Military, Public Service, Services

Meet the Contributors

By Staff Writer | November 1, 2009
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Charlotte Adams covers aviation and defense technology. She has written for Aviation Maintenance magazine and was the editor-in-chief of Avionics. She also writes for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

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.

Douglas Nelms has more than 30 years of experience as an aviation journalist and currently works as a freelance writer. He formerly served as managing editor of Rotor & Wing. A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, he specializes in writing about helicopters.

Scot Penn began his aviation career as an A&P mechanic at Papillon Helicopters in Maui in 1981. He has served in the U.S. Army as a chief warrant officer, OH-58 Scout pilot and AH-1 Cobra pilot. As a helicopter emergency medical service pilot, he flew in BK-117 and BH-230 aircraft in southeast Minnesota for seven years. Throughout the past 14 years he has been a dual-rated ATP where he has acquired type ratings in BH-222, SK-92, CE-500, HS-125, BAE-125, RA-4000, and BBD-700 aircraft. He has also flown Sikorsky S-76C+ and MD-902 helicopters aboard private luxury yachts and land-based operations throughout the world. He is presently Sikorsky S-92 supervisor, Hawker 4000 pilot, and Global Express pilot at United Technologies Corp.

Dale Smith has been an aviation journalist for 24 years specializing in business aviation. He is currently a contributing editor for Rotor & Wing and other leading aviation magazines. He has been a licensed pilot since 1974 and has flown 35 different types of general aviation, business and WWII vintage aircraft. In his spare time he moonlights as a award-winning aviation artist.

ERNIE STEPHENS, editor-at-large, began flying in the 1980s, earning his commercial pilot’s license and starting an aerial photography company. He currently flies as a helicopter pilot for the Maryland State Police Aviation Command. In addition to Rotor & Wing, Ernie (aka “Werewolf”) has written for Aviation Maintenance.

Richard Whittle, longtime Pentagon correspondent for The Dallas Morning News, writes regularly for Rotor & Wing about military aircraft and related topics. Rick is the author of a book on the V-22 Osprey that Simon & Schuster will publish in April 2010.

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