We have been overwhelmed by the good wishes and wonderful stories so many of you have shared with us. For us, Doug was a great brother and son, along with being a meticulous pilot, a pioneering engineer, and a giver of time and talent.

Most importantly, thank you for your friendship and generosity at this difficult time. Doug would have wanted all of us to celebrate and embrace the life he lived – he lived it well.

The Bourn Family

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


posted on behalf of Scott Underwood

The first time I flew with Doug, he let my two young sons, Ryan and Eric, take part in the 100th anniversary of the birth of flight, bringing us up for a quick tour of the Bay Area and letting them each fly for a short period. Later, he flew my whole family up to Boise for the start of a two-week camping trip — we loaded his plane with so much gear, Doug had us take a picture of the unloaded plane.

A couple years after that, Doug flew Ryan, and Chris Kurjan and me up to Plains, Montana, to see former IDEOer Terry Christensen, and those three engineers bonded over Terry’s off-the-grid electricity and water systems. Then Doug, Chris and I flew on to Kalispell, rented a car, and camped overnight in Glacier National Park. As we passed over Flathead Lake at night, Doug showed me how he could remotely turn on the runway lights at an unattended airstrip, a little trick that’s likely common to pilots but was magic to me.

One conversation I remember having in flight regarded “pilot-speak” — the tendency for pilots, even women, when using the radio to lower the pitch of their voice and reduce the expressiveness, adopting a just-the-facts tone somewhere between cowboy and cop. It seemed like Doug’s speaking voice was a good octave above his radio voice, and it amused me to hear him adopt the false machismo.

Beyond that my memories of Doug involve conversations during work or over evening drinks in the Grassy Knoll and elsewhere, the kind of goalless exchanges of stories and ideas that create bonds and make the time a little brighter. My life is richer from having known him.

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