plane & Pilot and has also contributed to Professional Pilot, The Aviation Consumer, Private Pilot, Kitplanes, Avionics News, and General Aviation News & Flyer. Although the subjects he has written about cover a broad spectrum, he has become something of a specialist in avionics as a result of his best-selling book The GPS, Loran & Nav/Comm Guide, now in its sixth edition. Keith is a commercial instrument pilot with 7,500 hours, has owned five aircraft, and currently flies a Grumman American Tiger. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

John Frank

John FrankJohn Frank (jfrank@avweb.com) is the founder and Executive Director of the Cessna Pilots Association. John is a 14,000-hour ATP-rated pilot and an A&P mechanic with Inspection Authorization, and probably knows more about single-engine Cessnas than any man on earth. John flew helicopters in Vietnam and fixed-wing in Berlin for the U.S. Army, was a test pilot for Beech Aircraft, and headed up the American Bonanza Society before founding CPA in 1984. John lives in Santa Maria, California, with his wife Kris, and spends his after-hours time doting on two young sons, John III and Steven.


Dave Higdon

Dave HigdonDave Higdon (dhigdon@avweb.com) has a distinguished background in aviation journalism. As aviation editor for The Wichita Eagle for more than five years, he has established a reputation as one of the best general aviation reporters in the business. Previously, Dave held a variety of aviation journalism assignments with The Journal of Commerce, Air Transport World, and AOPA. He has covered every facet of aviation from sport aviation in Tennessee to the FAA in Washington, D.C., to Cessna, Beech, Boeing and Learjet in Kansas. He's also a professional aviation photographer. Dave is an instrument-rated private pilot and owns a very clean Piper Comanche. He and his wife Annie live in Wichita, Kansas.

Brian Jacobson

Brian JacobsonBrian Jacobson (bjacobson@avweb.com) has over 12,000 hours in all types of general aviation aircraft from trainers to jets. He has been flying since 1970, and earned most of his certificates and ratings on the East Coast in the early 1970s. Brian's diverse aviation career has included selling airplanes and flying charters for several FBOs, being a bizjet captain and chief pilot for two large corporate aviation departments, and being a professional aircraft appraiser. Brian is also a professional aviation writer. In addition to his duties at AVweb, he is a contributing editor to Aviation Safety and IFR Refresher, a contributor to Plane & Pilot, and can be heard on Belvoir Publications Pilot Audio Update. Brian has also written two aviation books: Flying on the Gages and Purchasing & Evaluating Airplanes. Brian lives in Union Lake, Michigan.

Phil Kolczynski

Phil KolczynskiPhil Kolczynski (pkolczynski@avweb.com) is a practicing aviation lawyer who manages his own law firm in Irvine, California. His national practice concentrates on aviation, product liability and business litigation. Phil teaches evidence, product liability and aviation law at the University of Southern California Graduate School of Aviation Systems and Safety Management. He chaired the 1990 ABA National Institute on Aviation Litigation in Washington, D.C., and has spoken nationally at numerous aviation litigation symposia. Prior to moving to California in 1983, he was a trial attorney in the Aviation Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., and the Litigation Division, Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C. Before entering law school, he was a Marine Corps Captain and F-4 Phantom Pilot. He is a Commercial Pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings. Check out Phil's Web site at http://www.aviationlawcorp.com.

Douglas S. Ritter

Doug RitterDoug Ritter (dritter@avweb.com) is former News Editor of AVweb, and now contributes on special projects. An experienced and respected aviation journalist, Doug is a contributing editor to The Aviation Consumer and Aviation Safety and a former contributing editor to Flight Training. He also writes for CODE ONE and AOPA Pilot, as well as other aviation publications. Doug is best known for his insightful product evaluation and comparison articles, his interpretation and explanation of complex technical and engineering concerns related to aircraft systems and products, and his in-depth investigation of aviation products, flight safety and human factors issues. He is a leading expert in the area of aviation survival and a working member of the SAE Aerospace Council S-9 Cabin Safety Provisions Committee and S9-GA General Aviation Sub-Committee. Doug is also the publisher and editor of Equipped To Survive, a web site devoted to survival equipment and techniques.

Tom Rogers

Tom RogersTom Rogers (trogers@avweb.com) operates Avionics West, Inc. at Santa Maria CA, one of the finest radio shops on the West Coast. Tom is an instrument pilot, an A&P, an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER) for avionics, and has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. (We're not sure why he got the doctorate, but we call him "Dr. Tom" and he seems to like that.) Tom lives in Santa Maria, California, with his wife Nina. In his spare time, he restores classic cars and plays a mean guitar.


John Schwaner

John Schwaner (jschwaner@avweb.com) is AVweb's powerplant expert. John is a world-class authority on piston aircraft engines, and a specialist in the engineering analysis of engine failures. John runs Sacramento Sky Ranch, Inc., a leading distributor of aircraft and engine parts, and probably the foremost aircraft hose shop and magneto overhaul facility in the U.S. John has also written two superb technical books: Sky Ranch Engineering Manual and The Magneto Ignition System. John lives in Sacramento, California.

Peter Yost

Peter YostPeter Yost (pyost@avweb.com) earned his Private Pilot certificate the old-fashioned way by handpropping a Taylorcraft BC-12D at a small grass airstrip in southeast Pennsylvania. He has since added a Commercial Glider rating to his collection. As an aerospace engineer, Pete works in developing safety equipment for civilian and military aircraft. So far in his career, he has worked on projects with all branches of the military, with NASA and most major aerospace companies in the U.S., and with companies in England and in Russia. He has been a member of the EAA, Soaring Society of America, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for over 20 years. Much of Pete's flying these days is of the short, up-and-down variety as a tow pilot with the Philadelphia Glider Council.