Bird Museum Volunteers
Bird Aviation Museum
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May 25 through October 2, 2015 Monday-Saturday, 8am to 4pm

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Museum Volunteers

Do you have extra time on your hands? Would you like to become a volunteer at the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center? Please click on the following link to download a printable volunteer information form and mail it back to the Museum at Post Office Box 817. Sandpoint, Idaho 83864. Thank you!

Volunteer Information Form

Blake Alfson

I am a High School student at Lakeland High School and I am on the Student Board of Directors for the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors, I have a 4.0 GPA, and I won two Gold Medals and made it to the finals at the World Championships for Performing Arts.

Currently in school, I participate in the FRC and I am working towards valedictorian of my class and I am planning to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. For extracurricular activities, I currently am on the First Robotics Competition (FRC) team through our school and this is where you learn how to design and to actually build a working robot to solve an annually assigned challenge and demonstrate their solution in a competition. I am also beta testing a new competition for MIT called ZERO, I am practicing fencing on my own (our group got the boot from its old place last year), volunteering at a local chess club, and I am on the Scholastic Bowl team for my school. Overall, I keep very busy and in my spare time some of my hobbies are reading and doing Sudoko. I occasionally play video games, mainly puzzle or strategy games.

A life experience that tops my charts so far is attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and that is where “I learned to think, discuss, question and analyze, combine knowledge with goodness and acquire the intellectual skills that ensure a love of learning and a lifelong commitment to helping others.”

As far as the most memorable event, that would be 9/11 because that is the only major historical event that I have lived through. I enjoy volunteering at the Museum because of the knowledge contained and coupled with the amazing people who already work here, it is a great experience.

Chales Ballo

Charles Ballo

I moved to the Sandpoint area after retiring from accounting in Florida.  I am a recreational pilot with a Cessna 175 and stay involved in the aviation world by belonging to the Quiet Birdmen, Experimental  Aircraft  Association and as treasurer for the Friends of the Sandpoint Airport.  I served my country in the U.S. Army Security Agency, finance department.

I believe that we should all do good to family and friends.

Volunteering at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center affords me the opportunity to help the youth of today fulfill their dreams.

Pam Bird

Pamela Riddle Bird, Ph.D

Founder and CEO
Innovative Product Technologies, Inc.

Dr. Pamela Bird is an internationally recognized commercialization expert.  She is the Founder and CEO of Innovative Product Technologies, Inc. (IPT, Inc.).  IPT, Inc. is a product and technology based market commercialization corporation located in Gainesville, FL with a branch office in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Board of Advisors to this company include:  Mr. Lloyd Bell, physicist and former advisor to J. Louis Reynolds (Reynolds Aluminum) and Kenneth Parker (Parker Pens); Dr. Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade® with worldwide sales of $1.25 billion annually; Mr. Harris Rosen, successful hotelier and entrepreneur; Mr. Ed Shadd, a member of the development team that created the UPC bar coding system; Mr. John Weber, founder and former CEO of Monchik-Weber Corporation—sold to McGraw-Hill in 1984; Mr. Jim Fergason, inventor of the liquid crystal display (LCD); Dr. Robert Rines, inventor of sonar, Ms. JoAnne Hayes-Rines, Founder and former Publisher of the Inventors Digest Magazine® and Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the medical respirator/ventilator.

Dr. Bird is a “key player” in the technology-transfer process.  She is a liaison between inventor organizations, venture capital organizations, entrepreneurial networks and research park facilities.  In fact, Dr. Bird was interviewed and has served as a consultant to the ABC television network program 20/20 as a national new product development and commercialization expert.  She works diligently with her clients (inventors) to bring new products to the end consumer with “hands on” experience by working with national buyers in retailing, pricing, promoting, packaging, and distributing products.  She also works with manufacturers regarding production of new products and with investors to capitalize new business ventures.

Dr. Bird is the author of over 70 publications and has been quoted and featured in numerous newspapers throughout the country including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s – The Dow Jones, Business and Financial Weekly, Forbes Magazine and the Miami Herald.  She has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows including the GOLDEN LIFESTYLES TV Show.  Dr. Bird was a “Product Evaluator” for ABC Television’s new series titled, “American Inventor.”  Dr. Bird is the author of Inventing for Dummies® published by Wiley Publishing Company, owner of the Dummies ® series.
At the request of the U.S. Consulate, Dr. Bird served as the “keynote” via satellite conference with China officials regarding new product commercialization and evaluation in the United States.

Dr. Bird is the Founder of the Inventors Educational Foundation.  This is a non-profit public charity to assist in the educational as well as commercialization needs of innovators and entrepreneurs from all ages and walks of life who have new ideas, products and technologies.  She co-branded the first credit card in the nation with MBNA (one of the largest credit card companies in the world) to start the first credit card for innovators, patent attorneys and patent agents.  All proceeds Dr. Bird receives from this card are donated to the Inventors Educational Foundation.

