Being the only licensed helicopter acrobatic pilot in America, and one of only three in the world, Red Bull helicopter stunt pilot Chuck Aaron takes his Messerschmitt-Bölkow Blohm BO-105 through a series of absurd loops, hammerhead turns and barrel rolls before thousands of spectators during air show season.
Chuck Aaron with his helicopter. Photo by Red Bull
Born in San Antonio, he began flying helicopters at age 20, later becoming a stunt pilot for TV shows and movies. He also helped the U.S. Department of Defense test out night vision technologies for aviators. He joined the Red Bull team in 2004 and spent two years on a program to modify the helicopter he now uses in his performances.
I'm hard-pressed to say which would be more daunting — riding with Chuck, or his aerobatic plane flying partner at Red Bull, Kirby Chambliss. However, if one or both of these guys wanted to take me for a ride to compare, I'd be there in a heartbeat!