Lite Touch founder Phil Russman got his first exposure to aviation from his mother who started flying fixed wings in 1960. The Russman family routinely ventured across North America in a Cessna 182. Phil's father was one of the flying doctors, delivering medical supplies to remote areas in Baja California during the 60's.
In the 1970's, Phil started hang gliding at 13 and in a few years became a nationally ranked pilot. He even got his mother to take a few solo flights in his hang glider.
During the 1980's Phil received a master's in aerospace engineering from Stanford and joined the human factors team at Boeing. Some of Phil's cockpit research was eventually incorporated into the 777. Aside from racking up 100's of 757 simulator hours, Phil also found time to get his fixed wing instrument and rotorcraft ratings
.During the 1990's, Phil switched gears and became a film and television editor in hollywood. A lucky break allowed Phil to study under the tutalage of Peter Zinner, the Academy Award winning editor of The Deer Hunter and The Godfather. Phil edited countless documentaries, reality TV shows, and two feature films with stars Billy Bob Thorton and Sean Young.
In 2002, Phil was asked to produce a "Fly In" video for the ParaToys convention. It was during that production that Phil realized the amazing benefits of PPG and the got to know the wonderful community of pilots that have helped to develop this amazing form of aviation.
A short time later, Phil teamed up with USPPA president Jeff Goin, and William Shatner of Star Trek fame, to produce Risk and Reward. This 70 min instructional DVD revealed the risks in PPG and how to avoid them. Phil actually had the privilege of flying in formation with Captain Kirk. But that's another story.