Dr. Pamela Bird and her husband, Dr. Forrest Bird, are the Founders of the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.  This is the world’s only aeromedical museum featuring more than 20 unique aircraft, rare vintage cars and a unique display of inventions from some of the greatest inventors in history who have impacted the world forever.  The museum also includes over 100 medical respirators, inventions from the pioneering of medi-evac, anti-g suit pressure regulator and the Baby Bird® (First mass produced worldwide respirator for babies, lowering the mortality rate for premature babies from 70% to 10%).  The museum’s motto is, “One person can change the world and it can be you!”  The Birds’ hope is to get more young people interested in math, science, innovation and aviation.

Dr. Pamela Bird is a licensed pilot with interests in aviation, horseback riding, snow skiing, gardening and boating.       Back to Top 

Jeff Bock

My name is Jeff Bock and my wife Carol and I currently reside in Clark Fork, Idaho. I love flying so much because my father was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II and I saw his passion and at around the age of 16, I soloed in an Aeronca 7AC and something snapped in me and I haven't been the same since. I retired from Northwest Airlines and while working from them, work unwittingly fed into my addiction by providing me with great aircraft to fly about half the world. Flying over typhoons, looking down into the red of an active volcano, the colors of a South Pacific sunrise, the Aurora Borealis as most people never get to see and Noctilucent clouds that are truly awesome. Flying is a dimension that has to be worn to truly appreciate.

My Dad flew in the Army Air Corps during WWII and then ended his career flying the Boeing 707 for the Flying Tiger Line.  I was fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 727, 707, the DC-10, and best of all the B747.  Instructing on the 747 for 12 years was the highlight of my career as I found I truly loved teaching. 
I rather enjoy my commute to my days as a docent for the Bird Aviation Museum as I hop across the lake in my Lake Buccaneer amphibian.  How tough can it be when I can park the airplane about 50ft from where I work.

The best part of this scheme is having my son Ian flying Captain for Idaho Power in a Cessna Citation II Jet which makes him third generation ATP jet rated pilot in the family. My wife for life Carol is pretty much running the Clark Fork Valley Fire Department, which is an all volunteer department that serves both the residents of Clark Fork and the surrounding rural areas. Our service encompasses 77 square miles of city, rural and forest lands and extends from the Cabinet Gorge Dam to Denton Slough. After dedicating time to the fire department, we keep our blended family all tied together. Overall, life in North Idaho is great! My son Adam was a crew chief on the F-15 jet while in the United States Air Force, daughter Aimee and husband Shawn have a Cessna 172 and are almost finished building a Sportsman 2+2 that will probably go on amphibious floats.  My stepdaughter Amber is a Speech and Hearing Pathologist and my stepson Nick has been working for an architectural firm in Korea and now entering a Masters program in Architecture at the University of Washington.  Grandson Cayden is fun to have but I fear he may well be the next Evel Knievel and our two year old Granddaughter Sophia is the one who has Grandpa all figured out.  And that's just fine.      Back to Top 

Al Branson

Allan “Al” Branson

My wife and I have been residents of Martin Bay since 2000.  I retired in 1995 after 28 years in the electrical wholesale field.  Barb and I have been married to 53 years and have two sons and two grandsons.  Our youngest grandson is serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

I enjoy building models and photography, and  love to collect things.  I have a collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to 1915.  I serve as VP on the Gamlin Lake Cemetery Association board and serve on the board at the Church in the Wildwood.

My favorite advice is “Keep ‘em flying” and to me the most memorable historic event was the invasion at  Normandy during  WW II.

My wife and I love to travel, we were recently in Europe, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Alaska and Nova Scotia.  We have driven across Western Canada as well.

I enjoy volunteering at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center where many of my military models are on display, and of course Dr. Bird’s medical devices that have been so very beneficial to my health.      Back to Top 

Barb Branson

Barbara “Barb” Branson

My husband and I have been residents of Martin Bay since 2000.  I also retired that year from the St. Paul Insurance Co. as a commercial insurance technician after 18 years.  We have two sons and two grandsons, the youngest of which is serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

I enjoy sewing, reading and fishing.  I am on the board of the Gamlin Lake Cemetery Association serving as Secretary/Treasurer.  I also teach Sunday school at the Church in the Wildwood and am the Secretary for the Emerald Beach Homeowners Cooperative Association.  As if that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I work full time at Percussionaire Corporation.  I believe in the respirators that we make and the good that they do for people.

