Helicopter Aerobatics To Return To Oshkosh


When Chuck Aaron retired from the airshow circuit in 2017, he decreased by half the number of U.S. pilots certified to fly aerobatics in a helicopter. This summer, his old job at Red Bull has been filled by a newly trained pilot, Aaron Fitzgerald, who will make his Oshkosh debut at EAA AirVenture in July, flying the Airbus B0-105C. “I was honored to be chosen for the training,” Fitzgerald told EAA. “I wasn’t sure how well I would do because I hadn’t flown a lot of aerobatics. A lot of the training was basically me unlearning the things I had learned for the last 20-odd years. It was a challenge making the transition, for sure, but I’ve really been enjoying it.”

Fitzgerald served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, and completed civilian pilot training in 1994. As CEO of Airborne Images, based in Los Angeles, he has flown aerial photo missions for a variety of film and photo clients, accumulating more than 8,500 flight hours. He connected with Red Bull through that work. Fitzgerald is now one of only four pilots in the world with the helicopter-aerobatics certification. AVweb spoke with Chuck Aaron about his work as a stunt pilot in “Spectre,” a James Bond movie, in 2015; click here for that podcast.