Mike Billow – CW5, AV (Ret)

Mike Billow

Mr. Billow is a distinguished pilot with over 45 years of flying experience. He has over 15,000 fixed and rotary wing flight hours; 1,250 hours acquired during combat missions. Mike Billow served his country during the Vietnam War flying AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters with the A Troop, 3/17th Air Calvary (’70-’71).

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

  • AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam
  • Attack Border Surveillance Pilot in Germany
  • Sky Crane Instructor Pilot/Battalion Standardization Pilot & Safety Officer
  • Aviation Task Force Commander in Kuwait
  • Mineral Exploration Pilot
  • Energy (Oil and Gas) Exploration Pilot
  • Commercial Fishing Pilot in Africa and the Caribbean
  • Emergency Services Pilot
  • Major Motion Picture Stunt Pilot for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
  • Certified Flight Instructor; Flight Instructor Instruments
  • Multi-Engine Instructor; Multi-Engine Instructor Instruments
  • Type Rated: SK-64(CH-54 Sky Crane, Civilian version)
  • Type Rated: BV-234 (CH-47 Chinook, Civilian version)

Billow’s extraordinary awards include military recognitions such as: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 44 oak leaf clusters and a Governor’s Proclamation to name a few. For over 40 years, Mr. Billow served with the U.S. Army and Army National Guard until his retirement in 2009.

Retirement and civilian life have not been dull but rather a continuation of Billow’s exceptional experiences. His civilian flight proficiency includes seasonal piloting for mineral, gas and oil exploration, emergency medical services and off shore commercial fishing across the globe. Additionally, Mr. Billow is a member of the Screen Actors Guild with major motion picture credits for his work on Courage Under Fire and Con-Air as an AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter stunt pilot. In 2002, Billow became a aviation world record holder with the Federation Aeronautique Internationalle (FAI) and the United States Aeronautical Association for Class C-1.f Group II: Altitude with a 1000kg payload: 34,500MSL.

Mr. Billow is also a currently serving member of the Vietnam Helicopter Museum’s Board of Directors; contributing his specialized knowledge of the AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. His experience is a key aspect of our ongoing Cobra restoration projects.


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