Jim Witte

I started flying while in college in the late 1970s and reached the point of soloing. Lack of time and money kept me out of a cockpit until my children were in college. I joined the Flying Neutrons and earned my Private Pilot license and IFR ticket.

I worked in the financial services industry since 1977 as a trust office, portfolio manager / wealth manager. In March 2018 I retired. My wife, Marylinne and I have 2 children. Our son, Evan, and his wife, Julia, live in Naperville, Illinois. Evan is an Air Traffic Controller at the Chicago Center in Auroa, IL. Our daughter, Jen, and her husband, Ben, live in Palo Alto, CA. Jen double majored in Spanish Education and Latin American Studies at Miami Univerisity. She is fluent in 3 languages. English, Spanish, Potruguese. She is currently head of development at Students Rising Above, a non-profit based in San Francisco.

I enjoy flying because it offers me a unique combination of relaxation and challenge. The bird's-eye-view from the cockpit never gets old. Every flight gives an opportunity to learn and improve, always trying to become a better pilot.

When I retired I wanted to find a way to use my pilots license to help others. Dennis, a friend in my flying club had told me about Pilots for Christ for many years. As a result of his joyful and patient witness, I found a way to serve others as a pilot when I joined Pilots for Christ.

My father sered our country in WW2 as a bomber pilot, flying 55 combat missions. His wings are pinned to the cap I wear when I fly, as a reminder of his service. My goal is to fly at least 55 missions with Pilots for Christ in his memory and as a way to use my skill to serve others and to serve as a witness fo God's love for all.

Most memorable flying moment:

My father flew 55 missions in a B-25 over North Africa and returned to the States as a test pilot based in Florda. When I earned my private pilot license my first passenger was my father. A few years later when my son, Evan, earned his private pilot license, his first passengers were my father and me. Evan flew us to Lunken.and we had lunch at the Sky Galley restaurant there. Evan was proud of his new pilot's license, proud of smooth interaction with Lunken Tower and proud of his landing at Lunken. Evan said "Granddad did you ever land at Lunken" ? I will never forget the look on Evan's face when my dad replied " I landed here many times. I'd sign out a B-25 from the base and fly it home to see my folks here in Cincinnati". Evan was amazed that dad was so casual abour " borrowing" a B-25 for a weekend flight home.

 

 

Jeff Smith

I joined the aviation family back in 2012, to pursue my dream to learn how ti fly. Since then I earnd my Instrument Rating, Commercial for both Single and Multi-Engine.

I own a Cessna 182 that I have used for work and pleasure trips. I love to fly my wife and three adult children when time becomes available.

Volunteering for Pilots for Christ provides me with a way to give back since the Lord has blessed me with this skill.

 

Erika McCorvey-Estell, Treasurer

PCI's Treasurer, Erika McCorvey-Estell, holds a life-time membership. Born and raised in post World War II Germany, she is the most interesting chapter member.

Erika married and came to the States in 1963 and raised a family of 3 children in Columbus and Cincinnati. She retired after 40 years of service in the Accounts Payable Dept. of Macy's Department Stores. She said: "Only in America can one rise from a temporary employee to a management position."

Her interests include gardening, sewing and spending time with her family. Erika and her husband Dennis, also a PCI life-time member and pilot, attend First Baptist Church of Glen Este.

 

 

Dick White, Flight Coordinator

Dick White learned to fly in a Navy Flying Club in Memphis, Tennessee. After the Navy he enrolled in the G.I. Bill Aviation program and obtained his Commercial, Instrument and Multi-engine Ratings. He then obtained his Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Instrument Instructor and Multi-engine Instructor Ratings in the 1970's.  In 1990 he obtained his Airline Transport Pilot Rating. He is a firm believer in Jesus Christ and can never thank Him enough for what He did for us on the cross.

"Flying with Pilots for Christ is a wonderful Ministry and personally rewarding."

