Taunton Pilots Association Officers
Melinda Paine-Dupont – President
One of the most enjoyable benefits of being a pilot is becoming part of an amazing community of like- minded but unique individuals. In the last 30 years I have had the pleasure to meet many great men and women with a shared enthusiasm for flying and the history of aviation.
I have enjoyed an ever-changing career in printing, marketing, PR, graphic design and photography. My husband, Mike, and I have especially loved introducing our children, Alex and Amelia to flying and the world of possibilities that opens up to them. It is so vital that all pilots share their passion with future generations and work to preserve the rights of general aviation pilots as well as the existing resources.
I also work with the Berkley Historical Society and the Myricks Airfield Foundation to preserve what we have for future generations. I hope you will join us at the Taunton Pilots Association to preserve, promote, and expand the resources and potential of Taunton Airport.
Steve Goldin – Vice President
Growing up in RI sailing was my passion. My wife and I spent two years on a boat before we decided we were compatible. Flying entered my life late; it seemed having either time or money but not both was my fate.
My career was in the property and casualty business. In the late 90s I was working in Mississippi. Jackson was home but all my business was Gulf Coast or Tupelo. A pilots license made all my trips one day events, so a lifelong dream came true. I followed up with an instrument rating almost immediately, and have never looked back.
My wife has allowed my flying habit to include a Cirrus SR20 and 1/3 of an Aeronca Champ, so you would have to say I’m totally immersed. Since I’m retired you can find me at the airport most days.
Ted Jula – Secretary
I was less than a year old when my father asked the instructor to take my mother for a short demo flight. Upon take-off, the Piper Cub crashed into the trees. Although Mom escaped unharmed, the crash ended my father’s very brief flight training. Mom never again flew in anything with less than three engines (Boeing 727).
But my father never lost his love of aviation. He took us to every local airshow, built many model airplanes and “pioneered” in early radio-controlled aircraft. During high school I was very active in the Civil Air Patrol (Cadet), the Boy Scouts-Air Explorer program (Silver Eagle) and the cold war-era Civil Defense Ground Observer Corp (Assistant Chief Observer).
In college I started out as an aeronautical engineer, but participating in National Science Foundation undergraduate research drew me into physics and chemistry. Only after graduate school did I return to aviation. While working at a local division of Thiokol Corporation, I learned to fly at the MIT Tech Flying Club, Hanscom Field, Bedford, MA. I became very active in the Hanscom Pilots Association and served as an officer and director.
At Hanscom my wife and I purchased a Cessna Skyhawk which we flew extensively on combined camping/bicycling trips throughout the Eastern US. Later, while at Polaroid Corporation I frequently commuted between Bedford and Fall River in the Skyhawk. After leaving Polaroid for a faculty position at Stonehill College with my summers free, I also made a memorable solo VFR trip to California. I also flew several solo trips to the EAA conventions, Oshkosh.
At Oshkosh I attended various builders’ forums for several years. Eventually, I purchased a Zenith CH-701 (“Extreme STOL”) kit, assembled and flew it from an air park in Florida up the coast “low and slow” before relocating to a new hangar at Taunton’s King Airfield.
Douglas S. Cooper – Treasurer
Doug is a pilot and author and loves to share his passion for flying with others. More about Doug and his flying adventures to come.
“My name is Doug Cooper and I self-publish my stories as D. S. Cooper. My writing often brings the reader into the wild corners of the sea and the sky, where my characters feel most at home. I like surprises, and I like to write about people who are quirky, flawed, and trying to be kind to one another, even when it doesn’t come easily.
I began writing eBooks and paperbacks for Amazon several years ago while I was recovering from a serious flying accident. I’ve always lived close to the sea and the sky as a mariner, aviator and deep-sea diver so many of the characters and events of my novels and novellas are inspired by nearly forty years in the US Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine and my travels in the small airplanes I have owned and flown. I’d describe my current occupation as full-time airport bum and part-time writer, and I live in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. www.dscooperbooks.com
Frank Nowak – Director
My love of aviation and airplanes started back in the early 1950’s when our family lived under the landing pattern of the giant Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Ma. As a youngster I was awed by the sights and sounds of the huge Boeing B36 Strategic Air Command bombers flying overhead with those six 3500 HP engines turning massive 19 foot pusher propellers. That magnificent bird had an unforgettable sound as the props chopped through the wing wash. Guess this is where I got hooked!
Some years later I enlisted in the US Coast Guard and received some of Uncle Sam’s best training and discipline. Then got married, raised a couple great kids and worked my butt off in sales & marketing for a European auto parts manufacturer. Then in the mid 80’s I learned to fly the Cessna 152 at Barnes Airport in Westfield, Ma. which resulted in being awarded a private pilot certificate.
I was always a do-it-yourselfer (thanks to my fathers wonderful tutelage) so, in the late 80’s built my first airplane. It is a called a Long-EZ and is a pusher type aircraft built out of fiberglas, epoxy resin, and foam. Those propeller chopping sounds have once again returned to the sky each time my home built Long-EZ passes over the field! My Dad and many others got to share flying the “EZ” through the ensuing years. More recently, a plans built 7/8 scale WW1 Nieuport fighter powered by a VW engine was completed and flown!
After flying the EZ and traveling all over New England as well as many trips to Oshkosh, I have recently settled down a bit, flying a vintage1946 Aeronca Champ. (with a couple partners to share the load!) Partnerships are a great way to share the fun as well as the expenses of this great hobby. I have retired from work still have the EZ, and am currently based and flying out of Taunton Municipal Airport (KTAN) As treasurer of the brand new “Taunton Pilots Association”, why not check us out, join up and see what all the fun is about!