Bio

Maria LangerI am a commercial helicopter pilot, freelance writer, blogger, and serious amateur photographer.

Helicopter Pilot

As a commercial helicopter pilot, I am the owner/operator of Flying M Air, LLC, a Wenatchee, WA area company that offers helicopter tours, charter and air-taxi services, aerial photography and survey flights, multi-day excursions, and agricultural services throughout the western United States. As of January 2013, I have logged approximately 3,000 hours flight time in Robinson R44, Robinson R22, and Bell 206L helicopters.

My company was featured in an article in the May 2009 issue of Arizona Highways magazine and the April 2004 issue of Flying magazine, as well as in the Jon Davison coffee table book, Robbie: The Robinson Helicopter Experience. My company’s Southwest Circle Helicopter Adventure was highlighted in the August 2009 issue of Arizona Highways as “The best way to see Arizona in a week.”

I’ve used my writing skills to write articles for aviation magazines such as Aircraft Owner Online, HeliNews, Sport Aviation, Southwest Aviator, and American Flyways. I blog extensively about my flying activities and safety issues. I also edited and produced the Exploring Arizona by Helicopter newsletter for Flying M Air.

Freelance Writer

Most of my writing centers around Macintosh and Windows how-to computer books (including ebooks) and video training material. Recent topics include business and productivity software such as Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and Dragon Dictate, Web publishing software such as WordPress, social networking services such as Twitter, financial software such as QuickBooks and Quicken, and operating system software such as Mac OS. My current publishers include Peachpit Press (a division of Pearson Education), Microsoft Press (an imprint of O’Reilly), Lynda.com, and Flying M Productions.

I have written numerous reviews and articles for computer magazines and professional journals, both in print and online, including (most recently) Informit.com and Peachpit.com.

I have developed Web sites, Web pages, and blogs for small and medium sized organizations. I have maintained a personal Web site since 1997 and have been blogging since 2003. In addition to this blog, An Eclectic Mind, I also maintain sites for Flying M Air, LLC, Flying M Productions, Maria’s Guides, Beaumont Cellars, wickenburg-az.com, and N&W Associates.

I am an occasional participant on the MacJury podcast, and have appeared a number of times on other podcasts, including MacVoices and WordCast Conversations.

Blogger

I have been blogging since October 2003 about a wide variety of topics. This blog, An Eclectic Mind, is a compilation of over 2,400 posts about things that interest me, from the things I do for a living such as flying and working with computers to the things that affect my life such as travel and my divorce.

My blog is widely read; on average, it attracts over 1,000 hits a day. I take pride in making it a place for others to read and learn from my experiences. Through open yet closely moderated commenting, I encourage a civil discourse not often found online.

Amateur Photographer

I am a serious amateur photographer interested primarily in landscape, aerial, and wildlife photography. You can see examples of my work in the header images of this blog.

I show off my best work — and offer it for sale — at Flying M Photos.

Past Activities

In the past, I also:

  • Addressed computer users and professionals at conferences such as Macworld Expo, user group meetings, online chats, and book signings.
  • Wrote software documentation.
  • Created custom FileMaker Pro database solutions.
  • Developed applications training material.
  • Taught software applications and hardware troubleshooting in a classroom environment.
  • Developed and taught software applications for online universities.
  • Provided general consulting services.
  • Produced the newsletter, Macintosh Tips & Tricks for Giles Road Press (now Flying M Productions).
  • Conducted helicopter tours at the Grand Canyon for one of the canyon’s three helicopter tour operators.
  • Operated an FBO at Wickenburg Municipal Airport.
  • Held various full-time jobs as an auditor and financial analyst with Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and The New York City Office of the Comptroller.

Hobbies, Interests, & Education

My hobbies and interests keep me away from my computers as much as possible. I enjoy flying, photography, writing, beekeeping, creating video, travel, reading, horseback riding, motorcycling, camping, and gardening.

I received a BBA with highest honors in Accounting from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.