Biography - July 2006
I started flying lessons in
1975. I had an engine failure
in Pompano Beach, Fl., wrecked the aircraft but continued flying.
I joined the Mass. National Guard at Otis AFB in 1977.
I was accepted into US Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Al. in
1978. After graduating from the Army’s Aircraft Maintenance
Officers Course in 1980, I became a maintenance test pilot for the Army
National Guard. Through my career in the Guard I was in the Mass., Ct.,
Pa, NJ, and Louisiana Guard units.
My first civilian job as a helicopter pilot was in Danbury, Ct.
I operated a helicopter flight school.
From there I had my own company in NJ with a Bell 47 (like Mash).
I did whatever I could to fly, flight training, parachutists,
photographers, sightseeing, etc.
I was offered a job in Pa, near Philadelphia to run a flight school
flying Hughes 300’s. We got
a contract to run checks at night with a Bell 222 (Like Airwolf).
We flew checks from a check-processing center in Valley Forge, Pa.
to the roof of the Federal Reserve Bank Building in downtown Philadelphia,
then to Teteboro, NJ. In the
daytime I would fly charters for large corporations.
From there I went to work for a company in Spring Valley, New York. During the day we would fly corporate VIPs from New York to
Washington DC, Boston or wherever in the northeast corridor.
At night we would fly for the casinos in Atlantic City.
We flew the high rollers and entertainers to and from Manhattan,
Long Island, and Atlantic City. Tom Magnan flew all night with me once as
my “co-pilot”. We made several trips from New York City to Atlantic City.
In 1985 I attended the Aviation Warrant Officer’s Advance Course
at Fort Rucker. I used those
five months to find a job down south.
I went to work for an offshore helicopter company, PHI, in
Lafayette, La. I had an
engine failure about 100 miles offshore.
It turned out a lot better than the airplane I wrecked.
I put it in the water with no damage and was rescued by boat.
I flew the same helicopter several days later.
I was offered a job at the National Guard facility at Lakefront
Airport in New Orleans as a test pilot.
I became the Supervisory Maintenance Test Pilot with 32 aircraft
and 45 full time mechanics.
Chevron hired me in January 1991.
My schedule is seven days on, seven days off.
We fly in the Gulf of Mexico, as far as 200 miles offshore.
I am a Check Airman which means I take an annual check ride with
the FAA so that I can train and give check rides to our pilots.
I’m now flying the Bell 206 and 427, Sikorsky S-76, and Agusta
We routinely evacuate for hurricanes.
Many of the people I work with lost their homes and neighborhoods
where they had lived for generations.
The size and amount of devastation from the storm is phenomenal.
My wife Cindy is an FAA licensed A&P mechanic.
She doesn’t work as a mechanic anymore but we met when she was a
helicopter mechanic working on the aircraft I flew.
Our son Casey is a Computer Technician for the State of Florida in
Tallahassee. We live in
Carrabelle, Florida on the gulf coast near Apalachicola. We have a 30’
O’Day sailboat and have sailed it for 12 years.
We have five dogs, two cats, and a bunch of fish.
Thanks to Larry and Bart for the work they have done
for the DLS Class of ‘71.