Field Director: Tom Hickson
Email Tom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Tom: 815-222-9209
Tom lives in northwest Illinois where he enjoys flying to
the many lakes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario Canada. With his first flight at age 8, he knew flying was his passion. Having grown up around water his whole life, it was only natural to combine his 2 passions together in 2001 when obtaining his seaplane rating. Tom has been flying for over 28 years and holds an Airline Transport Pilot license in both the United states and Japan. Holding multiple type ratings, instructor ratings as well as being a qualified mechanic with inspection authorization shows his dedication to aviation. Tom has flown numerous types of airplanes. Anything from a J3 cub to a jumbo jet. His experience extends across the board from banner towing, flight instruction, corporate, cargo and airlines. Currently Tom operates a Cessna 180 on Edo amphibious floats and has done so for the last 10 years. Living at an airpark, his wife and daughter are also surrounded by aviation. Tom’s daughter took her first seaplane ride being just a few months old and has now caught the bug as well. His dedication to promote seaplane safety and awareness is very apparent. As he always says, “You’re not having fun unless you’re getting wet.”
Field Director: Mark Wrasse
Email Mark: email@example.com
Call Mark: 920-203-9099
Growing up in Oshkosh, WI on the western shoreline of Lake Winnebago in a bay situated adjacent to the EAA AirVenture Seaplane Base gave Wrasse his first exposure to aviation. Having the largest air show 3 miles away and the busiest seaplane base in the world at his doorstep was the backdrop to a lifetime of aviation.
Back in 1979 at the age of 12 while fishing in his boat at the Seaplane Base, Wrasse met Al Ziebell and Bill (co-founders) of the Base. This started his first year of volunteering where he towed airplanes to their moorings. Wrasse’s volunteering efforts continued throughout the years and in 1998 became the 3rd Seaplane Base Chairman and held that position until 2003 when family time became too valuable. In 2017, he was asked once again to step in as Chairman and currently continues in that role focusing on preserving the past while planning for the future. This year will be his 39th year of EAA volunteer service.
After receiving his first airplane ride from Al, in a Piper J-4 Cub Coupe on floats, Wrasse was bitten by the aviation/seaplane bug. At age 15, Wrasse started flying lessons with soloing at age 16 and obtained his license at age 17, receiving his seaplane rating shortly thereafter. His aviation pursuit continued to obtain his commercial, instrument, multi-engine, multi-engine sea, flight engineer, instrument instructor, advanced ground instructor, gold seal flight instructor and airline transport pilot with multiple type ratings in various large aircraft. This focused pursuit led to his current position as Captain for American Airlines, currently in his 28th year.
His aviation passion has also kept him in general aviation owning several airplanes throughout the years. His seaplane collection, includes straight floats in the Cessna 180, 182 and Aeronca Champ. Amphibious float aircraft have been a Husky and his newly acquired Maule M-7 Super Rocket on 3000’s. Wrasse has flown and taught in multiple seaplanes from champs to albatrosses and several in between. Seaplane experiences have included extensive flying in the U.S., Canada, Alaska, Bahamas and the Caribbean. His proudest aviation accomplishment was teaching his two sons how to fly.
Currently living in Green Bay with his wife Sarah of 27 years, Wrasse has been chosen as the new SPA Field Director for Wisconsin. Clearly with a passion for aviation and the seaplane community, he hopes to help protect and promote water flying.