Words that I have always found comfort in are paraphrased from the Bible,”God is faithful in all things.”

For me the most memorable historic event was when Israel became an independent nation in 1948.  I believe that God’s clock began to tick again and we are in the days of the events in the book of Revelations.

I love to travel with my husband Al and I want to go deep sea fishing.      Back to Top 

Scott Brusaw

I have a successful marriage, five children and a grandchild.  Ten years as a Scouting Leader for the Boy Scouts of America (Cubmaster and Scoutmaster, several awards including a life-saving medal).  I am currently the Sagle Scoutmaster for Troop 140 and I’ve been a  4-H leader, a children’s sports coach (football, basketball and baseball), and a Sunday school teacher.  I am active on the board of directors at the Church in the Wildwood.  I served in the U.S. Marine Corps and have the satisfaction that comes with knowing that I have served my country and community with honor.

My favorite quote is, “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on.  I don’t do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.”  John Bernard Books (John Wayne – The Shootist).

I would have to say that September 11th, 2001 is the most memorable event of our time.  The anger, the outrage, and the tears that flowed that day and the days that followed will be with me forever.  God forbid we ever forget or try to minimize the infamy of that day.

Volunteering at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center is a way to “give something back”.  Forrest, Pam and many other people in the community have been so helpful with our Solar Roadways project that I felt it was the least that I could do.  Also, I have always dreamed of becoming a pilot, so it’s a pretty good fit.      Back to Top 

Mike Carlson

Throughout my lifetime I served in the United States Army at Tripler Army Medical Cetner in Honolulu, Hawaii from 1974-1976. After the military, I returned to civilian life and as an emergency physician at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Washington and retired in 2004.

Now retired and in my spare time I enjoy maritime history, particularly great age of sail, age of discovery and ancient intercontinental exploration, lighthouses and life saving services. I also enjoy water sports ranging from body surfing, swimming, rowing and sailing (especially tall ships). My volunteer activities include being a volunteer fireman and medical director with the Mica-Kidd Island Fire District since 1985 and this is my longest volunteer association and what I am most proud of.

One of my greatest and most fascinating memories watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon, it was the pinnacle of man’s exploration. My greatest accomplishment is being married to my wife Judy of 40 years, raising three children whom are all good citizens and self supporting. My favorite motto is the “Golden Rule” and I believe it works pretty well.

I enjoy volunteering at the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center due to Dr. Bird’s respirators, the use of which covered my entire career.      Back to Top 

Mark M. Collins

I am a private pilot of 15 years and I divide my time between the Bay Area and Coeur d’Alene.  I successfully launched and ran a medical information/software company.  My wife is an award winning novelist and together we raised three wonderful children.

My favorite response to the myriad events life throws my way, be it success or failure, is “It was God”, from Genesis 45:8.

The event with the most impact on my life is the financial crisis of 2008-2009 because it impacted my entire plan for retirement and professional pursuits.

I volunteer at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center because I love aviation and Dr. Bird is such an inspiration.  It is important to me to be able to give to something that I believe in, the Museum and associated programs are doing so much for people.      Back to Top 

Roger Daar

I served in the United States Army as a paratrooper aspart of an infantry.

My greatest accomplishment was getting my wife Sherry to marry me!

Some of my hobbies are volunteering as a Bonner County Planning Commissioner, Idaho ESGR Member and I am also a Homeowners Association President.

My favorite motto that I live by is from the U.S. Military Academy, “Duty, Honor, Country”.

I would say for my most memorable historical event was the election of Barack Obama. I believe it fundamentally changed the direction of our beloved country and will destroy capitalism as we know it and put the United States on the road to National Socialism.

My friends Tom & Joyce Lane were instrumental in introducing me and getting me involved with the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.      Back to Top 

Rich Faletto

Rich Faletto

Rich is a retired USAF officer who served 21 years on active duty as a Supply and Logistics officer. He spent his early years in support of radar and communications equipment, as well as fighters and helicopters, in the Continental US, Alaska and Southeast Asia. In the remaining years of his career he was a Foreign Military Sales logistics program manager for the F-16 Air Combat Fighter for Iran, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Turkey. Later, he served as a support equipment program manager for the B1-B bomber while at Strategic Air Command Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

He has been recognized with several awards and decorations including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. As a civilian, he was awarded the Air Mobility Certificate (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) for support of USAF operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

After his retirement from the USAF, Rich worked For Federal Express, Evergreen International Airlines and Aerostar Aircraft Corp. in aircraft parts management and sales. Upon moving to north Idaho, he worked in the real estate industry in sales, mortgage lending and business development.

With his military background and sales experience, Rich is uniquely qualified to represent TRUST VETS and serve his fellow Veterans.

