Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | March 1, 2009
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CHARLOTTE ADMAS covers aviation and defense technology. She writes for our sister publication Aviation Maintenance and was the editor-in-chief of Avionics. She also writes for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

CHRIS BAUR is a dual-rated ATP with more than 11,000 hours, a certified aircraft dispatcher and flight instructor. He is a retired military pilot, who served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force and currently a captain at a major U.S. airline, rated in the Boeing 737,757,767,777. His helicopter background includes flying the longest oceanic rescue mission in history, flown in a USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk. Chris is also type rated on numerous helicopters to include BH-206, SA-365 and HU-369. He flew Part 91 and 135 commercial helicopter operations during the 1980s. Chris is a former federal law enforcement officer/pilot for the U.S. Treasury Dept. He is the recipient of 1995 the FLEOA Medal of Valor for Heroism, presented by Attorney General Janet Reno.

TONY CAPOZZI has been flying since 1977 and is dual rated in rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1982 and holds an ATP, CFII, A&P, Inspection Authorization and is an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for airplanes and helicopters. Tony owns and has flown a wide variety of airplanes and helicopters over the years and is the author of a helicopter training handbook for students working on Private through CFI ratings. In this issue, Tony talks about factory-approved maintenance courses and how they can provide an advantage to the entire helicopter operation.


JAMES CARELESS is a long-time contributor to Rotor & Wing.

He has written for other aviation magazines such as our sister publications, Aviation Maintenance and Avionics, as well as Aircraft Maintenance Technician, Helicopters and Wings. This month he covers stories in "Rotorcraft Report."

KEITH CIANFRANI is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, instructor pilot and master aviator. He was an advisor to the director of Army Safety, an aviation safety officer and accident investigator while at the U.S. Army Safety/Combat Readiness Center. Keith authored many aviation safety articles in the center’s Flight Fax magazine. He holds a master’s degree in Aero-Space Safety from Embry Riddle Aeronuatical University. Keith is a certified flight instructor and has flown commercial aircraft in and around the Philadelphia and New York areas for more than 20 years. As a safety expert, he owns and operates an aviation safety consulting business and is currently working with Sikorsky Aircraft and consults with FOX 29 News in Philadelphia.

PAT GRAY has been involved in Gulf of Mexico helicopter operations for 20-plus years. Prior to that, he was in Vietnam in 1958 as a young paratrooper. While there, he flew with a French aero club and earned a Vietnamese pilot’s license. He returned in 1964 as an Army gunship pilot with the Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter Co., the first armed helicopter unit deployed in combat. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a chief warrant officer 4, with more than 30 years active and reserve service. His civil helicopter experience covers crop dusting and Alaska bush, corporate, pipeline and offshore flying. He holds unlimited air transport pilot fixed- and rotary-wing ratings. He had been active in aviation for 50 years and misses the camaraderie of fellow pilots and envies all the technological advances the industry has made during the past 10-15 years.

JOHN PERSINOS served as a staff reporter on daily metropolitan newspapers and has worked on several national magazines, specifically as a staff writer at Inc.; an associate editor of Venture; managing editor of Campaigns & Elections; and editor-in-chief of Rotor & Wing. John completed the Davenport Fellowship in Business and Economics Reporting at the University of Missouri (Columbia) School of Journalism and also attended the Bell Helicopter Training Academy in Forth Worth, Texas. He currently serves as publisher/editorial director of Aviation Today, the aviation Web site maintained by the multimedia company, Access Intelligence. Aviation Today, with more than 190,000 visits a month, is the umbrella Web site under which the Rotor & Wing sub-site resides.

D SMITH is a senior air safety investigator instructor at the Transportation Safety Institutes’ (TSI) National Aircraft Accident Investigation School, located at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Instructing with TSI since 1999 as an associate staff instructor and employed as a full-time manager since 2004. He also serves as the chief operating officer for the Results Center, a cutting-edge aviation safety training and technology organization. Prior to joining TSI he spent nearly 29 years in the U.S. Army where he served as an helicopter pilot earning the designation of Master Army Aviator. He served as the aviation safety officer in a multitude of organizations and has held several key positions in the field of aviation safety including, Director of Aviation Safety Officer Training for the U.S. Army.

DEBBIE SPARKS is the general manager and president of Palm Beach Helicopters. Debbie began her aviation career after retiring from the automotive and racing industry. Her passion for the industry is the training arena, getting to view first hand the accomplishments of students and staff, because that’s where it all begins.

TERRY TERRELL is a UGA graduate who 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. ATP licensed with ratings in both jets and helicopters, and more than 16,000 hours total flight time, Terry served as a cross qualified captain and safety special projects officer with Houston’s Transco Energy, which operated the first Lear 55s and a fleet of more than 30 TwinStars. He later served in multiple organizational capacities with Atlanta’s Kennestone AVSTAT Helicopter Ambulance Program and Georgia Baptist LifeFlight during their notable operational years, speaking on behalf of emergency medical transportation throughout the community.

THOMAS WITHINGTON is a French-based freelance defence writer and analyst. He has contributed more than 200 articles to a range of defence publications and mainstream media across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. Furthermore, he has performed major consultancy projects for a range of blue chip private sector and public sector clients. He is a research associate at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, London; an associate member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS); and a Member of the RAeS Air Power Group.

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