Van Helton

by Van Helton on August 23, 2019

SAFE #: S0004540


Hometown: Calhoun KY, United States

Home Airport: 2I0

Occupation: Insurance Agent – Managing Partner/Owner

Education: Western Kentucky University

Pilot Certificates: Student

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Cessna 172 & 150

Educational Specialty: Management

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: From as early as five years of age my grandfather planted the seed for my love of aviation. He served in WWII on the USS Intrepid, an Essix class aircraft carrier. There he was responsible for the ordinance and maintenance of the very planes that helped us win so many operations both on and off the seas.

From there I took my first general aviation flight when I was 14 years old in a beautiful Cessna 182 with a member of our church, and from there I was hooked!

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: As far as the education aspect I’ve recently begun my service. I’ve been flying off and on, as life allows, since I was 14 years old. As I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve been able to introduce my love of aviation into my work, the past three years my focus has drifted to Aviation safety, compliance, and attempting to learn how to become a better pilot and teacher to those who have an interest in aviation.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Most of my education revolves around speaking to the younger generation. We have several in our community who have started to express and interest in the field and I take every opportunity I can to encourage them to the best of my knowledge and skill level.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: The FAA doesn’t make it an easy read, that is for sure! My least favorite is trying to decipher the various FAA publications and manuals, and often having to rely on others who are far more experienced than I am to help make heads or tails of things!

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: There are so many. I’d have to say my most memorable was my trip to Oshkosh with my old Flight Instructor. From the crazy landing on the taxi way (there were four aircraft landing at one time) to my tour of my favorite aircraft, the B-17 Flying Fortress, that is a memory that I recall often, and I can’t help but smile.

Why did you join SAFE?: I was turned on to SAFE from some of the comments I’ve seen online and on Reddit. Being in the insurance field it is great to be a part of an association who’s focus is the safety of the aviation industry. I’ve already seen, and have been an ear, for pilots who have been involved in incidents and accidents. It has always been interesting to hear the aftermath on how the decisions made eventually led up to the failure, or failures. It’s something that I want to grow in and hopefully help the industry with.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: At the time of this post I cannot think of anything major to contribute to this inquiry. Sorry!

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: N/A

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: I’m still a young pup, even at 38 years of age, when it comes to the aviation experience. I’ve made the decision to become a CFI, and my GA check ride is just around the corner. I have a long road ahead of me, but it’s going to be a fun one!

Who are your role models in aviation?: My Grandfather, my old flight instructor, David Lowe, Mark Kittinger (UPS captain), and Tim Moseley (UPS Captain, Retired).

Anything else you'd like to add?: Not that I can think of!! Give me some time, I’m sure I’ll think of something!

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