Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | July 1, 2008
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CLAUDIO AGOSTINI, Rotor & Wing’s Latin America correspondent, is working on including in Brazil’s aviation framework (the National Civil Aviation Plan or Plano Nacional de Aviação Civil) a chapter dedicated specifically to helicopters, and dealing with organizers of the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) 2008 on R&W’s participation in that August event in São Paulo. This year, LABACE will have a special area for helicopters. He is based in São Paulo.

KEITH CIANFRANI contributes this month’s Safety Watch column. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator, and Army instructor pilot, he is rated in both fixed- and rotary-wing. While at the U.S. Army Safety Center (now the Combat Readiness Center), he was an advisor to the director of Army safety and served as an aviation safety officer and accident investigator. He holds a master’s in aerospace safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is a certificated flight instructor and has flown commercial aircraft for more than 20 years in and around the New York City area. A risk-management instructor, he teaches at Drexel University and at The Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson.

GIOVANNI DE BRIGANTI investigates this month some of the major changes facing the European helicopter industry and assesses their long-term impact. These changes include slashed military research and development budgets. He tracks the rotorcraft business for R&W from his base in Paris.


RAMON LOPEZ is editor-in-chief of our sister publication, the Access Intelligence electronic newsletter Air Safety Week. An aerospace and defense journalist with more than 35 years’ experience editing and managing daily, weekly, monthly and bimonthly international publications. He previously served as editor of Unmanned Systems magazine. He has also been a regular contributor for other aviation publications and reports this month about law enforcement use of unmanned aerial systems.

ERNIE STEPHENS 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 new aviation unit, where he served as the sergeant in charge and chief pilot until his retirement in 2006. He writes about worldwide airborne law enforcement in this issue. Ernie (aka "Werewolf") enjoys meeting our readers and flying a variety of helicopters.

JOE WEST is a retired British Army helicopter pilot with worldwide experience from the Arctic to the jungles of the Far East. After leaving the service, he flew on oil support, mainly in Sikorsky Aircraft S-61s and S-76s, building up 9,000 hr of helicopter time. He reports this month on law enforcement in Europe.

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