 

Jim Schultz

Jim Schultz served as the Chapter President for 2016 and 2017. Jim has been a member of Pilots For Christ since 2014. He retired as an airline pilot in 2015 after 40 years in professional aviation. He graduated in 1975 from Wayne State University in Detroit and served as a U.S.Navy Pilot in the Pacific. While serving in the Navy he saw his need for a savior and committed his life to following Jesus Christ. He is married with 5 children and 2 grandchildren. He attends Forestville Baptist Church in Anderson Township, Ohio.

"Serving with passion in a Christian ministry is a life changer, and Pilots For Christ is no exception! The work we accomplish is very rewarding to me and I love the unique fellowship we enjoy as a chapter. To spread the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is paramount to what we do, but using aviation to minister to the needy is a double blessing! Watching our Cincinnati chapter grow and mature as God brings new faces our way while we plan and work hard is very exciting".

 

Sue Barton, Secretary

Sue Ellen Barton, RN, retired in 2015 from a 46 year career in nursing, of which 35 years  were dedicated to caring for cancer patients. Giving thought to what she wanted to do to in her retirement years, she knew she wanted to continue to use her oncology skills in a way pleasing to the Lord. Pilots for Christ was a perfect "fit", accompanying patients and providing comfort and support to them as they travel. She and her husband relocated to Cincinnati in 2011 after raising their 5 daughters in Michigan. The Bartons are members of Forestville Baptist Church, Anderson, OH. A Bible verse that has encouraged her much over the years is Jeremiah 29:11.  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

 

Earl Barton

 

Earl Barton, husband of our secretary, Sue Barton, has been a member of Cincinnati Tri State PCI for 3 years. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga and later earned his master's degree in counselling from Eastern Michigan University. After raising 5 daughters, he  retired and enjoys weightlifting, scuba diving, and his 5 grandchildren with twins on the way.  Earl and Sue both attend Forestville Baptist Church in Anderson Township where Earl is active in the Upward basketball program, usher staff, and welcoming committee.  Earl was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and came to a saving knowledge of Christ on August 11, 1955 at the age of 11. He is a devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Earl serves on the PCI Kettle Corn committee and is always good for telling a joke or funny story.

 

 

Donald J & Joslyn Burt

Donald Burt Sr. is the current Chapter Chaplain and is also Chaplain for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman.Donald served in the United States Air Force and retired with a Medical Discharge. In 1989 he accepted the Lord and was spiritually transformed and has led a life of ministry as a staff member of Mariemont Community Church, City Gospel Mission, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, YMCA and Boy Scouts of America. He has earned an Associate Degree from the Community College of the Air Force Applied Sciences, Tripp Bible Institute and has attended Cincinnati State. He is a deacon and Sunday School Teacher at his church and has been a volunteer at the Cincinnati V.A. Hospital's Fisher House for 9 years.Donald has received a Presidential Service Award for his many years of community service from the President of the United States.

Joslyn Burt accepted the Lord into her life in 1978 and is blessed with the gifts of art, singing, teaching and serving in Childrens Sunday School. She has been employed by the City of Cincinnati Recreation Commission for over 20 years and is currently working at the Madisonville Recreatiion Center as a Community Center Director providing prorams for the 50+ participants and has received numerous service awards. She is also the Sargent-at-Arms for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Inc.

She and Donald have been a huge blessing to our chapter since joining in 2015 and Joslyn maintains contact with those who we have transported to let them know we remember them in our prayers.

 

Rich Perry - Retired Comair Pilot

As a young boy, Rich Perry became interested in flying as he looked up  to see small airplanes zooming through the vast blue. It wasn't until he sought his first Boy Scout merit badge in aviation that he finally set foot in a real aircraft. Rich was hooked! He went on in Scouting to eventually achieve his Eagle Scout  award!  After receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Rich relocated to California to began is aviation career in earnest. He first taught flying, then worked as a cargo pilot, advanced to charter work and finally became a senior airline captain. Richretired in 2007 at the age of 60 from Com Air Airlines in Cincinnati,OH with 18 years of service! He has logged over 25,000 hours in the air!  He actively flies mercy missions with Pilots For Christ Cincinnati Chapter and also gives flight and ground instruction. Rich also serves as our Chapter FAA Liaison concerning regulatory issues.

