Meet our Volunteers!

Flight Path would not exist without an enthusiastic group of dedicated volunteers who love to share their excitement for aviation.  You can learn more about each of them below.  If you would like to become a Flight Path volunteer and introduce young people to the excitement of aviation through our Flight Night program, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to get in touch with us.  Volunteers do not have to be pilots, they just need to enjoy aviation and have a desire to share it with others!

SIGN-UP TO VOLUNTEER ON THE FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

Bob Garlinghouse

Bob came to Holland Michigan via the US Navy. After graduating college at the US Naval Academy he attended the Navy’s flight schools in Florida and Texas. In less than 2 years he was flying the T-28 Trojan, T-2 Buckeye and A-4 Skyhawk. Graduating near the top of his class he was selected to fly the F-14 Tomcat (made famous in the Top Gun movies).  Bob flew with the VF-14 Tophatters squadron onboard the USS Independence, which patrolled off the coast of Iran in the Indian Ocean. Bob left the Navy with his commercial, instrument and dual engine FAA pilot ratings, but put flying aside to focus on a career in business. He loves volunteering with the other passionate aviators at Flight Path to help young adults catch the aviation bug!  Bob wants everyone to know that the military path to aviation is a fun, (free!), and exciting way for young adults to learn how to fly the fastest coolest planes, all around the world!

Jaron Prielipp

Jaron grew up in Olivet, Michigan. He became interested in aviation when his uncle would land his airplane in the hayfield at their farm and then take him flying.  Jaron went on to pursue the Aviation Flight Science Program at Lansing Community College.  He became a CFI (certified flight instructor) and trained beginning, advanced and other CFI pilots.  He took his son to a Flight Night at the airport and immediately knew he wanted to be a part of the program as a volunteer. “The Flight Path group offers a fantastic program to introduce kids to all the different fields that aviation has to offer.  The Flight Night program also lets them get hands-on experience flying and it’s a really cool thing!  The best part though is seeing them leave with smiles on their faces and that dream in their eyes!”

Bruce Wickmann

Bruce grew up in an aviation family. His father was a professional corporate pilot for a company in Detroit.  He started flying lessons at 5 and soloed shortly after his 16th birthday.  He got his private license on his 17th birthday and completed a commercial license and instrument rating while attending Western Michigan University.  Bruce flew many charter flights while at Western and took a corporate flying job after graduation.  Bruce flew for four different corporate flight departments throughout his career and logged over 15,000 hours of flight time. In 2021 he started flying again for fun and bought a twin engine airplane in 2022.  “Once a pilot, always a pilot, even if just in your dreams”.  Bruce enjoys flying and sharing the dream with young people by volunteering at Flight Path. “I hope to help young students explore career paths into the field of aviation. It is a real joy to watch these young people absorb aviation information and fly our simulators.”

Mark Bos

Mark grew up in Hamilton and now lives in Holland.  He was always interested in flying and never knew it could be a career option until he entered Western Michigan University.  Mark started flying in college and graduated with a degree in Aviation.  He became a flight instructor and taught new pilots for a couple of years.  He then took a break to focus on family and a building a career in sales.  He currently works in sales for the Bradford packaging manufacturing company in Holland.  Mark’s other passion is snowmobiling when there is enough snow!  In the last few years Mark has started flying again and is now a part time Flight Instructor at the Holland airport. He is enthusiastic about volunteering for the Flight Night program and loves to show young people all the exciting ways to get involved in aviation!

Dan Dix

Dan lives in Fruitport, MI.  He grew up in Allegan, MI and was interested in aviation as a child.  His family did not have the means to foster his interest but that did not deter his passion and determination.  At age 14 he would ride his bike after school 5 miles to the Allegan airport just to watch planes takeoff and land.  After several visits he was noticed by Jason the Airport Manager.  Jason saw Dan’s enthusiasm and invited him to take a flight in his airplane, and Dan was hooked!  With money still an issue, he could only dream of flight at some future time.  Years later Dan joined the Army as a 15U Chinook Helicopter Mechanic, to keep his aviation dream alive.  In March 2022, he completed his flight training and finally became a Private Pilot. He is now working to finish his instrument rating.  While he was a student pilot Dan met the Flight Path group at the airport. Remembering his youth and his own desire to learn about aviation, Dan decided to volunteer with the Flight Night program.  “Flight Path provides an inside look into aviation at no cost to young people who may or may not ever get the opportunity to experience it….and I am proud to be a part of the program!”

