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About the SRA

The Stearman Restorers Association is an independent “Not for Profit” 501C-3 Corporation dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and safe flying of Stearman Aircraft through the education of both members and the public. We are passionate about all models of Stearman biplanes.

Originally founded in 1966, the SRA has almost 1500 members in 25 countries.



Michael Rutledge
President

Michael has been at the helm of the SRA since 2016. He recently retired from a 30-year military career as a Navy SEAL and Army special operations helicopter pilot. Mike’s first flight experience was at age 5, off the grass at Galesburg, in the very Stearman he now owns. Coincidentally, that Stearman (“404”) is also the co-founding Stearman of the National Stearman Fly-In. He also owns a J-3 Cub, a 450 Stearman named “Green Bean”,  a Super Decathlon, and has the dubious honor of piloting “The Beast”, the last known R-1340 powered Stearman still in crop duster configuration.  

Michael now resides in Middlebury, Indiana near a grass strip with his wife and two sons. He flies as a full-time crop duster and aerial firefighter, flying single engine air tankers (SEATs).

Brian Rosenstein
Secretary / Membership Director

According to his mother, Brian's first word was actually “plane”. At the age of 13, Brian attended an airshow called The Flying Circus in Bealeton Virginia, a weekly barnstorming style airshow. He went back every Sunday for a year until they hired him onto the ground crew. He then began his flying lessons in a Cub and a Stearman on the field. He soloed at 16, got his Private at 17, and began flying rides in Stearmans and Cubs at the Flying Circus after attaining his Commercial at 18 years old. 

Brian now lives near Charlotte, NC with his teenage son and flies the Boeing 737 for American Airlines. He owns a 1943 Stearman N2S-5 and operates a ride business with it as well. He is also a current flight instructor and enjoys helping new Stearman owners get proficient in their airplanes. 



Mike Porter
Historian

Mike is the owner of Porter Restorations, which specializes in the maintenance and restoration of Stearmans. Mike has more than 22 years of flying experience since he  soloed at 16. Not only is he a Commercially rated pilot and Flight Instructor, he is also qualified in several WWII and vintage aircraft as well as holding certifications as an A&P with Inspection Authorization, and parachute rigger. In addition to his Stearman restoration and maintenance work, Mike is a volunteer pilot for the Collings Foundation flying the P-51 Mustang and B-17 Flying Fortress.

East Liverpool, Ohio is home base for Mike and his dog Mac (short for McCauley). He currently owns 2 Stearmans, a Tiger Moth, and a J-3 Cub.

Brian Aukes
Treasurer

Brian Aukes was raised in an aviation family on the Aledo, Illinois airport. He soloed on his 16th birthday in a Stearman, an Ag-Cat, and a Cessna 150. He helped restore the first Stearman he owned (N429AB), which had been his family’s backup crop-duster. He currently owns a former Red Baron Squadron 450 Stearman, a 1930 Stearman 4E (square-tail), an Aeronca Champ, and Twin Commanche. He resides near Ames, Iowa, with his wife, Rachel, and a fearless Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. When not flying, Brian serves as president of Brokers Financial in Des Moines.



Dan Sokolowski
Vice-President

Dan Sokolowski grew up on a farm in Iowa.  Though his Uncle, Don McKenna, passed away before he was born, he was fascinated by the stories of him flying P-47 Thunderbolts in Europe during WWII.  Dan's first ride in an airplane was his very first flying lesson at an aviation university.  While working at a North American T-6 restoration shop during college, Dan dreamed of one day owning a WWII vintage warbird.  In 2008, that dream came true when he and his wife Diane, also a pilot, bought a Boeing N2S-2 Stearman named Blondie.  Dan and Diane currently reside in Clear Lake IA and own a custom orange and white 450 Stearman named DreamSicle.





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