Teaming up to form Arctic Hot Point Solutions, Ken McBride and Jim Salazar established the non-profit company to focus on the recovery and restoration of Lost Squadron Greenland and other international recovery missions. Both seasoned businessmen with international expertise making the partnership a fitting match. Recognizing that there has been a need for an experienced Arctic Company with a focus specific deep systems recovery. Arctic Hot Point Solutions boasts an all in-house approach to Arctic recovery, implementing the most innovative and sophisticated technologies the private sector has to offer.

Ken McBride
Ken McBride
Well known in the vintage aircraft community as a respected aviator and self-made businessman, Ken McBride is no stranger to aircraft recovery, having been involved in several projects over the last two decades. Running a thriving classic auto parts manufacturing company for over 20 years, as well as a Merlin engine overhaul facility, McBride combines skills in manufacturing, engineering, and restoration, along with a get-it-done work ethic perfectly suited to an enterprise of this magnitude. McBride prides himself on an ability to design, fabricate, modify and repair equipment and tools as needed for any particular job. With an engineering background and a complete machine shop including CNC equipment at his disposal, McBride has both the tools and the expertise to craft the specialized equipment that is critical to the success of the deep arctic exploration necessary for this project. He has spent several thousand hours in the past few years, preparing everything required for this expedition, including modified retractable wheel skis for the An2, a large steel ‘melting cone’ wrapped in copper tube coils, as well as running a radar survey on the icecap. In his free time, if you gaze up in the sky, you may spot this vintage aircraft enthusiast performing aerobatic maneuvers in his 1942 Boeing-Stearman Open Cockpit Biplane, or he might be found attending a local air show with his daughter. McBride’s conservative values and strong respect for military members past and present fuel his desire to see this project succeed. 
Jim Salazar
Jim Salazar

Jim Salazar is a successful businessman and entrepreneur who has built a thriving machinery moving company over the last 27 years. No stranger to hard work, he continues to oversee the growth of his company by continuously looking for ways to expand opportunities while maintaining high standards for himself and his employees. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, he can be found poring over communications on his iPad one moment, sitting astride a high capacity forklift the next, Salazar is seldom idle and inspires all around him with his can-do attitude. Born in Burbank, CA in 1969, Salazar began his business with little more than a pickup truck and sheer determination. His company now boasts a fleet of trucks and forklifts and services all of Southern California and provides long haul trucking throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. An avid complex-rated pilot, adventurer, and history buff, Salazar became interested in the Lost Squadron several years ago, and made the decision to pursue the reclamation of these aircraft as a tribute to the brave men and women who give so much to our country every day. “This is not just an investment of time and money; it is my way of honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us.” Salazar believes that the recovery and restoration of historical aircraft in Greenland and abroad contribute to the preservation of historical artifacts that can be a learning tool for generations to come.

 

Mike Brown
Mike Brown

Mike Brown is a Mobile Equipment Superintendent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Previous to that, Mike served for 34 years as a Deputy Sheriff with Sacramento and Santa Clara counties, retiring in 2014.

Mike and Ken McBride grew up around the block from each other, and early on, he was best friends with Ken’s older brother, Dave. Mike has been involved with the P-38 recovery project from day one, traveling to New York and Germany to inspect, service, repair, and prep the two aircraft supporting the project. In 2011, he participated in the first recovery attempt traveling to Kulusuk, Greenland and out to the glacier, working the radar survey of the area. He returned to Kulusuk in 2015 to service, exercise, and prep equipment after storage since 2011. Mike brings a strong understanding of gas, diesel, aircraft mechanics, mechanical principles, and fabrication skills, and his experience in Greenland make him a perfect fit for our mission.

Bill Thuma
Bill Thuma
As a graduate geophysical engineer from Michigan Technological University, Bill Thuma served as senior geophysicist for major and junior mining companies in North America before trending into international marketing of advanced exploration technologies where he has worked effectively in over 50 countries on behalf of major equipment manufacturers and airborne survey groups. In addition, he acts as a technical advisor and principal in various search groups looking for lost aircraft of historical significance and has helped locate several in Greenland, Canada and Africa. He has numerous trade articles in his portfolio and routinely helps clients develop effective marketing strategies and material. He has appeared on TV, in documentaries and has spoken to groups around the world. Clients include Geotech, Terraquest, Exege (South Africa), Aretech (Spain), AGT (Russia), CAMESE and Scintrex. International clients have included the World Bank, UNDP and US EPA.

Since 1985, Bill has been involved in a project to recover a downed WW II squadron of P-38 Fighter/Bombers and their B-17 escorts from the ice cap over eastern Greenland. The presentation took us from the history of the original wartime mission to the aircraft as they were found by magnetometer and ground-penetrating radar over 50 years later, 260 feet below the surface of the glacier. In appreciation, Brian presented Bill with a Launch mug.

