Monday, August 1, 2011
Meet the Contributors
Rick Christoffersen is the director of safety for The Squadron, Inc., a retired U.S. Coast Guard pilot, and a graduate of the Naval Aviation Safety Officer School. He has extensive experience as a CRM, risk management and maintenance resource management instructor, providing training to USCG and international SAR agencies. Rick is a certified IS-BAO auditor. He has accumulated more than 4,700 hours of flight experience in helicopters and holds an FAA helicopter ATP.
Keith Cianfrani is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator and Army instructor pilot, rated in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He holds a master’s degree in aerospace safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Keith is a certificated flight instructor and has flown commercial aircraft for more than 20 years in and around the New York City area.
Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor, is a senior defense journalist with a particular focus on military rotorcraft. He was the editor of Defence Helicopter for seven years. Andrew has reported on attachment from Iraq three times (the latest of which was with a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 squadron), and three times with British forces in Afghanistan (Kandahar and Camp Bastion), as well as from numerous NATO and British exercises.
Thierry Dubois is a long-time contributor to Access Intelligence publications. He has been an aerospace journalist for 12 years, specializing in helicopters since 2006. He writes on technical subjects, both for professional media and a popular science magazine in France.
Pat Gray is the “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. He retired from the Army Reserve as a chief warrant officer 4, with more than 30 years active and reserve service. Gray’s civil helicopter experience covers crop dusting and Alaska bush, corporate, pipeline and offshore flying.
Frank Lombardi, an ATP with both fixed-wing and rotary-wing ratings, began his flying career in 1991 after graduating with a bachelor’s of science in aerospace engineering, working on various airplane and helicopter programs as a flight test engineer for Grumman Aerospace Corp. Frank became a police officer for a major East Coast police department in 1995, and has been flying helicopters in the department’s aviation section since 2000. He remains active in test and evaluation, and holds a master’s degree in aviation systems-flight testing from the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
Douglas Nelms has more than 30 years of experience as an aviation journalist and currently works as a freelance writer. He has served as managing editor of Rotor & Wing. A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, Nelms specializes in writing about helicopters.
Emma Kelly has been an aviation journalist since the late 1980s, starting her career with Air Cargo News International. Following a number of years working on regional airline publications and for Inmarsat, Emma served in various editor roles at Flight International. In 2003 Emma emigrated to Australia and became a freelance aviation journalist where she contributes regularly to aviation and defense publications around the world.
Chris Sheppard is the Associate Editor of Rotor & Wing. Coming from a strong background in journalism and public relations, she was an editor for a leading online newswire for several years. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Journalism at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dale Smith has been an aviation journalist for 24 years specializing in business aviation. He is currently a contributing writer 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.
Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large, 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 newly established aviation unit, where he served as the sergeant in charge and chief pilot until his retirement in 2006.