Todd Jensen

Todd grew up in western Michigan and lives in Holland. His passion for aviation started at age 14 with an airplane ride at the South Haven airport. He went on to earn his commercial pilot and flight instructor ratings while attending college. Todd currently works as a flight instructor and contract pilot.  He also serves as a board member of a local airport authority, and enjoys flying classic tailwheel airplanes. He volunteers for Flight Path knowing that he was given a similar chance to experience aviation at an early age. It is exciting for him to help present the opportunities that aviation offers youth through his volunteer work with Flight Path.

Doug Hekman

Doug grew up in an aviation family.  His father was a pilot since 1938.  His father’s love of aviation inspired Doug to pursue aviation.  Doug had his first solo flight at 16 and earned his private license at 17.  He went on to earn his Instrument, Commercial, Multi, CFI, CFII and ATP ratings.   Starting as a flight instructor, he went on to become a commercial pilot flying for several organizations.  After flying for several years, Doug entered the business world, owning and managing several very successful national and international businesses.  Doug was voted Michigan’s small businessman of the year in 2012, and spent a week meeting with people in Washington DC, including the President of the United States.  Doug and his wife Shar have been married for 45 years and have two grown daughters.  They attend Christ Memorial Church where their son-in-law is the lead pastor.  Doug’s aviation training was all done in the Holland area which gives encouragement to the young people that attend the FLIGHT NIGHTS. “Flight Path is a great organization. I enjoy volunteering and sharing my aviation experience at FLIGHT NIGHT”  

 

Terry Alberta

When Terry was ten, his parents took him on an airline flight, and from that day on he was hooked on flying. He was the first and only aviator in his family. He wanted to be a military pilot but in those days perfect vision was a requirement.  Terry decided “If I can’t fly em, I’ll work on em!”  He enlisted in the Marine Corps and was trained to be a jet engine mechanic.  After being discharged from active duty, he learned to fly in Grand Rapids, and was also able to use his military experience to get an aviation mechanic certification. Terry was a pilot for skydivers for five years, he flew with a charter operation, and flew for Fedex for almost 19 years.  He is now chief pilot for a jet charter company, and is also a flight instructor for VFR and instrument instruction.  His personal aircraft is a Cessna 172.  Terry enjoys volunteering for FLIGHT NIGHTS where he is able to help young people understand the “flying and fixing” sides of aviation.  He is also a volunteer pilot for STEM Flights. 

Anderson Bloemers

Anderson grew up in Holland, Michigan.  He became interested in aviation at an early age and says, “I think everyone is into airplanes as a kid, but some of us never grow out of it.”  His interest was also nurtured by parents who, although not pilots themselves, had a love of aviation.  In 2021, Anderson earned his private pilot certificate at 17 years old. He is currently attending Purdue University, studying Mechanical Engineering Technology, and is a Midshipman in the Navy ROTC with hopes of becoming a Naval Aviator after graduation. He volunteers with Flight Path when he’s home from school saying, “How could I not? I AM Flight Path.” As “student 0” he was involved at the very the beginning, helping set up the simulators and developing the Flight Night program (in part due to the fact that his mom was on the Flight Path board).  He is excited to share his experience and inspire kids, who are not much younger than he is, to pursue their own dreams of flight.

Eddy Swamy

Eddy grew up in Battle Creek fascinated with airplanes. He joined the Civil Air Patrol at 15.  He wore glasses at the time and could not pursue his dream of flying for the Military.  He started flying lessons at 16, paying for it by working on the flight line and other jobs at the local airport.  He earned his Private Pilot license at 17, and had his Instrument rating before graduating from high school.  He then added Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor and Multi-Engine Ratings.  Eddy graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Flight Technology and also added an Aircraft & Powerplant mechanic rating. He has worked as a Flight Instructor, Aircraft Mechanic, Charter Pilot, Airline First officer with Allegheny Airlines, and as a Corporate Pilot with Global Plastics, Aeroquip and Prince Corporation in Holland.  He is currently a captain with NetJets Aviation flying Gulfstream G450 & G550’s.   Eddy volunteers for FLIGHT NIGHTS and offers this advice to our young students: “Think big and follow your dreams, especially if it includes flying! Anything is possible with a strong desire and dedication to your dream. Find a mentor in whatever you pursue. I’ve had a wonderful flying career and looking back I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Become a Volunteer

Please fill out the form and click submit if you are interested in opportunities to volunteer. We rely on our volunteers to share their love of aviation, provide instruction and career advice, and also show our Flight Night students how to fly flight simulators.

Become a Member

Become a Lifetime Member of Flight Path.  Make a $50 or more donation and receive a membership card and Flight Path shirt.

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Telephone 616-368-1985

Hangar - 1581 Geurink Blvd, Holland, MI 49423

Flight Path - Where Dreams Can Fly