Meet a otor

Pro RPMN: What is your current position?

I am currently a Civilian Pilot II, or PIC, flying the AW139 for the Maryland State Police. We primarily provide medevac services for the state of Maryland as well as search/rescue and law enforcement services. We operate with crews of two pilots and two state trooper/medics at seven 24/7 bases across the state.

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight or experience with helicopters.

My first flight in a helicopter was in a Schweizer S300 in southeast Virginia. I decided to try helicopters while I was looking for flight schools and trying to decide which path I wanted to take in my aviation career.

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters?

I’ve always had a soft spot for aircraft from an early age. After graduating from college and graduate school in 2009, I looked for a job for over a year with no success. With no success in job hunting, I decided to pursue a career in aviation. I initially thought I would go the fixed-wing route until I took my first helicopter demo flight.

Eric Tadlock

RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly or work on helicopters? Or did they choose you?

I like to think the helicopter community chose me. I fell in love with rotorcraft during my first helicopter demo flight and have been hooked ever since. That being said, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the support of my family and the friends that I’ve made in the helicopter community.

RPMN: Where did you get your start professionally?

I got my start flying professionally as a CFI in northern Virginia. I then moved on to Grand Canyon tours based in Las Vegas. Then I was a utility pilot performing pipeline and power line patrols, before moving into firefighting. I also have performed filming flights, VIP shuttles and ferry flights, and have had the opportunity to fly a variety of airframes during my career.

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

I majored in geology and geographical information systems when I was in school. So, my best guess is that I

would probably be working as a digital cartographer somewhere.

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

I really enjoy traveling, although as of late that hobby has been hindered. In the meantime, I have enjoyed getting outside by either hiking on nearby trails or hopping in my kayak and paddling around the local waterways. And in the near future, I would like to pursue more airplane ratings.

RPMN: What is your greatest career accomplishment to date?

Last year, I had the privilege to attend PIC upgrade and type-rating training for the AW139 in New Jersey at Rotorsim. During that time, I was able to complete all of the requirements to receive my ATP helicopter rating.

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

The biggest moment that comes to mind was an encounter with inadvertent IMC. I was on a camera job as a chase aircraft for another test aircraft. The aircraft I was following was fully capable of handling


Mar/Apr 2021

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