Zach Reeder
Zach Reeder
Zach Reeder is an award winning engineer and pilot.  He has had a major role in developing and testing at least six new types of airplanes from scratch at Scaled Composites and is a commercial, instrument, and multiengine rated pilot.  He learned to fly from his Dad in an old Super Cub on a grass runway in the cow pasture behind the house.  Zach graduated from Texas A&M in 2005 with an aerospace engineering degree.  Six days after graduation he moved to Mojave to work with aerospace visionary Burt Rutan.  Zach’s first solo flight was in a hang glider that he designed and built for a hundred dollars.  He has flown all over the US in an RV-8 kitplane that he built while living in a 60 year old bus.  Inspiration from the nine day Voyager flight led Zach to several endurance adventures including running a marathon on the sea ice at the North Pole and flying 16 hours to set a 5000 km world speed record.  After leading the team designing and building the wing for Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane, Zach transferred to Scaled Flight Ops as a full time Test Pilot.

Ron Sheardown
Ron Sheardown

Ron Sheardown began his flying career in Canada in 1953 earning his student pilot’s license at 16 and private pilot’s license at 17. His family lived across the street from what is now Toronto / Lester B. Pearson International Airport and he was inspired by spending much of his time around aircraft and experienced aviators as a youth.

Ron began his career as a company pilot for a mining company in British Columbia and Yukon, and from there worked as a pilot on transport aircraft for the D.E.W. line construction in the high Arctic and Greenland, as well as charter flights to Europe and the southern United States.

Ron holds U.S. Airline Transport, U.S. Commercial, Canadian Senior Commercial pilot licenses with instrument and helicopter ratings. He is licensed and highly experienced in piloting single and multi-engine land and sea aircraft, including jets and helicopters. He has more than 19,000 hours of flight time, including more than 10,000 hours in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Norway, Russia and Alaska. His experience extends to all 50 of the United States, all provinces and territories of Canada, and Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Spitsbergen, Denmark, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia.

He became involved with the North Pole Expedition 1997 and Transpolar Flight 1998 after facilitating the release of Shane Lundgren’s two AN-2 biplanes when the Russian Government detained them. See “Antonovs Over The Arctic”.

Ron is a professional miner and chief executive officer of Greatland Exploration, Ltd. with interests in Canada, Chile, Mexico, Russia and the U.S. Besides aviation and world travel, his other interests include exploring, skiing, photography, camping and fishing.

He is a member of the Board or Directors of the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum.

Member of The Explorers Club. A life member of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. The US Export Council. Served as Honorary Consul to Canada for Alaska for 15 years and is Consul Emeritus.

Vernon Rich
Vernon Rich

Raised in Louisiana and Texas, Vernon Rich attended LSU and Odessa College. He moved to Phoenix in 1989 while working as a fabricator for a Porsche GTP race team. Soon thereafter he opened his own fabrication shop and began being involved in a long list of unique projects, including:

  • Earthwinds Project, the first attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon
  • Keebird Project, an expedition to recover a B-29 from Northern Greenland
  • Nemesis Project, for which he fabricated components for the record breaking air racer currently in the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy facility at Dulles Airport Washington, D.C.
  • Spirit of America Land Speed record team, as crew chief and fabricator to construct GEJ79 jet engine powered LSR vehicle
  • DillonAero, for which he was Design engineer and installer worldwide for several M134D weapon systems in both rotary wing, ground vehicles, and fixed position applications.
  • RPF International, for which he is currently design engineer in the development of high performance armored vehicles geared toward VIP protection, law enforcement, and military usage. OCONUS military fixed and rotary wing aircraft installation of encrypted HF communications gear.

Vernon currently operates Rich Precision Fabrication, a fabrication/machine shop in north Phoenix geared toward prototyping wide variety of projects. One major current program now in development is of a MRAP military vehicle for Patriarch Group military division.

Raymond Reck
Raymond Reck

Raymond H. Reck is semi-retired and Founder and Principal Partner in Millennium Communications Architects. He has worked in the technical publishing and training business for 35 years. Prior to that Mr. Reck worked as a salesman for industrial, electronic, and consumer products. Raymond graduated with his B.S. Degree from Miami University in Marketing Management with minors in Advertising and History giving Raymond a unique and valuable perspective for documenting highly technical subjects across a varied spectrum of technologies. Much of Mr. Reck’s work involved Mil-Spec and Government projects. He specialized in the computer and EDA industries for commercial markets. His documentation has received multiple awards across the industries.

Mr. Reck has been a lifelong aviation enthusiast beginning with 10 years in the U.S.Navy including two Vietnam WESTPAC deployments. Raymond was an aircraft mechanic and Aircrewman on P-3 Orion and C-9B Skytrain aircraft. His rate included aircrew survival, ejection, and oxygen systems. As an Aircrewman he was a Second Mech, Loadmaster, FLIR Operator, and Observer. Besides flying Raymond was an Expert Marksman and shot competitions with rifles and pistols in the Navy. After the Navy, Mr. Reck continued his aviation interest earning his Private Pilot, Instrument ratings for single-engine land and sea aircraft and high performance, complex aircraft endorsements and he has numerous hours in multi-engine aircraft.  Between PIC and Aircrew duties he has over 2000 hours of flight time.

