Jon Prater – CW4, AV (Ret)


Mr. Prater is a distinguished pilot with 37 years of flying experience and over 10,000 fixed and rotary wing flight hours; Jon Prater served his country in Operation Iraqi Freedom flying numerous combat missions while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division as Blackhawk helicopter pilot. He began his United States Army service in 1983 as an enlisted soldier and an AH-1S Cobra helicopter mechanic/crew-chief, and then attended Flight School graduating in Class 85-49 in July 1986.

Mr. Prater’s diverse military and civilian flight experience includes:

  • AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Mechanic/Crew-chief (1983-1985)
  • UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot, Unit Trainer, Simulator Operator/Instructor (1986-2004)
  • Unit Safety Officer Assignments (1986-2004)
  • Aviation Task Force Executive Commander in Macedonia (1997-1998)
  • UH-1 Instructor Pilot US. Army Reserves Des Moines, Iowa (1990-1994)
  • UH-60 Pilot/Unit Trainer Illinois National Guard (1994-1999)
  • UH-60 Pilot/Unit Trainer Iowa National Guard (1999-2004)
  • Over 5,000 Law Enforcement Flight Hours (Iowa State Trooper/Pilot Badge #298 (1990-2000)
  • Iowa State Patrol Air-wing Division Flight Instructor and Safety Officer (1993-2000)
  • Corporate and Cargo Pilot (Part-Time) (1992-2000)
  • Mesaba Airlines RJ-85 (BAE 146) First Officer (2000-2001)
  • FAA Safety Inspector – Operations: Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing administering all pilot ratings Private (PVT) through Airline Transport Rating (ATP) for both Fixed Wing and Rotor Wing (2001-Present)

Prater’s military assignments include oversees tours in: Iraq, Korea, Macedonia, Honduras, and Panama. Stateside assignments: Fort Campbell, KY home of the 101st Airborne Division (A Troop 2/17 Air Cav, 4, 6 and 9th Aviation Battalion). Aviation units in Des Moines and Boone, IA as well as Peoria and Decatur, Illinois in the Army Reserve and National Guard. For over 21 years Mr. Prater served with the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard until his retirement in 2004 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4).

Jon remains active in general aviation and last year flew from California in a small Cessna to Oshkosh, WI for one of our country’s biggest aviation events. His FAA duties keep him engaged in aviation which he fully enjoys and his current assignment as a FAA Safety Team Program Manager allows him to connect with general aviation and work with the industry to prevent accidents and improve aviation safety and training. On his time off Prater serves as a volunteer for the Vietnam Helicopter Museum and really enjoys giving back to all the Veterans involved, especially our support and outreach to the combat wounded Veterans who have served our country.


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