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Ted Farmin

Ted Farmin

I am a fourth generation native of Sandpoint where I have raised three children and learned many trades.  I’ve been a pilot for 45 years, flying commercial, instrument, CFI in land, sea and glider.  I currently fly an RV-4  and am building an RV-12.  I am involved with the EEA and Young Eagles.

The assassination of President Kennedy was a most memorable event; I was peeling  potatoes on KP duty at Fort Ord California.

I volunteer at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center because I enjoy being around  the airplanes and people that have an interest in aviation.      Back to Top 

Don Hanes

I am a pilot and have been since 1968 and have ratings to fly SEL, Instrumental and Commercial. I worked and retired from American Airlines after 35 years. Other than flying some of my other hobbies are fishing and hunting.

As far as historical events in my lifetime, the most memorable to me was the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a result of the United States' entry into World War II. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war that the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia, against Britain and the Netherlands, as well as the U.S. in the Philippines. The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.

My interest in volunteering at the Bird Aviation Museum was the opportunity to meet so many interesting people, especially flyers and youngsters interested in the history of flight and the opportunities to expand their knowledge of the importance of invention, which led this National to be the FIRST in saving lives and leading the world in technology.

I live with my wife Corky in North Idaho.      Back to Top 

William Hertzberg

William Hertzberg’s Intellectual Property Development Consultancy is a small product commercialization consultancy which specializes in facilitating the development and placement of product properties. Generally, activity is limited to early-stage product programs—ideation, market research and market development, and licensing or alliance development. 

My inventions and innovations have been featured in national consumer magazines, dozens of industry journals, on national television, and in the famous Sears Catalog.  I hold U.S. Patents and am a co-author of a nationally distributed book on innovative education featuring a forward by one of this century’s greatest innovators, R. Buckminster Fuller.  My product development and market development experience spans several industries, disciplines, markets, distribution channels and marketing communication media.  For example:

In the eighties, 1983-1985, I invented and developed the FoodTools Pastry Slicing machinery, an automated commercial slicing machine for round-cake product (incorporating automated placement of wax-paper separators).  The machinery and brand remain the standard in the industry today. With corporate end-users such as Sara Lee, Pepperidge Farms, and most of the industry, this invention has now serviced the food processing industry for twenty years.   I continued my development activity within the commercial food processing equipment field, inventing a fully automated In-Pan Slicer in 1989, the first of which was sold to Sara Lee International for $80.000.

In 1984 I introduced the Kiddie Belt, the original child restraint safety belt for use in supermarket shopping carts.  Initially, I introduced the Kiddie Belt as a juvenile products item through placement in the Spencer Gifts Catalog.  Following this initial release to the parental market as a consumer item, I pioneered the sale of these unique restraint devices directly to grocery retailers, as a commercial item.  Such restraint devices have now become the standard in supermarket shopping cart child safety.

In the early nineties, 1990-1992, I invented and introduced the innovative Zipper Retractable Truck Shell, an automotive aftermarket truck accessory product which was designed by what is now BMW’s international award winning design firm. The Zipper was accepted by Sears and appeared in the Sears Catalog as well as scores of national magazines and national television.

In the mid-nineties, 1994-1996, we pioneered and introduced long-form infomercials (direct response television) to Australia, operating as Australia’s Home Shopping Store (HSS).At that time, HSS was the largest buyer of long-form infomercial advertising media in Australia. We went to air with such campaigns as Miracle Blade, Tony Little Target Training, Flying Lure, Regal Cookware, and many more.

In 2000 I introduced many products and several were released to market, both through licensing or alliance agreements, or in limited cases, direct release.  Through the direct marketing catalog medium I placed an innovative item in the apparel accessory category, Cool N' Neat, an interior hat-band which eliminates “Hat Hair”.  Also, through direct marketing catalogs I placed Pivotal Security Devices’ Hose Bibb Lockout, a water conservation and safety device in the industrial safety category.

In 2000, I licensed an innovative lawn and garden product, Border Solutions Snap Together Flowerbeds, to an established New York based lawn and garden company with tradition distribution channels to garden centers nationally.  

In 2000, through the direct response television medium, I placed Stain Buddy Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner on QVC, the premiere home shopping channel.  This product  typically generates 30k to 80k in sales during each eight minute airing.  Under the brand name Spot Doctor we have placed a concentrated version of the above formulation on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).  In 2005, we signed an agreement with TimeLife to release a commercial television campaign for the formula under the brand Stain Pal. 

In the juvenile products category, I licensed the BirdNest Baby Transport System to an established company that has serviced the juvenile products market for 65 years.  The BirdNest Baby Transport System is currently in K-Mart Stores, J.C. Penney’s Catalog, Toys R Us/Babies R Us, and several specialty juvenile products catalogs, as well as scores of independent retailers across the country.

