Lee Benson is a 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.
Keith Brown is founder and principal of Defense Strategies, a company focused on defense aerospace strategic planning and marketing. Keith retired from the Army as a career Aviator and acquisition/procurement professional. He’s held numerous command, staff, joint and acquisition assignments including four years as an Army Aviation platform PM within PEO for Aviation, having yearly budgets exceeding $400 million and contracts exceeding $3 billion. He’s also participated in source selection processes and chaired an aviation Source Selection Evaluation Board. Keith resides in Huntsville, Ala.
Keith Cianfrani is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator and Army instructor pilot, rated in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He holds a master’s degree 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.
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.
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.
Ian Frain graduated with BSc in Engineering Studies (Aerospace & Mechanical subjects) from University of Hertfordshire in 2002. He then worked at an EASA Part 145 fixed-wing MRO at London Gatwick Airport, participating in aviation recruitment with a rotary wing EASA Part 145 MRO. Ian then moved into B2B media in aviation and has worked as researcher for aviation information software for four years and is now running aviation research consultancy, Helian. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.