FLYING Announces Hiring of New Editorial Director


Firecrown announced Tuesday that, effective Monday, April 22, Randy Bolinger joins the team as editorial director of FLYING, where he will oversee editorial strategy for its flagship brand, FLYING Magazine. 

Bolinger, a pilot, aircraft owner, and aviation enthusiast at heart, brings more than 30 years of experience in developing a voice for leading aviation brands, including Cirrus Aircraft, Gulfstream Aerospace, and the Civil Air Patrol, and other aviation/aerospace brands through CAP. 

During his time at Gulfstream, one of Bolinger’s many responsibilities included leading content development for Nonstop magazine, its premium global aviation lifestyle publication. In his most recent role with the CAP, he executed a complete rebranding of the 80-year-old organization, helped grow the pilot population through a recruitment strategy, and led the redesign and content strategy of its in-house publication, Volunteer magazine.

“Randy’s relationship with FLYING is a long and prosperous one,” said Lisa deFrees, Firecrown’s aviation group lead. “We have worked with him in all his previous roles and partnered with him on past events. We are excited to bring this full circle and put his creative genius and competitive drive directly to work for FLYING’s content strategy.  His diverse background makes him uniquely qualified to lead FLYING into the future and will undoubtedly contribute to the success of our family of aviation media titles.” 

“I’ve been fortunate to turn a lifelong fascination for flight into a dynamic career, and FLYING has been a significant part of that journey every step of the way,” said Bolinger. “Working for powerful world-class brands fuels my passion, and in the realm of aviation journalism, there is no more powerful, prestigious, or familiar brand than FLYING, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.” 


    • I think it means Russ would report to this role as Flying is the umbrella org for all the different brands – but I defer to Ed Staff to clarify 🙂

      • Looks to me as though they’re bringing him in for FLYING specifically, so I wouldn’t expect any impact on Russ et al.

    • No, I’m still here. Randy will be mostly focused on FLYING but he will also have responsibility for editorial development of Plane and Pilot and Kitplanes. AVweb will continue as normal (whatever normal is for AVweb).

    • I’m not sure I agree; it is theoretically possible that Avweb could improve editorially (a regular Bertorelli/Gann/Baxter-AI column, maybe? 😉 but I must admit that my first reaction was, “Oh no, the boss is pissing in the soup again.” It’s a very simple transaction: eyeballs drive ad revenue which drives publication resources, so the more we buy from Avweb sponsors, the more likely they’ll leave Avweb well-enough alone. Avweb’s problem is that its audience skews older and less affluent (yeah, that’s me, too) than Flying’s. Neither of my aircraft can reach altitudes that would benefit from a “cabin oxygen generator”, much less an EFIS …

  1. Congratulations, Randy !!
    I can’t think of a better place for you. I’ll be looking forward to a great continuation of AVweb and new life for FLYING.

  2. Not criticizing the new guy, but I’m sorry Julie Boatman’s gone; I can’t imagine how she could have disappointed them. She did an excellent job as FLYING went through enormous upheavals and the magazine is better for her contributions.

  3. My opinion for the new guy. The (overly) long Flying article about an electric chopper designed for those who have no interest in becoming pilots should have been written for a business magazine. We who sit in our flying machines know things are changing. We (I) would prefer to live out our pilot lives without having it rubbed in our faces.

    Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She’s a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

  5. 2019:
    Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol national commander and CEO, today announced the appointment of Randy S. Bolinger as chief of marketing and strategic communications.

    Bolinger is responsible for brand and marketing strategy, internal and external communications, media planning, managing and directing the organization’s national marketing efforts and partnering with CAP’s philanthropy team.

    Essential duties include the execution of a targeted, proactive multi-channel marketing strategy, the coordination of national media relations, and leadership in the development and delivery of marketing-related training across the country. Bolinger replaces Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann of the Tennessee Wing, who served as acting chief since August while CAP conducted a national search for the position.

    “Randy Bolinger is exactly the right person at the right time to lead CAP’s efforts in this critically important area,” Smith said. “He has extensive leadership experience in marketing and strategic communications with well-known companies in the aviation industry, plus he knows CAP well because he’s been a volunteer member for many years.

    “I look forward to working with Randy to more effectively communicate all the great things CAP does to support our communities, states and nation and to strengthen CAP’s brand.”

    Most recently a member of the Georgia Wing’s Savannah Composite Squadron, Bolinger joined CAP in 1998. He’s familiar with general aviation both as a vocation and avocation. In addition to being a 4,000-hour instrument-rated pilot and a certified small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS), he has nearly 30 years of corporate marketing, crisis communications, public relations and brand management experience in the aviation, marine, automotive and motorcycle industries.

    Since 2003 Bolinger has led the high-profile marketing and communications efforts for Cirrus Aircraft, Columbia Aircraft and Gulfstream Aerospace. As an entrepreneur, he launched a trade show and founded an aviation marketing firm supporting a wide variety of aerospace companies, including Rolls-Royce, Continental Motors, Mooney, Flying magazine, Honda Aircraft and many others. He’s also an aviation feature writer and author.

    Most recently Bolinger served as director of brand marketing at Gulfstream, where he built a 50-person creative services agency. Collectively, the team he assembled won 282 domestic and international creative award competitions during his tenure. He also relaunched Nonstop magazine, an international award-winning aviation lifestyle magazine distributed globally in English and Chinese.

    Bolinger previously held key leadership roles at Volvo Group North America, Bombardier Recreational Products, American Suzuki Motors and Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycles. He’s a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management.

    He is actively involved in other community service organizations, including Family Promise and the American Red Cross, and serves on the board of directors of the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force.

    “During my many years as a Civil Air Patrol senior member, I’ve had the pleasure of serving squadrons in Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Minnesota and Georgia as mission scanner, observer, pilot and public affairs officer,” Bolinger said. “I now have the rare opportunity to blend the breadth of my marketing experience and my passion for general aviation with my desire to serve the public.

    “I’m truly looking forward to serving the organization in this new capacity.”

  6. Well, Well! I knew that in GA there was several lobbyings. But I never heard that concrete persons (may be with the exception of Mr. M. B..) were also supported by lobbyists!!!