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I love helping to develop and implement marketing strategies for our clients. It allows you to be really creative because we have so many tools at our disposal to create highly robust and well-rounded campaigns: video, print, digital and social media. It’s been really great to gain a different perspective other than just the aviation side. Outside of that, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, spending time with my family, figuring out my next adventure, and catching up with my buddies over a beer pretty much fills out what time is left.


RPMN: What is your greatest career accomplishment to date?


I’d have to say the biggest accomplishment would have to be the entire journey. From putting it all on the line and taking a leap hoping the net would appear, to sleeping in trailers, couch surfing, countless hours on the road, eating enough Ramen noodles to kill a college kid, and finally getting an EMS job. It was the challenge of the journey that made it so great.


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


Well, I have definitely had a few, but one that comes to mind was when I was instructing. My student and I were training run-on landings in an R22. Upon touchdown we began to veer to the right, so I told him to apply left pedal. Still veering right, I said again, in a slightly louder voice, “Left pedal!” At this point he had kind of locked up and I was trying to overpower him with left pedal. After telling him I have controls, I was pushing so hard to overpower him and his tree-trunk-sized legs that when I finally had controls and he had relinquished, I had jammed in full left pedal and there we were sliding down Runway 15 with a heading of 060! I definitely “Oh, crapped.”


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


Be an airplane pilot! No, all jokes aside I would say to be humble and be good to the folks around you, because it’s a small industry and you never know who can help open a door for you. Most of all, I would tell them to be persistent in their pursuit. No one


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is going to just hand you anything in this industry; you really have to earn it.


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


Since I’m a pilot, I’ll have to speak from a pilot’s perspective. Generally, I think pilot pay is a serious challenge for the industry. Pilots fly multi-million-dollar aircraft, and there are few who possess the skills necessary to do so. There seems to be consensus among many who agree that helicopter pilots are generally underpaid. That has led to many talented aviators


choosing a different career path, or they get out of flying helicopters and go to airlines. It seems that finding qualified pilots is an ever-present challenge, and that problem will only be exacerbated in the future if the industry resists change or does not seek solutions.


Do you know someone who would be a good subject for Meet a Rotorcraft Pro? Email your suggestion to the editor-in-chief:


lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com


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