Below, are pictures and
biographies of each of our Certified Flight
Instructors. Click on the picture or name to view their biography.
Rich has approximately
23,500 hours of flight experience, including over 3,000 hours as a
flight instructor and over 1,000 hours in the Idaho backcountry. He has
flown over 120 types of aircraft.
Rich learned to fly in
McCall and attained his private pilot license here on his 17th birthday.
By age 18 he had his commercial, instrument and flight instructor
certificates, and built time during summers off from college flying back
country charter and Forest service support.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Rich worked as a flight
instructor for the University while earning his B. S. Degree in
Aeronautical Studies. Rich earned his ratings the hard way, through
assignments to every kind of “starter” job imaginable in aviation, from
flying checks to mortuary services.
Employed by United
Airlines in 1990. Rich was allowed to live his dream of living in
McCall, spending his days off with his family flying into backcountry
destinations in their Cessna 205 with camping and fishing on their
minds. It was a natural for Rich to find himself instructing for the
McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying Seminars, now on his 8th summer instructing for Lori.
“I’ve been blessed
to have had a wonderful variety of experiences in aviation, and I must
say that I am honored to be associated with this school and this
outstanding group of flight instructors. We all continue to learn from
each other and from our participants”.
Back to Top
Decatur Island, Washington
As a boy, Lytle
loved any kind of model airplane. Freeflights were his favorites because
everything had to be right aerodynamically to get them to fly at all. In
1964 Lytle saw an ad for a Taylorcraft in the paper for about what his
Harley was worth, so he sold bike and bought plane, all 720 lbs of
rotten fabric. The next day he signed up for flying lessons and started
re-covering the T-craft.
He eventually took the T-craft to the Bahamas twice and across the US
twice, parachuted out of it multiple times, and learned a lot about
flying. He started flying skydivers in 1965 and got a commercial license
when he got tired of flying for free jumps.
An aerobatics course in Boulder showed him what the world looks like
upside down. His first Cessna 180, a 1953 model, took him on many trips
across the country and up into Idaho for his first taste of the
backcountry in 1974. Backcountry flying has been an addiction ever
Lytle started flying floatplanes in Seattle and spent 21 years flying
for a Part 135 floatplane operator, which involved radial engines and
turboprops. Along the way he's picked up ATP and CFI ratings, flown
Alaska, instructed with McCall Mountain Canyon Flying, and completed a
Northstar, a SuperCub look-alike homebuilt that loves to go into all of
the Idaho and Utah backcountry strips.
Lytle now shares a house on a runway in the San Juan islands with a
large black cat. Sometimes he and Awos the cat travel to Illinois to
chase mice and enjoy their large hangar there.
Back to Top
Jim Larkin started his flying career in a dusty
hayfield in Donnelly, Idaho, in 1937. A three cylinder Zekly radial
pushed the old Curtiss Junior to tree-hugging heights, mostly between
Donnelly and McCall.
With War clouds looming, Jim completed CPT flight
training, then moved on to USAAF Instructor School at Randolph Field,
Texas. Assigned to Rankin Aeronautical Academy, he graduated several
cadet classes, flying the Stearman PT-17, then moved on to Air Force Air
Transport Command, 6th Ferry Group, stationed in Long Beach, Ca. He
began collecting airplanes with World-Wide Ferry flights in B-24, B-17,
P-38, P-61, B-25, C-47, C-46, and many smaller types. After
high-altitude training in the C-46 Curtiss Commando, he was assigned to
CBI at Mohanbari, India, flying "Hump Runs" to Western China and Burma.
.At that time, most CBI flying was supporting Chang-Kai-Chek and
Chennault's Flying Tigers.
Returning to Idaho, he joined his brothers in
changing the old Larkin home place into what is now Donnelly Airport.
Proud owners of a 1931 UMF-3 Sport Waco, they proceeded in making tracks
into the Idaho "backcountry". The first intensive timber-spray
operation in 1947 kicked off Jim's involvement in spray operations,
leading to an eight-year hiatus flying yearly spray jobs in the Grumman
TBM's and Ford Tri-motors.
He was employed by Johnson Flying Service until
l956, when he went to Alaska, bringing back the last remaining
Cunningham-Hall PT6-F freighter. The unique abilities of the old
bi-plane led to USFS contracts, then full-time employment with Region 4
USFS in 1957. Jim was designated director of the newly-formed Western
Zone Air Unit, acquiring the national infra-red fire-scan imaging
program, the National Radio Fire Cache, and supervision of R4's in-house
In 1964, ground was broken for the newly-formed
Boise Interagency Fire Center, and Larkin's shop was moved out to its
new quarters. Jim retired in l978 as Director, R4 Air Operations, BIFC,
now the National Fire Center. Among twenty-one years of expanding air
jobs, Jim graduated from Army Helicopter School and had helicopter check
airman added to his "duties as assigned". Jim's early spray work in the
Fords and Boeing Stratocruiser led to his assignment in 1973 to operate
two Army C-47s in Pakistan, controlling a massive outbreak of rice-stem
borer, threatening Pakistan's rice crop. A Presidential award was given
for this successful operation.
