Air Group One Pilots

 

Jim McGarvie

 

Jim McGarvie was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from San Francisco State College in 1966 as the Vietnam War was heating up, and married Air Group One Adjutant Jan McGarvie. He joined the Navy and went to Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL.

After receiving his wings he reported to NAS (now MCAS) Miramar for training in the F-8 Crusader.

Following his second Vietnam cruise in F-8s he became an instrument instructor in TA-4s at Miramar before being released from active duty in 1971. He subsequently spent three years flying F-8's and the F-4 Phantom in the reserves.

McGarvie flew for Pacific Southwest Airlines and US Airways before opting for early retirement in 2000. He flew his first warbird in 1971—a Ryan PT-22—and in addition to his own Mooney is currently flying Air Group One’s SNJ-5 "Sassy", a P-51 Mustang and an F4U Corsair.

In 2008, Jim qualified as a Navy Legacy Flight pilot.

 
 

Darrel Cook

 

I started flying in 1991 when I got my PPL at Golden State Flying Club.  Because I loved flying so much, I wanted to share that joy with others, so I obtained both my CFI and CFII.

Since I have a passion for War Birds, I joined the CAF in 2006 and Air Group One in 2009. To help the public learn more about aircraft history and the contributions made by veteran pilots, I began helping with Wings Over Gillespie and with restoration of the L-5 and maintenance on the SNJ.

I feel fortunate to have been asked to become a sponsor and pilot for the SNJ and L3 and am happily flying to airshows and giving members and the general public flights.

Besides my work with the CAF, I have served as president of Coastal Fliers—a small, nonprofit, pilot-owned flying club.  

Since I never served as a military or commercial pilot, I am honored to fly with such experienced pilots in planes that I truly love.  It just goes to show if you love something enough and are willing to work hard, you can do almost anything!

 
 

Alton "Boots" McCormick

 

"Boots" McCormick is an experienced commercial and military pilot, as well as a flight instructor. During his 20+ years aviation experience, he has flown fighters, tankers, surveillance aircraft, and helicopters, as well as any warbird he can get his hands on. One of his proudest moments is getting signed of in Air Group One's beautiful SNJ-5, "Sassy". 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Christopher Van Stelle


        

 
 

Air Operations, Events, FlyDays! Aircraft Coordinator & Web Design


If there's an aviation event in Southern California, Christopher is typically involved and consults on numerous aviation events each year.

Christopher is currently the Air Show Coordinator for the MCAS Miramar Air Show and a Director of the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum and Historical Foundation. He is Vice President of the Southwest Council of Air Shows, a Regional Council of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) and was formerly the Executive Director and Air Show Coordinator for Air Show San Diego, and had previously assisted on the: MCAS Miramar Air Show, Hangar 24 Air Fest and Davis Monthan AFB Air Show.

As a Pilot, and Executive Officer of Air Group One, he's planned and executed numerous aviation events including Commemorative Flyovers for the: Holiday Bowl, San Diego Padres, USS Midway Museum, and Borrego Days Annual Festival, as well as, on-camera performances for a Travel Channel series airing in late 2017. Additionally, Christopher produces FlyDays!, a monthly community outreach event with vintage airplanes, classic cars, live music and great food.

Outside the Aviation industry, Christopher was an Executive in the Financial Services Industry for 20 years and has sat on the Board of several non-profit Organizations.

 
 

Mike Dralle

 

Mike has been a member of Air Group one since 2007 and has worked primarily as the PX manager. If you see him at our Airshow or event he will be the guy at our trailer selling merchandise and espousing aviation history to any willing person.

As pilot he has over 600 hours in small aircraft and is an instrument rated private pilot, currently also flying our newest aircraft the Aeronca L-3.

Mike is also an engineer at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Group which also builds aircraft for the US military.

He is also working on restoring the Stinson L-5 which he and many others in the group hope to fly soon.