About Hover Power
“Hover Power” reports on news, safety, technique, and events in the helicopter industry.
About the authors
Neal Lanning has the kind of experience only a lifetime in aviation can bring. As the owner of Advanced Helicopter Concepts, Inc. in Frederick, Maryland, Lanning operates five Robsinson R22s and one Robinson R44. As if running one of the busiest helicopter flight schools in the country weren’t enough, Lanning also flies a Bell 206 for an aerial mapping company. He has previous experience in the S-76, AS-365, Bell 430, and EC-135, and three fixed-wing type ratings.
Rotorcraft newcomer Ian J. Twombly is editor of AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines. Twombly reports on industry news, and offers opinion and commentary from the perspective of a relatively low-time helicopter pilot. He also holds commercial and flight instructor fixed-wing ratings.
Matt Johnson is currently flying helicopters in a law enforcement role, having worked previously in a HEMS operation. He holds an ATP-Instrument Helicopter certificate and is a helicopter CFI. He is also a designated pilot examiner. In 2011 Johnson became one of only five helicopter flight instructors to achieve the Master Instructor designation. He is factory trained in Bell, Eurocopter, MD Helicopter, and Robinson models. In addition, Johnson is a graduate of the NTSB Rotorcraft Accident Investigation course.
Maria Langer is the owner and chief pilot of Flying M Air, LLC, a single pilot Part 135 charter operation based in central Washington state. In addition to providing on-demand charter services, she also does aerial photo/video, wildlife survey, cherry drying, and frost control flights. Although most of her time is in Robinson R44 helicopters, she has also flown Bell 206L helicopters as a Grand Canyon tour pilot. A freelance writer since 1990, Maria has been blogging about her life, flying experiences, and helicopter safety issues since 2004.
Markus Lavenson is currently flying as a captain in the Agusta Westland AW139 in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico in oil and gas support missions for Era Helicopters. His varied career began shortly after graduating from the University of California at Davis, and has included everything from flight instruction and powerline patrol to HEMS and external load operations. Lavenson is an ATP-rated helicopter and commercial fixed-wing pilot, and is certificated to instruct in both. His more than 9,000 hours of flight time comes from more a dozen different types of helicopters. Lavenson enjoys the intricate work of helicopter instrument flying, whether it’s to an airport on Alaska’s North Slope or one he creates to an oil rig hundreds of miles offshore.