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.
Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor, is a senior defense journalist with a particular focus on international military rotorcraft. He has reported on attachment from Iraq three times (the latest of which was with a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 squadron), and three times with British forces in Afghanistan (Kandahar and Camp Bastion), as well as from numerous exercises. He has flown in a wide variety of rotorcraft including the MV-22B Osprey, AH-64D Apache, Rooivalk and many others.
Pat Gray is our “Offshore Notebook” contributor, having flown in Gulf of Mexico helicopter operations for 20-plus years. Prior to that, he was in Vietnam in 1958 as a young paratrooper. He retired from the Army Reserve as a chief warrant officer 4, with more than 30 years active and reserve service. Gray’s civil helicopter experience covers crop dusting and Alaska bush, corporate, pipeline and offshore flying.
Frank Lombardi, an ATP with both fixed-wing and rotary-wing ratings, began his flying career in 1991 after graduating with a bachelor’s of science in aerospace engineering, working on various airplane and helicopter programs as a flight test engineer for Grumman Aerospace Corp. Frank became a police officer for a major East Coast police department in 1995, and has been flying helicopters in the department’s aviation section since 2000. He remains active in test and evaluation, and holds a master’s degree in aviation systems-flight testing from the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
Elena Maldova, a business aviation and helicopter industry specialized journalist, started her career in the Aerosouz Magazine (based in Moscow), worked for the French publishing house, Callixo, where she wrote for Helicopter Magazine and Ultimate Jet, then took a position as editor-in-chief of Russian business aviation portal, JETS.RU. She continues to contribute to different magazines worldwide, passionate of helicopters and investigative journalism.
Robert Moorman has written for more than 25 years about the aviation industry, including rotorcraft. His articles have ranged from topics on commercial, regional, cargo, maintenance, training, safety, information technology and business aviation, to the U.S. military. Moorman runs his own freelance writing and communications business in the Washington, D.C., area.
Chris Sheppard is the Associate Editor of Rotor & Wing. Coming from a strong background in journalism and public relations, she was an editor for a leading online newswire for several years. She has covered a wide range of topics, both online and in print since 2002. Chris is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Journalism at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale Smith has been an aviation journalist for 24 years specializing in business aviation. He is currently a contributing writer for Rotor & Wing and other leading aviation magazines. He has been a licensed pilot since 1974 and has flown 35 different types of general aviation, business and WWII vintage aircraft.
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 newly established aviation unit, where he served as the sergeant in charge and chief pilot until his retirement in 2006.