Recently, with the assistance of Tarlow Designs, I designed a manual recount device which was used by the state of Ohio to conduct the first manual recount of the new Diebold TSX electronic voting machine.      Back to Top  

Jan Lee

Jan Lee

I graduated from North Olmstead High School in 1970 and then went onto Iowa State and Pellissippi State with a degree in Marketing. Throughout my life I have had many experiences from over 20 years of automotive service to 6 years of electronic automotive tool development and product management to 5 years of day trading to currently the owner of Sandpoint Inspection.  I am an experience home inspector that provides a visual inspection to a home, while calling attention potential problems that are easily overlooked by the untrained eye.

Some of my hobbies other than flying are mountain biking, snowboarding, and I am the President of the local Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1441 here in Sandpoint. “EAA is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds. EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes. Through the decades, the organization expanded its mission to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicoptors and contemporary manufactured aircraft.”

My wife Paula and I have raised our sons and we are both pilots living in the North Idaho area.      Back to Top 

Gary Mladjan

Gary Mladjan

President and CEO of Bright Flash Development Inc. and Primary System
Architect for the "Idaho Project" which is:
"An Alternate Method for Underground Mining"

Bright Flash Development Inc is a company with a cadre of highly skilled mechanical and opto-mechanical engineers, physicists, metallurgists, electronics engineers, geologists and environmentalists bringing the various technologies from the defense and commercial world into the mining arena.

Mr. Mladjan is the primary holder of 7 US Patents, shared holder of 7 other patents along with concurrent International Patents involving the Thermal Weapon Sight and Land Warrior programs, circa 1990's as well as numerous unprocessed applications.

Author of Design Manuals and Fabrication process papers.

He has been a designated "Corporate Expert" on Investment Castings, Al/Be Castings and Machining, General Machining as well as Single Point Diamond Turning and Composite Mirrors.

Present goals are to keep inventing systems for any industry that needs fresh new ideas.

Specialties: Opto/Mechanical Design- Castings-Precision Machining- Molded Parts- Exotic materials and System Configurations. (see recommendations on

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Ron Nova

Ron Nova

I started flying just out of High School, enrolled in the flight program at Moses Lake Community College, and achieved an SES rating with Kenmore Air.  My wife and I have owned 5 different aircraft over the years and enjoyed many years of travel by air, land and sea.   

I am currently a sales associate for Evergreen Realty in Sandpoint, ID.  I also have over 30 years of progressively responsible experience in the recreation resort industry.  I have a background in strategic and tactical sales and operational procedures with demonstrated achievement in project management from initial resort concept design to construction with detailed follow-through.  My past employment experience includes working for Playground at Winter Park CO, Harbor Resorts (which included Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge), Mount Ashland, and Hyak, presently Snoqualmie East.  

I enjoy spending time with my spouse, Bernadette, and daughters, Courtney (23) and Chelsea (20).  We enjoy skiing, flying, boating, biking, and travel.  Courtney is currently managing internet and phone sales for Evogear in Seattle, WA and Chelsea is currently enrolled in Central Oregon Community College and is also active in the technical disciplines of alpine racing representing MBSEF. 

I served on the Bonner County Airport Advisory Board (BCAAB), past Board Member of the Panhandle Alliance for Education (PAFE), the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), Selkirk Lodge (condominium) Homeowners Association, the White Pine Lodge (condominium) Homeowners Association, and the Schweitzer Mountain Community Association (SMCA), and past chairman of the Sandpoint Air Service Committee (SASC) which established scheduled air service in Sandpoint.      Back to Top 

Paul Nowaske

Paul Nowaske

I was born in Detroit, Michigan in September, 1942.  I attended grade school and high school in the Detroit area, graduating from Notre Dame High School in June, 1960.

After attending a Detroit area community college for two years, I entered the United States Air Force in the summer of 1962 where I spent four years as an aircraft electrician at bases in Europe and the Continental US.

Upon discharge from the Air Force in 1966, I went to work for The Flying Tiger Line in Los Angeles, California.  There I moved through the aircraft technician ranks and into management ultimately becoming Manager of Maintenance Control, responsible for tracking and maintaining a domestic and international fleet of Boeing and McDonald Douglas jet aircraft.

With the merger of Flying Tigers and Federal Express in August 1989, I accepted the position of Senior Manager, LAX Maintenance Support Shops, a group consisting of ten managers and roughly 200 technicians in structures, welding, machine, engine, hydraulics, composites and avionics skills.  This skill group was responsible for the technical health of the 747 and DC10 aircraft that visited LAX for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

After three years as a Senior Manager in aircraft maintenance for FedEx, 26 years in Southern California and a desire to rekindle my love of a four season lifestyle, I chose a new career path.   A Federal Express courier position opened up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho a year after I had purchased, what I had hoped to be, my future retirement home in Dover, Idaho.  In the fall of 1992 I started a two year career as a courier covering most areas of the Idaho Panhandle.  

