Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | May 1, 2009
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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. James writes the lion’s share of Rotorcraft Report.

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. 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 offers a few helpful tips on how to select a shop that will do a good job with the annual inspections on your helicopter.

KEITH CIANFRANI Lt Col. U.S. Army (ret), 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. He holds a master’s degree in Aerospace Safety from Embry Riddle Aeronautical 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. Keith also teaches aviation safety and ground school in Philadelphia. As a safety expert, he owns and operates an aviation safety consulting business and is currently working with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and consults with Fox 29 News in Philadelphia.


STEVE "ELROY" COLBY Lt Col, U.S. Air Force (ret) began his helicopter career 28 years ago as a USAF helicopter mechanic. He flew UH-1N, HH-1H, MH-60G, HH-60G, AH-6, MI-8, and MI-24s for the U.S. Air Force. He is dual rated fixed- and rotary-wing, and a CFI. He also holds an A&P. Steve was both a panelist and judge for R&W’s 2008 Search and Rescue Summit. He wrote this issue’s feature, "The Pilot’s Partners: Backseaters."

PAT GRAY has been involved in Gulf of Mexico helicopter operations for 20-plus years. Prior to that, he was in Vietnam in 1958. 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 marvels at all the technological advances the industry has made during the past 10-15 years.

ANDREW HEALEY began writing about the helicopter industry more than 20 years ago. He trained as a Royal Navy navigation officer and pilot with front-line tours flying anti-submarine Sea Kings from aircraft carrier Hermes, and Wasps off Antarctic patrol ship Endurance. Before leaving the navy with an ATPL(H), he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air for his part in the rescue of seamen from a burning ship in the English Channel. As a civilian, he flew Jet Rangers, A-Stars and Agusta A109s for a charter company near London. Andrew has since written for many aerospace journals and most of the London-based national newspapers. He also runs a newsletter publishing corporation.

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.

TODD VORENKAMP currently flies Eurocopter HH-65C helicopters for the U. S. Coast Guard at Air Station Humboldt Bay, Calif. He served 11 years in the U.S. Navy flying the Boeing CH-46, Sikorsky SH-3s and MH-60S helicopters. He is the former editor-in-chief of Rotor Review, the Naval Helicopter Association’s quarterly publication, and is a trustee of the association. His writing was also featured in the anthology "Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families," published by Random House and the National Endowment for the Arts.

RICHARD WHITTLE covered the Association of the United States Army’s January 7-9 aviation symposium for R&W. Rick, who wrote our January cover story about the outlook for military rotorcraft in 2009, is completing a book about the V-22 Osprey for Simon & Schuster.

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