Since 2007 Raymond has worked with a group of aviation enthusiasts to restore a WWII veteran, B-25J Mitchell bomber to flying status. The group also has P-51D Mustangs, F4U-4 and FG-1D Corsairs, Stearman, Spitfire, and other WWII military aircraft. Mr. Reck formed Pacific Warbirds to promote enthusiasm for the next generation in these rapidly disappearing historical aircraft and has lectured at many events for various groups. Beginning in 2009 he began assisting in the detailed planning and organization of an expedition to Greenland to recover a P-38L Lightening from the “Lost Squadron’ that made an emergency landing on the glacier in July 1942. In 2016 after several efforts, he and the other expedition crew are set to make an assault on the glacier and locate, recover and ultimately restore to flying condition.

 

Terry Ascherin
Terry Ascherin

Terry Ascherin brings to our team a first class expertise in health and first aid administration.
A lifelong Californian, since graduation from Lakewood high school in 1967, Terry has pursued a career at the forefront of medicine and adventure in the service of others.

Having already held two jobs with Union Oil Corp and C.L. Peck Construction Co (as a summer job) before graduation, Terry began adult life with an already robust experience working with his hands, and this served him well as he enlisted in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1969. The early 1970’s saw Terry serve in a variety of roles as a Patrol Deputy and Training Officer, before making the move to the Special Enforcement Bureau in 1974, where he would then go onto to serve 30 years within Emergency Services Detail, notably assuming a role during the Senior Leadership of the SEB between 2001 and 2004.

It was also within the mid-1970’s that Terry commenced a career in teaching. Beginning in 1974 as a class instructor at Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy, Terry would go onto instruct the Los Angeles County Reserve Forces Personnel, within Rio Hondo College, the United States Marine Corps ( as part of the MICUN Program), and thereafter as with the University of California Los Angeles Emergency Department, and State OES Helicopter Flooding & Swift Water [academy/institution?] alongside a number of other institutions.

The convergence of these roles saw Terry ascend to senior leadership positions within emergency services and education from the 1980’s onwards. A LACSD Helicopter Safety Officer from 1986, a LACSD Reserve Physicians Coordinator in 1991, and thereafter on the Los Angeles Co. Swift Water Committee in 1994, Terry has been at the forefront of Californian and American initiatives within the emergency services department for over 20 years.

A leading authority and consultant within the emergency services and amphibious transport sphere, in the latter years of Terry’s career he notably founded SkyHook Rescue System Inc. Company to manufacture swiftwater rescue and helicopter rescue extractions equipment, completed extensive further training ranging from specialized personal mountain rescue to confined space rescue techniques, underwater search techniques, and now also holds certification in Advance Dive Rescue and helicopter swift water rescue among many other certifications. He is also an experienced mountaineer and is highly knowledgeable of the San Gabriel Mountains of California.

In sum, Terry brings to Lost Squadron Greenland an elevated level of safety with experience that is necessary in such a remote area of Greenland.

Mario Carnevale
Mario Carnevale

Mario Carnevale, M.S., P.G., has over 40 years of professional experience in engineering geology, geophysics, resource evaluation, and computer modeling. He specializes in the analysis and interpretation of data from low-frequency GPR, borehole geophysics, and seismic surveys. Mario’s project experience ranges from GPR surveys in Puerto Rico and Guam to field mapping in Brazil’s Amazon Valley and evaluation of gold prospects in Siberia and Africa. In addition to typical New England and Siberian winters, he has performed fieldwork in northern Minnesota during the month of February. Mario has performed surveys using the GSSI MLF antenna (Model 3200MLF) since 1996, and HGI has owned its system since 1997.

Lee Barker
Lee Barker

Lee Barker, a Geological Engineer, is president and CEO of Sparton Resources Inc. a Canadian junior mineral resource development company, and Chairman of VanSpar Mining Inc. VanSpar is a private corporation focusing on developing large Vanadium resources in China.

Barker received his private pilot’s license in 1969 and has accumulated approximated 1500 flying hours in several aircraft types. His working career involved extensive use of bush and survey type fixed and rotary wing aircraft in remote areas of northern Canada, South America and Africa. He has held pilot’s licenses in Poland and South Africa and continues to hold Canadian and US private licenses.

Kenneth Brooks
Kenneth Brooks

Kenneth “Doc” Brooks brings a solid background in emergency medical care to the expedition.  He was a Special Forces medic with 3rd Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before becoming a Physician Assistant through the Interservice Program at Fort Sam Houston, Texas from 1993 – 1995.  He spent the last 17 years of his career taking care of soldiers in Kentucky, California, Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East.

His last duty assignment was Officer in Charge of the Flight Medic School at the US Army School of Aviation Medicine, Fort Rucker, Alabama.  Retiring in 2012 after almost 28 years of service, he now divides his time between working overseas and his home in L.A. (Lower Alabama) where his wife Vickie tends the gardens and pecan trees in addition to taking care of the cats, dogs, horses, and chickens.

Because of scheduling, when “Doc” Brooks leaves Greenland he will go directly to his overseas job.  In spite of this extended absence from home, Vickie is excited about her husband’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help in the recovery of the Lost Squadron.