Renowned aerobatic helicopter pilot and instructor Chuck Aaron and his advanced flight academy are joining Southern Utah University (SUU) to offer the world’s only collegiate helicopter upset recovery and advanced instrument flight training. The Chuck Aaron Academy at SUU is in development and will be available for pilots in the coming months.
In 2019, Aaron opened a helicopter aerobatics school and began offering the world’s first in-helicopter upset recovery training program. Well known inside the helicopter community for nearly five decades, Aaron gained worldwide fame performing helicopter aerobatics at airshows in a specially-modified MBB BO-105 sponsored by Red Bull. He is the only pilot in the world licensed by the FAA to teach and perform helicopter aerobatics and only one of two teaching upset recovery training in a helicopter.
"Chuck Aaron's addition to SUU Aerospace represents a significant leap in our training capabilities," said SUU aviation director Michael Mower. "Chuck brings almost five decades of experience, including work with NASA's Space Shuttle program, the U.S. Army's Apache test pilot Targeting System (TADDS-PNVS) program, various movies, and as the Red Bull helicopter pilot. His research into advanced flight and safety techniques will allow SUU Aerospace to advance Chuck's already groundbreaking work further. We will be incorporating this advanced training into our short term, intensive programs," said Mower. "The flight portions of these programs are geared toward pilots already in the industry. While our students will not directly participate in the flight portion of the training, the aeronautical knowledge that Chuck brings to the program will be incorporated into all aspects of our ground training. This transfer of knowledge ensures that Chuck Aaron's legacy is passed on to the next generation of aviators."
Industry professionals will complete the new program in Aaron's BO-105. To qualify for training, helicopter pilots will need the endorsement of their current industry employer and/or go through an interview process. “This type of safety training needs to become standard in the industry, “ Aaron said. “My partnership with SUU aviation will allow for more pilots to receive this critical training.” He added that it would “help save lives."