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Meet a otor

Pro Jerry Daniels RPMN: What is your current position?

I am the owner and chief instructor of Humboldt Helicopters LLC in Humboldt, Kansas. We off er helicopter and fi xed- wing fl ight instruction while off ering real-life training from EMS, civilian, law enforcement, and military scenarios. We are located in a rural area of Kansas, but within 6 miles of two well-equipped uncontrolled airports. We also have some of the cheapest fuel prices in the country at Allen County Regional Airport (K88). We have over a thousand acres we use for a local fl ight training area where we conduct off -airport landings and incorporate our scenario-based training. Southeast Kansas is one of the best-kept secrets in the Midwest.

RPMN: Tell me about your fi rst fl ight.

I grew up fl ying in the back seat of a Cessna 172, while my dad took fl ight lessons. What hooked me on helicopters happened at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 1986. After basic rifl e marksmanship, all the soldiers that scored expert on the range got to fl y in a Huey back to the company area. I was hooked!

8 September 2015

RPMN: When and how did you choose to fl y helicopters? Or did they choose you?

Growing up on a farm I always wanted to fl y and land anywhere, and helicopters always had my interest. Watching them every week on Magnum P.I. didn’t help either. I knew I would fl y helicopters someday, but never knew for sure how I would get there.

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters?

After returning from Desert Storm, I started taking fl ight lessons in an R22 and chose a career in law enforcement. I continued serving in the Kansas Army National Guard as a crew chief on Hueys and Blackhawks. In law enforcement, I was a state trooper in the Kansas Highway Patrol, and was eventually selected for a pilot-in-command position in the patrol’s Special Operations Air Unit. That’s how I got my break fl ying missions every day in helicopters and airplanes. It was just after 9/11 and there were so many security and surveillance fl ight missions. It was a great time to be a pilot in law enforcement who wanted to fl y and build fl ight time. Best job I ever had!

RPMN: Where did you get your start fl ying commercially?

I started fl ying commercially for an air ambulance company and eventually became a lead pilot, safety offi cer, and a company fl ight instructor. I then realized how satisfying fl ight training was and knew I wanted to instruct on my own. As I taught new pilots that came into the company, I soon realized how much fun it was teaching people aviation. I was known for giving new company pilots real-world scenarios and making them think their way out of problems. It was fun.

RPMN: If you were not in the helicopter industry, what else could you see yourself doing?

I would probably still be in the law enforcement fi eld, instructing other offi cers in those subject areas that I taught as a trooper at the patrol academy. By the way, I hope to see everybody at ALEA next year in Savannah, Georgia!

RPMN: What do you enjoy doing on your days off ?

Living back on the family farm, there

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