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Richard Bray
Name: Richard Bray
Company: Alachua County Sheriff
Position: Flight Insctructor
Current Aircraft: Bell 206 Helicopter
Age 59 years old
Country USA


Airline experience: no
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: no
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: yes


Mentor profile:
PROFILE I started out as a patrol officer. I had always been interested in flying helicopters, the agency I worked for at the time had an Aviation Unit and I began learning to fly in an R-22 at a small suburban airport. I was hooked from the first intro lesson! I earned my PVT.Pilot Helicopter in 1985 and continued toward my COMM.even after transferring to another agency. In 1989 I entered the Air Unit of my dept. as an observer although I had my COMM.I continued to gain flight hours and was eventually made Aircraft Commander flying one of the 3 helos or C-172.In 1997 I was hired by my current agency to help start their unit and be their Chief Pilot. We now operate 2 Bell helicopters with 5 pilots. I hold a Commercial Helicopter cert. and am a CFI-I Helicopter. I also have a PVT.ASEL cert. I am an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor and a Night Vision Goggle Instructor. I am based at GNV in north Florida.



Favorite thing about flying:
Being able to combine flying with my law enforcement career which has been more than 20 years.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
The Aviation Unit can at times be politically sensitive in law enforcement.



What you would have done different:
Found out more about what a career as helicopter pilot means as far as flight hour experience and how to gain the experience.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Get lots of info on your flight school and ask questions of people who will give you REAL answers based on what you want out of learning to fly.
Problems encounterd along the way:
The cost, flight schools closing up or stringing you along and instructors who build time at your expense. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Keep in mind that a flight instructor is your employee.






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