Air Group One Staff


Doug English



A native San Diegan returning to aviation after a long hiatus and joining AG1 in early 2014, he is involved in most of the Wing’s event planning and has served as Safety Officer.

He is also a member of the B-29/B-24 Squadron and tours the country on FIFI, CAF's B-29 Superfortress.

“Coming from a general aviation background” he says, “it is absolutely a dream come true to be involved in preserving aviation history in these WII aircraft.”

I am honored to be working around our professional staff and great volunteers to advance Air Group One and our mission to restore and keep our WWII aviation heritage alive and our aircraft flying safe.







Alton "Boots" McCormick



Aircraft Operations, Ride Coordinator

"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". 



Bob Finnin


Aircraft Maintenance & Restoration



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!



Debbie English



Coming Soon



Steve Sheldon



Steve grew up around airplanes, an Air Force service brat of a KC-97 and KC-135 Boom Operator. Steve served himself, in the Air Force, Army and Navy; retiring from the Navy with 24 years of combined service. Though he is not currently a pilot and was not a military aircrew member, he spent his military years providing direct air support aboard three aircraft carriers.

He is an avid WWII living historian who loves keeping aviation history alive through several volunteer programs which dovetail nicely with the Commemorative Air Force.



Ricardo Brand



Education Officer & Web Design

Originally from Venezuela, Ricardo has been always pursuing a career as a pilot since six years old. He graduated in second place in Aeronautical Maintenance at Simon Bolivar University, and has some experience in general aviation and commercial aviation maintenance operations. Working close to small business jets (such as Citation V) to transoceanic commercial jets (such as Airbus 330 series); he has a good glance of both worlds at an entry level. Being extremely passionate about aviation, aerospace and technology fields sometimes means spending his free time flying a DJI Phantom 4 exploring the emerging field of unmanned aircraft control and procedures.



Roy Whisenant



Originally from Arizona, Roy chose to make San Diego his home after retiring from a 24 year career in the US Navy. A Private Pilot, Roy proudly joined Air Group One to share his interest in history and aviation with others


Christopher Van Stelle



Air Operations, Director of Air Show San Diego, Aviation Events, FlyDays! Coordinator, Aviation Business Consultant

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 Director of the MCAS Miramar Air Show and the Director of the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. He is Vice President of the Southwest Council of Air Shows, a Regional Council of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) and consults on numerous aviation events around Southern California each year including SBD Fest and others. He's the Executive Director and Air Show Director for Air Show San Diego, and had previously assisted on the: MCAS Miramar Air Show, Hangar 24 Air Fest, and USAF Davis-Mothan Air Shows.

As a Pilot, 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 Travel Channel's "Ultimate Road Trips" series. Additionally, Christopher produces FlyDays!, a monthly community outreach event with vintage airplanes, classic cars, live music and great food and planned and executed multiple high-visibility events in the San Diego region utilizing expertise in project / program management, risk management, executive presentations, media relations, and public speaking including Jerry Coleman commemoration, ESPN opening day of the San Diego Padres / Los Angeles Dodgers, Holiday Bowl, Junior World Golf Championship, and the North County Veterans Stand Down.

On the Educational side, he has coordinated between the military and various organizations within the San Diego region highlighting the importance of the A-STEM (Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs and aviation history. Established and maintained liaisons with San Diego Air and Space Museum, USS Midway Museum, Miramar Air Show, USN Blue Angels, RAF Red Arrows, B-29 'Doc', Breitling Jet Team, Skydiving Innovations, San Diego Antique Aircraft Association, and City / County of San Diego leadership. Led aviation safety, risk management matters and project management for multiple events.

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