The summer of 1994 found me itching to play with airplanes again (as a technician, not a manager).   July that year I returned to my home in Southern California and picked up my career as an avionics technician with FedEx ultimately retiring back to Dover, Idaho at the end of 2002.

As one who did little volunteering during my working years, I have changed course completely as a retiree.  I’m currently a member of two Dover commissions - Planning and Zoning where I sit as chair and Urban Renewal.
 My former wife and I raised four children in Southern California.  Those four children have, in turn, provided us with seven grandchildren ranging in age from 4 years to 19 years – three in California, three in Ohio and one in Minnesota.  Like my father before me, I am a road warrior and thoroughly enjoy the travel needed to see all of them.

The spring, summer and autumn months finds me on the golf course as often as possible.  Biking the many paths around Bonner county also takes up much of my time during those months.  When the snow flies and my right knee cooperates, I find carving turns at Schweitzer exhilarating.  When the knee doesn’t work, snowshoeing is a great back-up sport.   I find working with house plants(the inside of my house could be considered a carbon sink) and landscaping projects rewarding and relaxing hobbies.      Back to Top 

Carolyn Nyberg

Carolyn Nyberg

I am a widow, living in Hayden, ID. Born and raised in Northern Wisconsin. My first flight was in a bi-plane, open cockpit (on skis) at age 16.

Married to Glenn Nyberg, Air Force WW11. We owned airplanes for 34 years. I was co-pilot -logged hundreds of hours. We enjoyed flying in the US and various countries which we visited. While visiting Australia, we stayed with friends living in the out-back, flying with them in their small aircraft.

We have two children and four grandchildren living in Utah, Oregon & Washington.

My employment included: Human Resources in the Medical field; Purser on a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea and School Librarian.

We relocated to North Idaho from Carson City, NV to be closer to our second home on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia.

Hobbies: Spinning & weaving, flying, down hill skiing (45 years), sailing (30 years), my sailing experiences includes crewing on a 49' sail boat in the South Pacific.

Memory interest: at the request of Moria Lear,( Bill Lear's widow), Glenn & two of his friends dismantled a Lear proto-type and shipped it to the Oshkosh Air Museum.

I feel very privileged to be a Docent at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center.

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Annette Orton

Annette Orton

Born out West and lived in Vermont a few years before returning to California for my higher education at the University of California, Los Angeles.
I majored and minored in Biology, Chemistry and Math.
Taught high school chemistry , biology and math before retiring after 33 years

While at the University, I joined the Naval Reserve and trained as a medical corpsman.
Enjoyed serving at North Island Naval Air Station and Balboa Naval Hospital for 2 week stints.

Twice widowed, I raised three very successful children, one of whom is also a secondary science teacher.

After moving to Sandpoint, I served more than ten years as a substitute teacher in science, math and all languages. I volunteered after school classes for the gifted in chemistry, Latin and French at the middle school.

Throughout my life I have volunteered wherever and whenever needed in the community.
A favorite quote that I live by is “ I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Grellet 1778-1855

At 78, I received my private pilot’s license and enjoy flying crosscountry trips and local ones in, first ,my Cessna 150 and recently in my Cherokee 140 with Power Flow Exhaust upgrade. Most recent trip was to fly my Cherokee to California to see my children and grandchildren on my 80th birthday. That was a learning experience !

I am a member of the 99s, (Women Pilots Organization) and the UFO (United Flying Octogenarians). I have flown gliders for several years too. Hobbies include reading and doing competitive swimming and triathlons. I finished 30 triathlons since age 66. My favorite sport !

I am happy to have the opportunity to volunteer here at the museum as a docent.
This combines my interest in planes, gliders and the human body.
I consider it a privilege to work beside Forrest, Pam and Rachel and to meet the many people visiting the museum.      Back to Top 

Jon Proctor

Jon Proctor

A 21-year Sandpoint resident, I was raised in an aviation family, initially in River Forest, Illinois, then Southern California. My father was a pioneer airline pilot and my brother Bill flew 33 years for TWA. Bitten by the airline bug, my vision prevented a job in the cockpit but I spent 27 years with TWA, based in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and London.

I combined my love of the industry with writing and was first published in the 1970. Since then I've authored two books on aviation and co-authored another. Following early retirement from TWA I joined World Transport Press as Senior Editor for Airliners - The World's Airline magazine, later becoming Editor-In-Chief. National Public Radio and several local radio stations have interviewed me and I gave lectures at the National Air & Space Museum, Seattle's Museum of Flight and the Flight Path Museum at Los Angeles International Airport.

