Northeast Bird School
Northeast Bird School, Inc., is a Massachusetts not-for-profit corporation that was created to be a resource for skydivers and BASE jumpers to learn how to fly wingsuits.
Brian “Lurch” Caldwell
Leading anthropologists and ornithologists believe that Lurch is descended from a race of birds that evolved the ability to walk upright and use tools. The last of his species, Lurch now serves as Northeast Bird School’s Lead Instructor, where he provides first flight instruction and advanced wingsuit flight coaching – particularly in the areas of technical and performance flight – and also serves as a backup video flyer. Lurch loves extreme endurance flights, flock games like ribbon chases and baton passing, and night wingsuit flights. He’s completed more than 2700 skydives, of which more than 2500 were wingsuit jumps. He’s participated in numerous state, regional and world record wingsuit formations, and currently holds a worldwide “top five” global ranking in multiple wingsuit competitive categories. When he’s not perching at the NEBS birdhouse, he serves as a technical consultant for industrial robotics equipment.
Jeff “Skwrl” Donohue
The term “Donohue Trap” has come to refer to an inanimate object that is capable of outsmarting a wingsuiter (but which doesn’t do any real, lasting harm). Objects as diverse as rose bushes, trees, smoke grenades and ring sights have all proven worthy opponents to Skwrl, who is Northeast Bird School’s photographer, logistics guy, and Wile E. Coyote stunt double. Skwrl has completed more than 1000 skydives, of which more than 800 were wingsuit jumps. These days, he hardly ever takes his wingsuit off. (We’ve been meaning to talk to him about that – these things need to be washed once in a while…) He loves to document the enthusiasm and excitement experienced by new wingsuiters, so check if he’s available to tag along on your first flight. He also enjoys night jumps and pyrotechnics jumps – sometimes, at the same time!
Rumor has it that Rick Hough was raised by wolves, but he insists that this rumor is a lie – the wolves didn’t so much “raise” him as baby sit when his parents were out of town. Since then, he’s logged more than 1800 skydives, of which more than 1100 were in wingsuits. He’s participated in one national and four state wingsuit records and participated in Flock University’s Vertical Challenge series. At Northeast Bird School, Rick is often found providing first flight courses, shooting video, helping new wingsuit students to develop their flight skills, and enjoying the pure joy that we call wingsuit flight. When he’s not at NEBS, Rick is often hard at work raising a flock of honey bees, and only Rick knows for sure how the honey bees fit into his plan for world domination…
Think you’ve got amazing flying skillz? See if you can keep up with Andreea, our resident aerobatics and back-flying enthusiast. (The running joke at NEBS is that Andreea spends most of her time on her back – and is an amazing wingsuit pilot, too!) She’s done more than 2000 skydives, the vast majority of which were in wingsuits, and she has also been involved with numerous state records and a national wingsuit record. She’s also our resident Phoenix Fly representative, so if you’re considering purchasing a new Phoenix Fly suit or have questions about a Phoenix Fly product, Andreea can help you out. When she’s not flying with NEBS, Andreea is either furiously coding complex web-based systems or rock climbing.
Experts warn not to stare at Matt Veno for too long, as people have been known to go blind from his sheer awesomeness. As a result, we have fewer pictures of the website of Matt than some of the other Northeast Bird School members (we’re concerned about your safety, after all). Matt is a Skydive University coach who can provide coaching for experienced wingsuiters – with a focus on safety. Matt has also developed “Birds Without Wings”, NEBS’ program for experienced skydivers with 50 to 200 skydives under their belt who want to prepare themselves for the world of wingsuitng. Matt has more than 800 skydives, of which 500+ are wingsuiting. When he’s not in a wingsuit, Matt is an avid skier and hiker. Matt also captured many of the ground and aerial photographs that you’ll find throughout the NEBS website, and, along with Andreea Olea, helps to maintain the northeastbirdschool.org website.
Billy is known by several nicknames: “Maverick,” because only a maverick chooses his own nickname; “Wolverine,” because most of Billy’s bones are reinforced with metal; and “Fatso,” because he’s fat. With an innate understanding of aerodynamics, flying has always come naturally to Billy. He has been flying airplanes since 1997, but eventually decided to try it without the airplane. Since falling in love with skydiving in 2007, Billy has been on a mission to teach others how to fly. He holds several records at both state and national levels, and is a Phoenix-Fly Wingsuit Coach, specializing in precision flying and vertical formations. In addition to teaching first-flight courses, Billy is part of artistic acrobatic wingsuit team,Tantrum, and four-way sequential team, Pelican.