In 1960, Jim made the first "Super Tanker"
sortie: flying C-97 N9638C on a wildfire near Trinity Mountain, East of
the USFS , Jim flew several years as co-captain on Joe Albertson's
King Air 200. During this period he also crewed the Harrah Twin
Otter helping support Harrah's Middle Fork Lodge.
nineties Jim was back in the USFS DC 3, now a Basler converted
With long time
friend John Inman still operating helicopters at Twin Oaks,
Hillsboro, OR., Jim would head for PDX. John's Hughes 300 was a fun
way to comply with the bi-ennial flight review and maintain a
minimal currency in "Sling Wings".
Jim found great
pleasure participating in Lori MacNichol's Mountain Canyon Flying
He had made life
long friends, flown remarkable airplanes and probably learned more
than his students.
Jim will always be with us.
In our hearts and in our aircraft...
Helping us along our way.
Back to Top
Paul Leadabrand is the
founder, corporate managing member, and primary flight instructor of
Stick and Rudder Aviation, a Kitfox-specific flight school.
up with flying parents, in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and has
made a career as a pilot.
background as a Mountaineer, Search & Rescue instructor, Paramedic,
Fire-fighter, Forest Ranger, Para-professional Archaeologist, Law
Enforcement officer, and White Water Raft guide...but he has always been a
majority of Paul's 13,000 hour flying career has been in the on-demand
charter or corporate segment of general aviation – from Captaining
light-jets around the world, to flying air ambulance on dark & stormy
nights, to ferrying single-engine aircraft across the Atlantic, to flying
llamas and ice-cream into the remote airstrips in the mountain canyons of
guarantees to bring the barnstorming-like joy of flying back into flight
instruction with his safe, common-sense, practical approach.
Back to Top
Lori MacNichol learned to fly in McCall, Idaho,
in 1982, because she wanted to get into the most remote fishing spots in
the Idaho backcountry. Through her love of fishing, she developed a
lasting love of flying and voraciously accumulated as much aviation
knowledge as possible. This knowledge grew to include the history of
the Idaho backcountry and its early aviators. The private pilot license
led to commercial and flight-instructor ratings, and Lori carefully
began keeping notes on the essential piloting skills and peculiarities
of backcountry flying. While expanding her piloting experiences working
as an air-taxi pilot, she absorbed invaluable insight into the mountains
and canyons from the old-timers in the area. Along the way, she added
multiengine and seaplane ratings and is now qualified as an airline
Lori also discovered her true calling in aviation, as an instructor and
teacher. She now owns and operates McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying
Seminars, a flight school located in McCall, ID. This school provides
flight and ground training for both primary and advanced pilots to
improve the safety of aviation in the Idaho Backcountry. Her students
not only get expert flight instruction from Lori and her other
experienced instructors (she hand picks backcountry professionals to
help with her unique courses); they also learn the history of the
airstrips and wilderness. Moreover, they learn to appreciate the role
that aviation plays in opening the backcountry to backpackers and
sportsmen, as a means of transportation, and as an unequalled resource
in emergencies such as fires or accidents. She also stresses the
importance of flying responsibly so as to minimize the impact on other
users of the backcountry. In addition to her own courses, Lori conducts
aviation-safety seminars for general-aviation pilots and many advanced
specialty groups, such as US Border Patrol and US Forest Service.
She is currently involved in the preservation of the wilderness
airstrips across the nation and has been invited to speak in Washington,
D.C,. during Congressional hearings, giving testimony in favor of
preserving backcountry airstrips. She has had the opportunity to work
with Idaho Public Television’s “Outdoor Idaho” filming and has been
hosted on segments of “Back Country Pilots” and the History Channel
series “Modern Marvels” titled “Runways.” During the last year she
presented seminars at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
national convention, Sun ’n’ Fun, and the Alaska Airman Show.
Striving to foster the love of aviation and share
the beauty of air travel in the wilderness, Lori continues to travel and
speak at seminars and conventions across the Northwest, radiating her
enthusiasm for flying and teaching. She considers herself extremely
lucky to be able to spend every day doing what she loves best.
Back to Top
Captain Holbrook Maslen
air-transport pilot, instrument instructor, multi-instrument instructor,
Part 135, and A&P certificates. He has over 23,000 hours of experience,
including over 2,000 hours in the Idaho backcountry. He started flying
in 1949 and served 3 years with the Army Paratroopers and 10 years with
the LAPD, where he flew helicopters. He also retired from United
Airlines with 36 years of service.
Holbrook owned a skydiving school and a FBO in
southern California in the 1960's and later started a FBO in Honduras.