Now retired and an avid reader and walker, I maintain two websites ( and, but my greatest pleasure is the privilege of volunteering at the Bird Museum.

Sol Pusey

Solomon “Sol” Pusey

I was born in West Grove, Pennsylvania in 1943. I completed my high school education at Valley Forge Military academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania. From 1961-1962, I received my Eagle Scout Award (highest award in boy scouting and received upon completion of merit badges, leadership activities and have respect for one self and others) as well as serving on the staff at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. After high school graduation and time with the Boy Scouts of America, I went to Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina and then onto Lincoln University and the USC school of accident Investigation.  During this time, I met my wife Darleen and we were best friends for 43 years and married 39 of those years and together we had a son, David.

I am a pilot and completed my flight training education at American Flyers in Ardmore, Oklahoma and over time have received at ATR and single engine sea. Some of the planes that I have piloted are the Boeing 747, DC8, MD11 and the MD10. For many years I was employed by the Flying Tiger Line and Federal Express where I used my qualifications.

Currently, I reside in Sagle, Idaho.      Back to Top 

Harold J. Radeke

I started my career in the military in 1959 in the Navy in the Iowa State ROTC program and I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aero Engineering and from 1959 – 1962 I was on active duty as an engineer office for the Navy surface – to - air missile program testing. After graduation, I pursued my goal of becoming a pilot in 1967 while getting my ASEL commercial pilots’ license. I have flow a Cessna 150, 172, 175, 177, 182, 206. In addition, I have flow the  Piper Super Cub, 140, 180, and a Cherokee 6. Other aircrafts include the Citabria 115 and 150 HR and the Mooney M-20F so my experience is a fairly wide range.

After the military, as a civilian I was an Aerospace engineer and worked on the Apollo Guidance and Control System Command Module from 1962-1967 and then the Hughes Aircraft Ground Systems in 1967-1970. I was able to see and experience one America’s greatest accomplishments of landing on the moon since I was a part of the mission and worked directly with the team. After my Navy experiences and Aerospace engineer work, I worked as a Plumbing and Heating Contractor from 1972-2005 and at that point I retired.

In my private life, I have been married for 41 years to my wife Barbara and we have a daughter, Christina who recently graduated from Vanderbilt University’s MBA Owen Business School and is currently employed by Electronic Arts in Redwood City, California. In my spare time I enjoy volunteering at the Museum, Christ our Redeemer Lutheran Church and being a Choir Member and driving the Handicap Van. Some of my hobbies include fishing, boating, and Shot gun target shooting. My favorite quote is "For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes ever turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return." (Leonardo Da Vinci). I currently live with my wife in North Idaho.
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Willis F (Buzz) Sherman Jr

I began my career in the military as an aircraft commander KC-135 in the United States Air Force for 5 years. I am a pilot and have been since 1965 (40 + years) and hold certification for ATP, CFI CFI-I CFI-ME, FE. I am able to fly Boeing (B) B747 B757/767 B737-200 B707 B727 and currently the Mooney 201.

As a young adult I received my bachelors’ degree in Business, became a Private Pilot (400 hours) in college, and retired from United Airlines after 28 years and 3 children later. Something I have learned to live by is “treat others as you would like to be treated.”

A historical event that is most memorable to me is the death of President Kennedy which was the start of numerous events that would seem impossible before they happened. Life is short and every turn unexpected, so every person should daily try to do something to improve it.

While I volunteer here at the Bird Museum, they make me feel like I am at home and my efforts would be appreciated. I feel lucky to be associated with people with the quality and compassion of the Birds.
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Todd Sudick

Todd Sudick

My flying career started in 1964 at the age of 17. I majored in Aeronautics at Utah State University, which included 2 years of A&P school. During college I was in the Navy AVROC program and thus was an active Reservist. In that capacity I crewed on P2V-7s, worked on A-3s and was an A-4 plane Captain. After College I joined the Marine Corps as a pilot and served 22 years, Active and Reserve. In the Marines I flew the T-34B, T-2C, TA-4J, KC-130F, C-117D, CH-46 and CH-53. After getting off active duty in 1976 I was hired by Trans International Airlines where I flew the L-382-30, DC-10 and DC-8-63/73 for nine years. In 1986 I went to work for PSA, which was bought by US Airways in 1988. There I flew the BAE-146, B-737, DC-9-30 and the A320 series of aircraft. I retired as a Captain from US Airways in 2007. My ratings include: ATP Airplane Multiengine Land-Type: L-382, B-737, DC-9 and A-320. My other ratings are Commercial: Airplane Single Engine land, rotorcraft-helicopter; Instrument Helicopter-Flight instructor: Single Engine/Multiengine land, Instrument. I have logged 27,000 hours of flying in 86 countries and territories worldwide and 2014 marks 50 years as a pilot. I currently serve on the Priest River Airport Board for the County. My love for aviation is what motivates my volunteer work at the Bird Museum.

