Meet the Contributors: September 2014

By Staff Writer | September 12, 2014

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 yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press.


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 New York City.


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, Royal United Services Institute, and Air Power Association.



Mike Hangge is an active-duty Army Warrant Officer with an elite aviation unit. With more than 25 years of experience, he has performed duties as a mission, medevac, maintenance, and developmental pilot. He has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is also a novelist under the pen name mjHangge.


Emma Kelly, Australia and Pacific Correspondent. She has been an aviation journalist since the late 1980s, starting her career with Air Cargo News International. Following a number of years working on regional airline publications and for Inmarsat, Emma served in various editor roles at Flight International.


Katie Kriz is the Assistant Managing Editor of Rotor & Wing. She holds a BA in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, where she also developed an interest in photography. She participated in a rotational program with Access Intelligence, which led to her position with Rotor &Wing. Katie can be reached at: kkriz@accessintel.com



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.


Hank Perritt is a Professor of Law and former Dean, Chicago-Kent College of Law, the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a private helicopter and airplane pilot and is a member of the board of directors, legal and regulatory compliance officer, and a safety pilot for Air-One Emergency Response Coalition.


Eliot Sprague is a full-time professional ENG helicopter pilot; Director of Market Development and Commercial Pilot, AM Air Service; helicopter flight instructor, Midwestern Helicopter. A graduate of Hillsboro Aviation flight school, he holds helicopter CFI-I, CFI, and commercial pilot ratings.


ERNIE STEPHENS began flying in the 1980s, earning his commercial pilot’s license and starting an aerial photography company. 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.


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.

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