CREW BIOS

Crew Bios

John Bainbridge | Joe Brennan | Michael Gettz | Adam Gossner | Marianne V. Heffernan | Mark Klossner
Melissa Mathiasen | Jake Myers | Jared Owens | Chad Phillips | Jean Schryver | Stacy Sheard
Steve Schellberg | John Shuma | Jamie Wittmeyer | Joel Vigue

John Bainbridge

Lead Quality Assurance Inspector, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 5
Prior career experience: More than 26 years with various aviation companies
Education: A&P license
Tour assignment: Quality inspector for the second leg of the journey

Throughout his 26-year career in aviation, Bainbridge has worked as Avionics Technician, Mechanic and Inspector on a variety of Sikorsky helicopters including the SH-3, SH-60, UH-60, S-76® and S-92® aircraft. During the last four years, he has been the Quality Assurance Representative on all S-92 deliveries, interacting closely with Sikorsky customers. Well traveled when he served in the U.S. Navy, Bainbridge has always wanted to visit Southeast Asia. As a member of the Legacy Crew, he will get that chance.

What prompted Bainbridge to sign up for the Legacy of Heroes demo tour?

“I am proud of the product that we deliver from SGH. These aircraft play very important roles in the world, from getting people to and from oil rigs, delivering important supplies, executing search and rescue operations, or getting executives to where they need to be. I’m looking forward to meeting people, seeing new places, and showing them what a great aircraft the S-92 is.”

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Joe Brennan

Chief Program Pilot, Standardization and Safety, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 6
Prior career experience: Previously served as Chief Pilot for Sikorsky Global Helicopters in Coatesville, Pa.; U.S. Army retired as a Chief Warrant Officer Four after 22 years, where he served numerous assignments as a Maintenance Test Pilot and Government Flight Representative; he is qualified in all of Sikorsky’s civil and military production aircraft
Education: Certified Flight Instructor; Airline Transport Pilot License type rated in the S-92 and S-70 helicopters
Tour assignment: Pilot for the U.S. leg of the journey

Brennan was selected to pilot the S-92 Legacy of Heroes helicopter for a portion of the tour based on his experience, but truth be told, he wasn’t jumping at the chance to do more business travel. “We spend so much time on the road already,” he said. But once he was assigned to the task, Brennan said he recognized it as a golden opportunity.

What is he most looking forward to?

“Showcasing the capability and technology of the S-92 is extremely rewarding, especially to organizations like the U.S. Coast Guard, whose business is saving lives.”

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Michael Gettz

Quality Assurance Inspector (SGH)
Years with Sikorsky: 4
Prior career experience: I received my A&P in 1991 and have worked on all types of GA aircraft until joining Sikorsky. While here I have been involved in the Completions business as a maintenance supervisor and QA Inspector and for the S-76® and the S-92® helicopter lines.
Education/Licenses: A&P license and Inspection Authorization.
Tour assignment: QA support for the third leg of the journey.

What made you want to be a part of the “Legacy of Heroes” demo tour?

“I have always enjoyed traveling and experiencing different cultures. To be able to do this and at the same time promote Sikorsky products is an opportunity I wanted to pursue.”

What are you looking forward to most regarding the tour experience?

“The most exciting thing for me is the chance to meet with and interact with the people of India in their own country, and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the S-92 aircraft.”

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Adam Gossner

Lead Avionics Checkout Technician, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 3
Prior career experience: U-2S Avionics Technician, U.S. Air Force
Education: Pursuing a degree in Electronics Technology from Delaware County Community College
Tour assignment: Avionics technician for the second leg of the journey

Gossner sees the Legacy demo tour as a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity to travel throughout Asia “promoting an American product that I am intimately familiar with and believe is the best in its class.”

What is he most looking forward to?

“Pride of ownership, and experiencing first-hand how this aircraft performs in the field under the stresses of everyday flight operations. Also, the opportunity to showcase this aircraft and our company in a truly unique fashion.”

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Marianne V. Heffernan

Communications Manager, SAC, Stratford, Conn.
Years with Sikorsky:  6
Prior Career experience: At Sikorsky Aircraft, Marianne has been the primary trade show communications manager for international air and trade shows. She also has handled communications for the Collier Award-winning X2™ Technology demonstrator and other Sikorsky Innovations initiatives such as Firefly™ and the S-97 RAIDER™. Prior to joining Sikorsky, Marianne worked in marketing and communications at Prudential Financial, was a stringer for People magazine, and was an editor and reporter for the New Haven Register newspaper in Connecticut.
Education: Bachelor of science degree in journalism from Southern Connecticut State University; master’s of science degree from Quinnipiac University. Marianne also is a Humanities Ph.D. degree candidate at Salve Regina University, working on her dissertation with a target graduation date of late 2012.
Tour Assignment: Primary communications manager for the tour.

