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Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | May 1, 2008

CLAUDIO AGOSTINI, R&W’s Latin America correspondent since 1999, is participating in development of a helicopter sub-group of the São Paulo Federation of Industries’ Aviation Working Group and the organization of a new, all-helicopter business and safety event to be held in São Paulo, Brazil this year. He is based in São Paulo, which has more than 300 helicopters and 160 elevated helipads.

KEITH CIANFRANI contributes this month’s Safety Watch column. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator, and Army instructor pilot, he is rated in both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. While at the U.S. Army Safety Center, he was an advisor to the director of Army safety and served as an aviation safety officer and accident investigator. He authored many aviation safety articles in the center’s Flight Fax magazine. He holds a master’s degree in aerospace safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a certificated flight instructor and has flown commercial aircraft for more than 20 years in and around New York City. A risk-management instructor, he teaches at Drexel University and The Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson.

REBECCA CHRISTIE this month contributes the Program Insider page of Rotorcraft Report. Based in Washington, she specializes in defense and economic policy and has been published in The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, among others.

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PAT GRAY this month contributes to our report on satellite tracking of helicopter fleets. He has been involved in Gulf of Mexico helicopter operations for 20-plus years. Prior to that, he was in Vietnam, where he flew with the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Co., the first armed U.S. helicopter unit deployed in combat. Holding unlimited air transport pilot fixed- and rotary-wing ratings, he has been active in aviation for 50 years.

ELIZAVETA KAZACHKOVA is on staff with the Air Transport Observer, a Moscow-based airline business publication. She also edits an online resource for general aviation pilots called Polet. She has worked for Kamov Helicopters, whence her interest in rotorcraft originates.

ERNIE STEPHENS began flying in the 1980s, earning his commercial pilot’s license and starting an aerial photography company as a sideline. In his regular job as a county police officer, he was transferred to the department’s new aviation unit, where he served as the sergeant in charge and chief pilot until his retirement in 2006. In addition to R&W, Ernie (aka "Werewolf") writes for our sister publication, Aviation Maintenance. He enjoys meeting our readers and flying a variety of helicopters.

EVAN SWEETMAN contributes to Rotorcraft Report this month. A veteran of reporting on air shows, he most recently joined the R&W team covering Heli-Expo 2008 in Houston in February.

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