Douglas E. Thiel
Doug is the owner and operator of Thiel Air Care, Inc. located in Chowchilla, California. Doug flew his first ag aircraft in 1977 while in college but didn’t start flying full time until 1982. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Ag Business from Fresno State University. He worked five seasons in the Texas Panhandle before moving home to the San Joaquin Valley in California. He became a partner in a four turbine aircraft company in the early nineties. Thiel Air Care was established in 1997 with one Turbo Thrush and has expanded to five turbine Air Tractors. Most of his agricultural flying experience is at night.
Doug was born into a third generation farming family. His flying interest came from his father who learned to fly following the conclusion of his tour of duty in the Korean War using his GI Bill benefits. However his father chose production agriculture as his livelihood with flying being his intense hobby which led to Doug’s fascination with the skies at a very young age. Doug’s interest and experience in both farming and flying, coupled with the support of formal education in ag business, has led to a long and satisfying career in ag aviation which is still going strong.
Doug has served his community in many aspects during his tenure in aviation. He served in his home town as chairman of the Airport Advisory Committee of which he was a member for nearly 25 years. Doug is also a committee member of the Firebaugh Airport Advisory Committee. He has served on the Youth Football board but his favorite position was that of Little League President while serving as a member of that board for nearly ten years. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the California Agricultural Aircraft Association. Being active in his church and community activities leaves him busy in life!
Prior to, and at times in conjunction with his aviation activities, Doug has been a self-employed farmer and also has experience in professional baseball.
Doug is passionate about the PAASS program and is extremely grateful to be allowed the honor of being a presenter. Long before being selected as a PAASS presenter in 2010, Doug felt promoting aviation safety and professionalism in our industry is vital to move into the future of our highly skilled occupation.