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Larry Tassie

I am not a pilot, but I did learn to take off and land the "Loch" helicopter in Vietnam for survival purposes.

I served 36 years in the Army. I was an artilleryman.  I served in WW II (drafted) from Pvt. to Staff Sgt., then was commissioned and served in Korea as a forward observer, recon and survey officer.   Served one year in Saudi Arabia (1955-56), a four year assignment in Austria as assistant to the Military Attaché.  Selected to the command and staff college, then was assigned to the Pentagon on the General Staff (4 years). Went to Viet Nam in 1979, was Battalion Commander and Division Artillery commander, 4th Division.  Attended University of Utah to attain my masters degree. I was then assigned to Austria as the Defense Attaché, US Embassy, Vienna.  Attended US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. My last assignment was Alaska as G-1, where I retired.

I am Chairman of the Board, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Coeur d’ Alene Gun Club President, President Panhandle Shrine Club,  US Representative at the annual anniversary of the United States Purchase of Alaska at Sitka, Alaska.  Selected "Executive of the Year" in Spokane, 2004
I enjoy shooting both trap and skeet, playing golf, fishing, studying military history and cooking.

My favorite quote: Don't complain about others until you have walked a mile in their shoes. (Not accurate, but the meaning is there. Author unknown to me.)

Most memorable historic even in my lifetime was WW II, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the removal of the Berlin Wall. Those three events dramatically changed the world and I was there.

I have great respect and love for Drs. Forrest and Pam Bird. I love their enthusiasm and "can do" attitude. They are leaders. They are both geniuses in my book. I want to be a part of their programs.

 I love our environment and I love these United States. There is no other country in the world like ours.
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Lew Wetzel

Lewis “Lew” Wetzel

I have been a pilot for 57 years, flying commercial, instrument, gliders and two experimental aircraft. When I left for Viet Nam, I never thought I would see my family again!  I was a fighter pilot in the United State Air Force as well as chief of maintenance and operations officer.

Since 1981, I have been the caregiver for my wife who suffered a head injury and the loss of an eye. I am an amateur radio builder/operator and also an aircraft builder.  I belong to three chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association, including the local Sandpoint chapter.

I enjoy helping others and being a docent at the Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center makes my day. I give glider rides with the Spokane Soaring Club at Deer Park, WA.  I flew the head lady of the Northwest 99’s upside down, she loved it!      Back to Top 

Dan Wimberly

Dan Wimberly

Throughout my young adult life, I served 21 years in the United States Air Force as a Navigator/Weapon system Operator and was a SR-71 Mission Planner (there was a team of us). The SR-71 was unofficially nicknamed the "Blackbird," and was developed as a long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft capable of flying at speeds over Mach 3.2 and at 85,000 feet. In addition to working on various projects, I served two tours in Vietnam, won Mathis Trophy in Strategic Air Command’s annual Bombing Competition, had the opportunity to fly a prototype Czech jet fighter while working for Boeing.

One of the most historical events in my lie was September 11, 2001 because it demonstrated how others around the world will stop at nothing in an attempt to push their agenda against the Unites States and that is why my favorite quote is “freedom is not free.”

Since retirement, I enjoy volunteering in my local community at organizations such as the Habitat for Humanity, I serve as a mentor with Kinderhaven and volunteer at the Museum. I enjoy volunteering at the museum because of my love of aviation, history and teaching others about the wonders of flying and innovation. When I am not volunteering, I enjoying hiking, fishing, hunting and skiing and spending time with my wife Ruth living in North Idaho.       Back to Top 

Bob Weir

Robert "Bob" Weir

• Former respiratory therapist
• Met Dr. Forrest Bird for the first time in the mid 1970s at a Bird Products distributor in Southern California.
• Moved to the Sandpoint area in 2011 after driving over the Long Bridge for the first time.
• Currently working as an accreditation surveyor - inspecting Medicare Homecare Providers throughout the country.
• Part time musician and restorer of antique cars
• Single with two grown children (out of state) and 5 grandchildren
• Even though the volunteers/docents work in all area of the museum, I feel a kinship to the respiratory section of the museum. I enjoy telling the story of the evolution of the respiratory therapy field and the contributions, innovations and inventions made by Dr. Bird for this industry.
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Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center
325 Bird Ranch Road. Sagle, Idaho 83860