"I am very pleased to use my flight privileges to help those who have been blessed far less in life than me".

 

Bob Overman

Family means everything to Bob. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren and is very proud of each of them. He is very blessed and thankful to be a part of their lives. Bob was introduced to flying at about 10 years old in the back seat of his father’s Stinson L5. He soloed on his 16th birthday and now owns a Cessna 320. 

“I formed a very personal relationship with God back in my childhood days. My faith is what sustained me throughout the many twists and turns of life. 10 years ago I was drawn to the church and have been attending the Vineyard of Cincinnati ever since. I have gone on several mission trips with my friends at the Vineyard. We traveled with Back2Back Ministries to Nigeria to help with their efforts for sustainable clean water, and Mexico to help with their good work with the orphaned children in Monterey. Many of us also went to New Orleans for Katrina relief. It was at the Vineyard that I found open arms and an even greater love in Christ.” 

“During that time I found Pilots for Christ and felt inspired to fly for God’s children through our group. This has been the most rewarding  flying that I have ever done. Being blessed with the ability to use aviation to help those in need, and doing it all in God's name, is tremendous!"

Proverbs 14:31 “….. whoever is kind to the needy honors God”

 

Dennis Estell

I came to saving knowledge of Christ in 1972 while living in southern California and earned my pilots license in 1978 at the age of 35. At the age of 72, I am still grateful to God for the gift of flight. Back in the 1980's I had the opportunity to fly into Mexco many times in support of medical clinics that ministered to the body and soul of the impoverished locals. After 32 years in California I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to live with my new bride Erika,“He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” (Proverbs 18:22). Erika and I have been members of the Cincinnati Tri-State Chapter since 2006, she is the Treasuer and I head up our Amaizing Grace Kettle Corn “Biznistry”- a business whose profits all go to ministry- and fly mercy missions.

I have had many exciting flights to wonderful places but still yearn to experience the “Ultimate Flight” to the “Ultimate Destination”

 

Bob and Judy Francia

Our most senior members; Bob and Judy Francia have held lifetime memberships for over 25 years! They are the only founding members of the Cincinnati chapter of PCI still on the roster. Going back, Bob has served as chapter President three times and also held the Vice Presidency on the national board. His career has spanned over 35 years in Cincinnati working in the packaging industry for Heekin Can Company and BWAY Corporation. Bob and Judy have one daughter and two grandchildren.

 

"I am not a pilot, but found this niche to serve God more than gratifying. PCI has afforded me many rich rewards, but these pale compared to His blessings. To get the most out of PCI, I encourage members to set aside time to attend the annual national conventions. Meeting others and hearing their stories is most helpful and gratifying."

 

Lee Kresser

Lee Kresser is a Boston, Massachusetts native who relocated to the Midwest back in 1975 after completing his bachelor’s degree majoring in Electrical / Electronic Engineering and minoring in mechanical engineering. He began flying while working at GE in Connecticut, and was subsequently transferred to the midwest by GE to work in the Louisville, Kentucky Appliance Park complex. He continued to do some flying when in Louisville, but marriage demands on the budget crowded out any more air time. But his interest in flying continued.

As a confirmed atheist in his early adult years, any discussions of faith and religion were debated with passion and logic. But the Lord touched his heart, and on August 17, 1975; Lee received Christ into his heart. Now he enjoys discussing Biblical principles and foundations from the other side and seeks to lead others to the cross.

Lee’s career has spanned working with some of the biggest companies in the world like Toyota and Ford Motor Company to small companies, so he appreciates the demands put on each size business. With the awareness of the Pilots for Christ, Lee saw an opportunity to support his flying interests while serving in a cause that gives back to patients, families and wounded warriors.