Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | July 1, 2007
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CAPT. ED VAN WINKLE is a district commander for the Gainesville Police Dept. in Gainesville, Fla., where he is a 19-year veteran. He is the Aviation Unit commander for the department and is a helicopter certified flight instructor. Ed also teaches at a local flight school.

SIMON PETER ROPER is an ex-business news broadcast journalist from London who now resides on Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast with his family. He holds a current commercial helicopter pilot’s license and also writes freelance articles on the global aviation community.

ELIZAVETA KAZACHKOVA is currently with the Air Transport Observer, a Moscow-based airline business publication. She also edits an online resource for general aviation pilots called Polet. For a short time, she worked for Kamov Helicopters, from where her interest in rotorcraft originates.


RAY PROUTY started his aerodynamics career in the helicopter industry in 1952 by joining the Aircraft Div. of Hughes Tool Co. (later Hughes Helicopter Co.) to work on the XH-17 Flying Crane. Subsequently, he worked at Sikorsky, Bell, and Lockheed, before returning to Hughes to be the chief of stability and control on the Apache. (Helicopter people tend to go around in circles, he notes.) He retired in 1987 and has since kept busy teaching, writing, and consulting.

BARNEY O’SHEA was instrumental in introducing helicopters to the British army air corps. He assisted in setting up the Australian army aviation corps. He is a guest lecturer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

STEVE COLBY is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and is working as a flight test consultant for Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. Prior to retirement, Colby was commander of the 34th Weapons Sqdn., the HH-60 Weapons School for the USAF. In January, Colby became special assistant to the USAF Weapons School commandant. He plans, executes, and reports flight tests for electronic warfare systems on Defense Dept. and Pentagon-contracted helicopters and airplanes.

ERNIE STEPHENS has served in a variety of positions in a major county police department including patrol, tactical operations, electronic surveillance and investigations. He earned his commercial rotorcraft license and owned an aerial photography company. When his police agency started a helicopter unit, he became the officer-in-charge, as well as one of the pilots. He retired in 2006 after 27 years of service, taking with him several commendations for his actions as an aviator. Stephens has been writing for Rotor & Wing since 2003, specializing in airborne law enforcement issues. He holds a B.S. in Management of Technical Operations and a master’s in Aeronautical Science, both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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