Russell Whipple


Russ Whipple has 47 years of varied flight experience all over the world. From Southeast Asia to Alaska, attack helicopter missions in the Vietnam War to commercial helicopter operations at mountain peaks 14,000 feet above sea level, and many diverse operations in between. He has over 22,000 hours of rotary wing flight time in a great variety of helicopters, and over 890 hours of fixed wing flight time. Mr. Whipple served his country during the Vietnam War flying AH1-G Cobra attack helicopters with C Troop 3/17th Air Cavalry and D Troop 3/5th Air Cavalry (’70-’71). He logged 1,200 hours of combat missions flight time in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. He also served with A Troop 1/9th Air Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas (’71-’72).

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

  • Attack Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam War
  • Tuna spotting Pilot in Pacific Ocean, Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet
  • Alaska “bush” Pilot flying tail-draggers
  • Logging Pilot in Alaska, British Columbia, and Pacific Northwest
  • Mineral exploration Pilot all over the state of Alaska
  • Construction Pilot: ski lifts, cement work, air conditioners, power lines, etc.
  • Instructor/Training Pilot: Skycrane SK-64, SK-61, and Bell 214
  • Logging and Firefighting Pilot in SK-64’s, SK-61’s and Bell 214s
  • Washington State DNR Firefighting Pilot in AH-1F “Cobras”, and UH-1H “Hueys”
  • Giving training and check rides in AH-1G Cobras, SK-64 Skycranes, SK-61’s, Bell 214s/
    204/205’s thru Hughes 500s as company training pilot
  • FAA Designated Check Airman.

Russ has flown thousands of hours in many different mountain ranges in varied conditions, to include +126 Fahrenheit to -52 Fahrenheit. Many thousands of hours of sling loads— mostly long-line—precision as well as production. He has engaged enemy anti-aircraft weaponry with AH-1G “Cobras” in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos. Also, friendly tanks while participating in the night time N.O.E. “tank-killer” testing at Ft. Hood (Both with and without FLIR night vision systems). He has many dozens of flights into dirt strips, sandbars, etc. in the Alaska “bush” flying ASEL tail-draggers, and has flown various helicopters for over 14 years throughout Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. Russ served as Command and Instructor/Training Pilot in the Sikorsky SK-64 “Skycrane”, the SK-61, as well as the Bell 214 performing logging, fire-fighting and construction work. Construction included ski lifts, cement work, air-conditioners, power lines, etc. His experience includes pilot operations offshore in the tuna-spotting industry in many parts of the Pacific Ocean as well as in Bristol Bay, and Cook Inlet, Alaska, where he off-loaded fuel and equipment barges as well as salmon from processing ships and gill-netters flying long-line external loads. He recently finished flying SK-64s and 61s fighting on wild-fires all over the USA and Greece on a “call when needed” contract basis.

Russ is currently flying AH-1F “Cobras” and UH-1Hs on long-line water bucket fire-fighting missions for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources throughout the State of Washington. He has a 100% success rate on all malfunctions and emergencies to date. No accidents.

For the last 22 years when not in the cockpit, Russ operates as an independent Aviation Consultant as owner of Whipple Aviation Services, LLC. He specializes in aviation-related operational efficiency as well as safety and risk management issues for both airplane and helicopter operations. Russ also performs contract negotiations, aircraft and personnel qualifications with occasional pilot procurement, accident reconstruction/assessment and pilot training recommendations, maintenance records, airport and helicopter pads, as well as remote fueling operations. This work involves evaluating the air transport of people and cargo in many parts of the world including Russia, Europe, Africa, Northwest and Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Also, he has worked throughout the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as North, Central and South America including Alaska and Canada.


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