Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | December 1, 2010

Chris Baur is a dual-rated ATP with more than 11,000 flight hours, a certified aircraft dispatcher and flight instructor. He is a retired military pilot who served in the U.S. Army, Coast Guard and Air Force (ANG). Chris is currently president of Hughes Aerospace.

Lee Benson is the retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Before he was named senior pilot, Lee ran the aviation section’s safety and training programs, including organizing the section’s yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press.

Shannon Bower is a 7,000-hour, dual ATP with type ratings in Bell 206s, Gulfstreams and Cessna Citations. He has operated on five continents and is a longtime photographer and contributing writer for Rotor & Wing. Shannon is the vice president of Bower Helicopter Inc., a firm that helps people buy, sell and refurbish helicopters.


Keith Cianfrani is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator and Army instructor pilot, he is rated in both fixed- and rotary-wing. He holds a master’s in aerospace safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Keith is a certificated flight instructor and has flown commercial aircraft for more than 20 years in and around the New York City area.

Steve “Elroy” Colby, Lt. Col., U.S. Air Force (Ret.) began his helicopter career in 1979 as a USAF helicopter mechanic. As a USAF pilot he flew UH-1N, HH-1H, MH-60G, HH-60G, AH-6, MI-8, and MI-24s for the Air Force. He is dual rated fixed and rotary-wing, a CFI and A&P.

Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor, is a senior defense journalist with a particular focus on military rotorcraft. He was the editor of Defence Helicopter for seven years. Andrew has reported on attachment from Iraq three times (the latest with a USMC MV-22 squadron), and twice with British forces in Afghanistan (Kandahar and Camp Bastion), as well as from NATO and British exercises.

Thierry Dubois is a long-time contributor to Access Intelligence publications. He has been an aerospace journalist for 12 years, specializing in helicopters since 2006. He writes on technical subjects, both for professional media and a popular science magazine in France.

Frank Lombardi began his flying career in 1991 when he graduated with a bachelor’s of science in aerospace engineering. Frank became a police officer for a major East Coast police department in 1995, and has flown helicopters in the department’s aviation section since 2000. He is a commercial pilot with both fixed-wing and rotary-wing ratings.

Douglas Nelms has more than 30 years of experience as an aviation journalist and currently works as a freelance writer. He has served as managing editor of Rotor & Wing. A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, Nelms specializes in writing about helicopters.

Mike Redmon is an ATP rated pilot with CFI, CFII, and MEI privileges. He began flying helicopters for the U.S. Army and then moved to civilian fixed-wing flying. After six enjoyable years in helicopter EMS, he is back to flying airplanes. Helicopters he has flown are the UH-1, OH-58, AH-64, BK-117, A-109E, BH-430, and BO-105.

Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large, 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 Rotor & Wing, Ernie (aka “Werewolf”) has written for Aviation Maintenance.

Terry Terrell gained his early aviation experience as a U.S. Navy fixed-wing instructor and U.S. Coast Guard aircraft commander, where his service included SAR in Sikorsky S-61s. Terry served as a cross-qualified captain and safety special projects officer with Houston’s Transco Energy, and later with Atlanta’s Kennestone AVSTAT Helicopter Ambulance Program and Georgia Baptist LifeFlight.

Todd Vorenkamp currently flies Eurocopter HH-65C helicopters for the U. S. Coast Guard at Air Station Humboldt Bay, Calif. He served 11 years in the U.S. Navy flying the Boeing CH-46, Sikorsky SH-3 and MH-60S helicopters. He is the former editor-in-chief of Rotor Review, the Naval Helicopter Association’s quarterly publication, and is a trustee of the association.

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