Commercial, Training

Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | August 1, 2009
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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 (ANG) and currently is a captain at a major U.S. airline. His helicopter background includes flying the longest oceanic rescue mission in history, flown in a USAF HH-60G Pavehawk. 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 in the Northeast during the 1980s.

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 other industry publications.

GIOVANNI DE BRIGANTI has covered the aerospace and defense industry since the beginning. Born in Italy, he lived in Texas, Virginia and South Australia before settling in Paris. He is currently editor-in-chief of, a news website, having previously worked for Defense News, Armed Forces Journal and various European defense publications, including two that he founded. A self-avowed total helicopter person, he has been covering European issues for Rotor & Wing since the mid-1980s.


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 Air Force. He is dual rated fixed- and rotary-wing, a CFI and A&P.

PAT GRAY is our "Offshore Notebook" contributor, having flown 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 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.

ANDREW HEALEY 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.

FRANK LOMBARDI began his flying career in 1991 when he graduated with a bachelor’s of science in aerospace engineering. Frank became a police officer for a major East Coast police department in 1995, and has flown helicopters in the department’s aviation section since 2000. He is a commercial pilot with both fixed-wing and rotary-wing ratings. Frank remains active in test and evaluation, and holds a master of science degree in aviation systems-flight testing. He joins Rotor & Wing as a law enforcement columnist.

RICHARD WHITTLE writes the Program Insider stories for R&W and covers many aspects of the military. Rick is also the author of a book on the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster in April 2010.

THOMAS WITHINGTON is a French-based freelance defence writer and analyst. He has contributed articles to a range of defence publications and mainstream media across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. 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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