He continues to compete in the Reno Air Races and plans to fly a Formula
One and his Unlimited in September.
He currently owns a Cessna 180, 185, and 195; a
Russian Yak3; a Beech 18; an L5; and a helicopter. He is also restoring
several other projects for his museum, “AEROPLANES OVER IDAHO.” He
recently restored a 1937 Military Harley Davidson and a Model T.
Holbrook will roll
out the red carpet for anyone donating planes and military memorabilia
to the museum.
Back to Top
commercial pilot, flight instructor, and single-engine land and sea
ratings. He has 5000 hours of experience and has been flying the Idaho
backcountry since 1985.
He flew C-180s for
the California Highway Patrol and now owns a C-180 and PA-18.
Back to Top
Mark started flying and earned his pilot certificate in Colorado in
1972. Almost all of his flying has been in single-engine aircraft in
the mountains and the Rocky Mountain West, flying mostly Cessna 182's
and 206's. When he is not busy with his
sales job, Mark teaches mountain flying for the Civil Air Patrol, the
Colorado Pilot’s Association, as an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor, and
of course the McCall Mountain Canyon Flying Seminars.
Back to Top
I’m 55 years old and I’ve been flying since
1969 with over 12,000 flight hours logged. I am ATP rated in
Airplanes and Helicopters, with an A&P Mechanic Certificate. A
former 135 Pilot in Helicopters and Airplanes, with many years of
mountain flying in Helicopters, I got hooked on the Idaho Back
Country in 2000.
I am currently employed as a Corporate Pilot
flying Citation Jets and Turbo Prop aircraft out of Portland Oregon.
My spare time is spent flying for Sherpa Aircraft, Inc. in new
prototype “Bush Country” type aircraft. I also find time to give
Float Plane instruction in at Wiley’s Seaplane Base on the
Willamette River, and Glider Instruction at Willamette Valley
Soaring Club. By far though, my favorite place to fly and teach
flying is in the Idaho Back Country with McCall Mountain Flying
Seminars. I am eager for the new flying schedules to be announced
every year and to meet new Pilots who want to expand their flying
Back to Top
Bart started flying at age 18 and has accumulated a vast amount of
flying experience. He is a Commercial Pilot, an Instructor in both
single and multi-engine, and an Instrument Flight Instructor. He has
held an A&P Mechanic License for many years and possesses an Inspector
Authorization (IA). He is also an FAA Safety Counselor. Bart is one of
our original Flight Instructors and has been with McCall Mountain/Canyon
Flying Seminars since the program's original planning.
Bart is the former Director of Aeronautics for the State of Idaho and
has spent many years working to develop and preserve the Idaho network
of backcountry airstrips.
He owns a Cessna 180, a Cessna 150, and a Stinson 108-2 (Voyager). He
has flown nearly 6,000 hours with about 1,200 instructing, and over
3,000 in tail-wheel aircraft. Bart has been flying in the backcountry
as well as teaching in the backcountry for over 25 years. Teaching is
his passion. He holds a BA, MA and Doctorate degree as a Teacher and
At this time, Bart operates a small flight training operation in Nevada
and Idaho, to introduce youth and adults to aviation at virtually no
cost. Students that are interested in learning to fly must pay only for
the fuel and help with labor to maintain the airplanes.
Back to Top
Santa Clara, California
Woody took his first ride in a small plane in 1983. He was so hooked on
flying he started his lessons 3 weeks later. His mentor insisted that he
learn in tail draggers, so he suffered through all the trials and
tribulations of Amelia Reid Aviation in San Jose, CA. He completed his
private the following year and slowly began to accumulate hours in rented
and borrowed aircraft. He got his first taste of mountain flying in 1987
when a friend from work agreed to take him on a tour of the Sierra Nevada
Mountains in CA. He was now hooked on the beauty and challenge of flying in
During the next 8 years Woody was preoccupied with the responsibilities of a
new business, a new wife and a new house. There was no time or money to fly.
After the marriage broke up he found himself living and consulting in
Israel, not exactly the hotbed of general aviation. After returning to the
US in 1995, he picked up flying where he left off. He started to pursue the
elusive instrument rating and the seaplane rating, and he purchased a ranch
in the mountains of Northern California with a landing strip. After a year
of flying rented 172s in there, he bought a Cessna 180. He then decided he
needed the best mountain flying instruction available, so he enrolled in the
MMCFS basic course in July 1998. He became addicted to Idaho, and returned
for the advanced class every year. He took a sabbatical from his business to
complete his commercial and flight-instructor ratings in late 2000. He then
completed CFII and MEI shortly thereafter. Woody feels extremely privileged
to now be on staff at MMCFS.
Woody is an independent business and computer consultant who lives here in
McCall. When he isn’t consulting or flying, he hangs out at the McCall Old
Town Station, a Shell gas station and convenience store he has owned since
Back to Top