Aaron Fitzgerald

Helicopter Aerial filming & Aerobatics Pilot

Aaron grew up in Wenatchee – which is home to a USFS Tanker base – watching airplanes and helicopters overhead as they fought fires in the surrounding mountains.
Seeing these aircraft in the skies all summer instilled in him a strong desire to fly. Aaron has primarily focused on flying for the film and television industry; he has performed and filmed for over 100 films and television shows.
Besides this he has also flown in various other capacities such as utility flying in mountainous terrain and offshore support.
For a short time he is member of our the helicopter team and is representing The Flying Bulls in the United States.

1. Do you remember your first flight as a pilot?

My first flight as a passenger was in an airliner, and I really enjoyed it. My first as a pilot was in a Cessna 172 when I was 15 years old.

2. How many flying hours have you completed so far?

Just over 8,500 (per April 2018)

3. Which aircraft/helicopter would you like to fly if you were free to choose?

I would really love to fly the AH-64 or Eurocopter Tiger. Those look like a lot of fun. I have a lot of love for the A-10 as well. When I was in the Army, we were always happy to have A-10s overhead!

4. What flight qualities of what type of helicopter wow you the most?

The aerobatic capability of the BO-105. That is the most impressive feature of any helicopter I have flown. It’s still hard too believe that we fly them the way we do. To learn aerobatics from Rainer Wilke and Blacky Schwarz was a great honor for me.

5. Is there any single technical or design feature of your helicopter that fascinates you most?

The rotor system of the BO-105. That design was ahead of it's time and has proven it’s value over the years. Also, the power of the AS350B3e. It is a nice luxury to have that much power at your fingertips.

6. Given the age of the machines – have you never been uneasy when you climbed on board or during the flight?

Never. When you see what effort is put into maintaining these machines, it gives you all the confidence in the world.

7. What was the most turbulent flight of your life?

There have been many! It gets very turbulent in the mountains, so I have had quite a few flights that were pretty rough. Driving in Los Angeles traffic on my way to the airport is much more turbulent and frightening!

8. What helicopter should be added without fail to the Flying Bulls’ collection?

Personally, I love the Sikorsky S58T, that would make a nice addition. I also love the MD500 a lot. Maybe the Flying Bulls need one of those too!

Impressions

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