Lee Benson is a retired helicopter pilot who’s flying career started in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and concluded as Chief Pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Lee’s 15,500 hours of flying and 40 years of military, commercial and government flying operations afford him a very broad background in the helicopter world. In 2008 he started a consulting company and is contracted to several helicopter equipment companies as a subject matter expert.
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, International Bureau Chief, is a senior defense/aviation journalist with a specialization in international military rotorcraft. Based in London, he has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan on numerous occasions on attachment with American and British helicopter forces. Andrew is a member of the Army Aviation Association of America, the Royal United Services Institute, the Air Power Association and is an associate member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He has a BA (Hons) degree in War Studies.
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.
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.
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, spent 27 years with a major county police department, retiring as a decorated sergeant and chief pilot of its aviation section in 2006. He began his flying career in the late 1980s when he earned his rotorcraft license and incorporated a small aviation company as a sideline to his law enforcement career. He has been writing features and columns for Rotor & Wing since 2003.
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-based Kennestone AVSTAT Helicopter Ambulance Program and Georgia Baptist LifeFlight.