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are always things to do. It has over a thousand acres that make it very versatile for helicopter training … but it also comes with a lot of work.

RPMN: What is your greatest career accomplishment to date?

Getting my CFI and starting my own helicopter company. Watching new students evolve into a pilot right before your eyes while operating your own company is something I always wanted to do. I enjoy passing all the things I’ve learned over the years in general aviation, military, law enforcement, and fl ying EMS to new students. I teach them what to do … and what not to do.

RPMN: Have you ever had an “Oh, crap” moment in a helicopter? Can you summarize what happened?

As a trooper, I responded on the ground

to tornado-damaged areas several times in Kansas, and several times in my career I have also fl own over damaged areas after the fact. On the evening of May 22, 2011, while fl ying an EMS helicopter, I was the second helicopter that landed in Joplin, Missouri, to start evacuating injured patients after the tornado hit. My crew and I fl ew all night without hesitation. Approaching Joplin that evening at dusk from the air was surreal. It was very satisfying to be part of something that could help so many people that night.

RPMN: If you could give only one piece of advice to a new helicopter pilot, what would it be?

Never give up on your dream to be a pilot; I never did and it paid off . I like to off er my new students a little counseling during training that hopefully helps them through the hurdles of fl ight training and helps them fi nd a way to succeed in their

aviation career.

RPMN: In your view, what is the greatest challenge for the helicopter industry at this moment in time?

Financial aid for students! We all know the expense of fl ight training. We need to help students fi nd the means and the way to pay for fl ight training so they can get that career in aviation. We do everything we can at Humboldt Helicopters to keep overhead low so we can pass the savings on to our students and passengers. Stop by and visit; the coff ee is always on!

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