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Pilots of Alaska
O'Keefe and Victor Lebacqz
and Mary were married by Swede Gamble, FAA Inspector aboard the "Gitmo
Ghost", Dennis Buehn’s beautiful Grumman Albatross on February 3, 2001
. There were six Albatrosses, a Beaver and several Cessna 185’s in the
water for the wedding held at the annual Albatross gathering in Lake
and Boulder City, Nevada. In doing so, they are the first couple
to be married in a flying boat in flight!
grew up in Florida,
an aviation Mecca, where he spent the first 35 years of his life
by seaplanes, aerobatic aircraft, airlines and general aviation of all
kinds. When he was ten years old he typed over two hundred letters to
airline he could get and name and an address for to ask for their
of how to groom himself being a pilot to be able work for them when he
was of proper age. To his pleasant surprise many of the airlines
with letters from their vice presidents, which encouragement
of encouragement and good direction for keeping his dream alive. After
graduating from high school he entered the Air Force, and where he
in Special Operations with aircraft such the awesome AC-130 Gunship.
in the military, he began following the career of Brian Becker, owner
Pompano Air Center (PAC), which was featured on all of the aviation
covers in the late 1980's and early 1990's with big layouts about the
and the new Extra aircraft for which they were the worldwide
After his military term was completed, he went to work for Becker,
with the Russians as PAC became the worldwide distributor for the
aircraft, the Sukhoi SU-26 aerobatics airplane and later the SU-29.
has fond memories of spending time with such great pilots as Patty
who would frequent PAC for training with Clint McHenry and purchased
Extra 230, which she later traded in for a new Extra 260,
she would fly into history as the first female U.S. National Aerobatics
Champion. (This aircraft now hangs in the Smithsonian Air & Space
aviation economy and rich aviation history provided a wealth of
and experiences for Steve. He witnessed the changes with the oldest
in history, "Chaulks", which operated daily flights from its terminal
Watson Island. After Hurricane Andrew, Steve was one of the relief
flying water and supplies to the devastated homeless thousands in
with Angel Flight. He also helped Kermit Weeks' crew with the
of Kermit Weeks' Air Museum near Miami, which was demolished by
Andrew and seriously damaged most of the vintage aircraft within it.
year 2000, while the
world celebrated a new millennium, Mary & Steve made a pivotal move
to the Northern California Redwood Country to start a new life as
owners, photographing the wilderness of the Northwest and promoting
newly formed aviation website, mailorder and consulting company called Strangebirds.
Steve holds his single & multi-engine land and sea ratings, and
flying their 1947 Cessna 120 while scouting out photo locations for his
large format black & white landscape photography work, which he
on Steve-Anthony.com. He is also a professional photographer for
photography for magazines, corporations and private individuals.
photography passions continue to grow in video work and with the
he's captured incredible footage of the beautiful, rugged Northwest
and scenery, as well as the excitement of landing on remote mountain
which drop off hundreds of feet at the end of the runway, river bar
and tiny coastal airstrips with jagged rocks and crashing ocean waves
either end of the runway.
his extensive aviation,
seaplane and photographic knowledge, Steve has consulted on movies and
commercials. He has been instrumental in coordinating services,
and flying for these, and continues to be a source of aviation
for specialized aspects of aviation, from seaplanes, taildraggers, bush
flying and warbirds to aircraft camera mounts, still and video work for
Hollywood and independent film makers and advertising.
2003, Steve signed
on at the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA) as the sole advertising
representative for WaterFlying magazine, published by SPA. This
opportunity has afforded the unique integration of Steve's extensive
knowledge to a huge network of aviation and seaplane manufacturers,
2005 Steve was filming
in Boulder City, Seattle, Alaska and Florida for the newly formed
Productions", which covers the videography and filming sector of the
In September of 2005, it was off to Australia for Steve, where along
his ace camera crew, he directed and produced a documentary about the
Outback Flying Doctors fund raising event called "Great Circle Air
The completed production is available now in April 2007.
graphic design capabilities
and webdesign work have kept her busy with the websites and advertising
work in tandem with Steve's work on WaterFlying and other
She and Steve work side-by-side everyday, growing their website,
and mailorder company, StrangeBirds.com with new products such as their
own line of aviation apparel and more aviation technical information
along with their ongoing projects in writing, videography, photography
and aviation consulting.
In June of 2011, Steve McCaughey became the Executive Director of the
Seaplane Pilots Association. Yet, another dream come true for the
little "Can-Do" couple, who believes that within each and every
person's heart and soul, the "can do" spirit will help anyone attain
whatever he or she truly desires to do! ...with plenty of patience and