Duane Maas, director of technology at Pewaukee-based MC Services, received his commercial pilot’s license as a student at the University Wisconsin-Madison. He took aviation classes in high school and later became the president of UW-Madison’s flying club when he was a sophomore in college.
Today he flies mostly for convenience and pleasure, he said.
“One of my jobs in college was flying cancelled checks before the banks had electronic clearing,” Maas said. “I’d work from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. daily and fly bags of checks from Madison, Oshkosh, Green Bay and Milwaukee daily.”
Maas also has flown a plane to the Bahamas three times.
Maas rents his planes now, but he has owned two airplanes in the past. He routinely takes family and friends for flights.
“It’s just beautiful,” he said. “In every season, when you are up in the sky and you can look below and see the different patchwork patterns of the fields or the snow-covered land in the winter it looks almost angelic.”
Maas says he has also experimented with aerobatics, doing loops or other maneuvers while in the air.
“For the commercial license you have to demonstrate a lot of precision maneuvers to show you are really in control of the airplane,” he said. “It’s not as stringent for the private pilot license, but once you get up there and do some of the maneuvers you have a completely new appreciation for it.”
Maas regularly flies for family vacations, and what he calls hanger get-togethers, but wants to increase the flying trips he takes for business as well.