Board of Directors
Harry Kieling, Chairman
Harry Kieling (email@example.com), is the owner of Far North Flyers, LLC, an Anchorage based flight instruction company. Harry has been flying over 51 years and has flown over 75 types of aircraft, including F-100s in Vietnam. He has also been combat ready in the A-10, F-111, A-7D, OV-10, and O-2 aircraft. He spent 10 years flying the A-10, including two years in Alaska. During His last Air Force assignment he flew C-12s throughout remote Alaska. He has been a fighter squadron commander and an Air Force wing commander. Harry has instructed in the aviation program at the University of Alaska Anchorage and flew Part 135 Air Taxi. He holds ATP, MEI, CFI, CFII certifications. He flies his own Cessna 185 on amphibious floats. He is a past commander of the Elmendorf CAP squadron. Harry served as Anchorage City Manager and was in FEMA before becoming the Alaska Regional Director, Office of Aviation Services, Department of the Interior in October 2005. He held this position until October 2015. During his years with OAS he was instrumental in organizing the Unmanned Aircraft program and was a qualified Raven Small UAS instructor. He has been on the Safety Foundation’s Board of Directors for over 20 years and currently hosts the statewide television program “Hangar Flying” on Alaska Public Media.
Mary O' Connor, Secretary
Mary O'Connor joined the AASF Board of Directors in 2011. She is currently the Aviation Safety Program Manager at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, where she directs research and works with industry representatives, government agencies and non-government organizations to develop and evaluate safety interventions. Her previous job with a Native corporation required frequent travel to rural communities; she appreciates the challenges presented in the different types of flying that are practiced in Alaska. She has been a pilot for over twenty years and holds a certified flight instructor rating; she flies a Cessna 150 with a tailwheel conversion and a 170B – neither of which can claim a great paint job!
Pete Brown has been flying in Alaska since 1973 and is now retired after a career in banking and investment. He owns and flies a Cessna 170B as well as a vintage Schweizer SGS 1-23G sailplane. Pete is an active CFI-G with the CAP, a FAAST team member, and is the Treasurer of the Soaring Society of America Foundation. Pete has also been a past member of the Airport Advisory Commissions for both Merrill Field and the Palmer Municipal Airport.
Mr. Capozzi recently retired having served in various pilot and management positions for 42 years including 18 years in Alaska. He is a CFII and enjoys flying his Cessna 172 around Alaska. Positions held in Alaska include the Director of the University of Alaska Anchorage Aviation Technology Division, Vice Commander of 11th Air Force, Commander 611th Air Operations Group and Senior Systems Analyst in the Runway Safety Office of the FAA Alaska Region Headquarters. During his 29-year career in the United States Air Force, Colonel Capozzi held numerous flying, training, safety, evaluation, and command positions. He has over 4000 hours of pilot in command time including 2300 hours in various jet fighters.
Jim Cieplak is an aviation systems engineer specializing in “Next Generation” aviation technology. He holds commercial single/multi-engine instrument and private single-engine sea plane ratings, and owns a 1964 Cessna-182. He previously provided engineering support to the FAA Capstone Program, and currently is the manager for international air traffic management for ITT Corporation.
Jim is active in Alaskan aviation as a board member of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF), active volunteer with the Alaska Airmen’s Association (including sitting on the Anchorage Municipal Airports Aviation Advisory Commission), and is the AOPA Airport Support Network Volunteer for Merrill Field. He is also the current chairman of the Alaskan Aviation Coordination Council. As a volunteer, Jim has represented the AASF at industry and FAA meetings regarding Capstone and other aviation issues, as well as spoken at safety seminars on advance aviation technologies.
Tom George is the Alaska Representative of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He works with government and industry groups to promote general aviation on behalf of AOPA members in Alaska. Mr. George serves on the State of Alaska Governor's Aviation Advisory Board, and is an organizer of Aviation North Expo, a general aviation conference held annually. He also owns a small business that acquires aerial photography for scientific and industrial applications. Prior to joining AOPA, Mr. George was employed at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks for 28 years working in applied science and project management. He earned a bachelor degree in science at Oregon State University and a masters degree in geology and land resources management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He holds a commercial multi-engine pilot certificate, along with certified flight instructor and instrument ratings, and has flown for the past thirty years.
A pilot since 1970, Ed Kornfield holds an ATP, CFII, CFIG, Ground Instructor, A/P and IA certificates. He began his aviation career flying a Norseman on floats in International Falls, Minn. Ed later moved to Kotzebue where he worked as Chief Pilot for Baker Aviation before moving to Anchorage. After flying for several commuter and air taxi operators in the Anchorage area, Ed began his maintenance career and started Air Care Specialists on Lake Hood. During his flying career Ed has flown many different types of aircraft, including ferrying aircraft overseas. Ed was a maintenance inspector and FAASTeam Safety Program Manager for the FAA. He is a 30 plus year Alaska resident and currently works for the Department of Interior, Office of Aviation Services (OAS) as the Chief of Fleet Services. Mr. Kornfield joined the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation Board of Directors in 2011.