Meet the Crew
Burke Mees, Chief Instructor, Pilot
Burke is a career commercial pilot and his experience in the Goose dates to 1996 when he began flying the airplane commercially in the Aleutian Islands. He has provided initial and recurrent training in the Goose as a Part 135 instructor/check airman, and he currently provides Grumman training for private owners. Burke has written training materials for the Goose and has developed an organized routine for conducting checkouts. He also has a special talent for explaining the finer points of seaplane flying and is known for writing the book "Notes of a Seaplane Instructor" (1997, ASA)
Burke has a special appreciation for the Goose and a depth of experience flying it. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for this old airplane with the flying community.
John Pletcher, B-81 LLC Managing Member, Pilot
John has been a seaplane pilot since 1977. He holds ratings for both single and multi-engines--in both land and seaplanes. He has been a commercial pilot, but these days leaves the instruction to Burke (above).
John privately funded and oversaw a large group of aircraft mechanics to complete the restoration of N703 in 1996. With the restoration in museum quality, he had been flying his Goose privately since that time like any other seaplane in Alaska: to get into the Alaska wilderness for fishing and camping trips.
Today, John's mission with N703 is one of preservation. By offering this unique experience to the flying community, he hopes to provide for the airplane's continued upkeep at the Goose Hangar and assure that the airplane remains a familiar sight in the Alaska landscape.