What prompted her to sign up for the Legacy of Heroes demo tour?

“I am easily inspired by new experiences and places. The LOH tour presents the opportunity to contribute to an historic chapter in the Sikorsky Aircraft history, while showing the global community what this company is about: dependable quality, uncommon value, delivered by world class employees. I am proud of the products we make at Sikorsky and the amazing work that is done through their use. Any chance I have to be a part of sharing that, I am there.”

What is she most looking forward to?

“I am looking forward to meeting people along the way and finding a way to connect with them that will leave a lasting impression that Sikorsky Aircraft is a great company.”

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Mark Klossner

Quality Assurance Inspector, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 3
Prior career experience: Flight Control Systems Specialist, U.S. Air Force; 25 years of aviation experience
Education: A&P license; Inspection Authorization from the FAA
Tour assignment: Quality inspector for the first and final leg of the journey

Klossner’s aviation career has spanned military service to commercial industry and has included working as an F-16 Flight Test Technician and F-135 Engine Test Technician. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Klossner believes that honoring first responders – among the world’s true heroes – should be an everyday occurrence.

What is he most looking forward to on the Legacy tour?

“Meeting interesting people in new places, and having the opportunity to show the world that we are a world class organization, and to show off one of our best products.”

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Melissa Mathiasen

Chief Program Pilot, Training & Contracts, SGH
S-92® and S-76C++™ Test Pilot
Years with Sikorsky: 3.5
Prior career experience: Prior career experience: Eight years as an S-76 IFR Captain for an offshore oil company; 20 years in the U.S. Army as a UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter pilot and Maintenance Test Pilot; two years as EH-60 Test Pilot for Tracor Flight Systems, Inc.
Education: ATP license; Inspection Authorization from the FAA
Tour assignment: Pilot for portions of the Americas and Asia tour segments

The Legacy of Heroes tour presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the technology and flight characteristics of the S-92 helicopter. Mathiasen sees the tour’s theme, “Celebrating those who serve,” as universally galvanizing. “It’s bringing diverse communities under one goal, to save lives and preserve the property and livelihood of those affected by natural disasters.”

What is she most looking forward to on the Legacy tour?

“The opportunity to travel, and to show the multi-mission capability of this aircraft. Additionally, to demonstrate the features of the aircraft – how easy it is to fly, the amount of room in the cabin, the IFR platform, flight deck view — all comments that are continuously admired by crew when they first experience the aircraft. I also look forward to assisting communities in post-disaster situations.”

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Jake Myers

Integrated Marketing Manager, SAC, Stratford, Conn.
Years with Sikorsky: 5
Prior career experience: Has assumed positions at Sikorsky in Horseheads, N.Y. and Stratford, Conn., in information technology, marketing for the light helicopter products, marketing material development and fulfillment, and corporate advertising. In his most recent role, Myers supports marketing strategy and initiatives for Sikorsky Innovations, as well as fixed-wing products for Sikorsky and its affiliates.
Education: Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University, Master’s in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Tour assignment: Regional marketing lead for the Asian leg of the journey

What prompted Myers to sign up for the Legacy of Heroes demo tour?

“There is something truly special and groundbreaking about this initiative. It is the coalescence of company and department objectives in a manner that has never been done by the company or the industry. It brings together a variety of disciplines and has created an environment for new ideas and a new dialogue on the place of our industry in the global community.”

What is he most looking forward to?

“We will touch people from a variety of different backgrounds and, with any luck, completely shift their paradigm on who our company is and what it means to serve.”

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Jared Owens

A&P Technician for S-92® helicopter, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 3
Prior career experience: Six years as UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter mechanic and crew chief, U.S. Army
Education: A&P license
Tour assignment: Crew chief for the final leg of the journey

Owens is embracing the S-92 Legacy of Heroes demo tour for the challenge and opportunity to obtain further experience on the S-92 helicopter.  He is most looking forward to interacting with potential customers and experiencing new cultures.

He is enthusiastic about the tour and its potential to broaden his knowledge. “There is always something to be learned!” he said.

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Chad Phillips

A&P Technician
S-76C-2/S-92A Test Flight Crew Chief
Assembly & Flight Operations, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 5
Prior career experience: Six years as UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter crew chief, U.S. Army
Education: A&P license, bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Shippensburg University
Tour assignment: Crew chief for the first and second leg of the journey

It was the challenge of crewing an S-92® helicopter around the world that prompted Phillips, a U.S. Army veteran and now test flight crew chief for Sikorsky Global Helicopters, to sign up for the Legacy of Heroes demo tour. What is he most looking forward to?

“Seeing the world from the window of an S-92, as well as performing missions that will make Sikorsky a worldwide name.”

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Jean Schryver

S-92A Aircraft Manager
Years with Sikorsky:  33
Prior Career experience: Twelve years as a Test Aircraft Manager, ten years working S-92A’s; also worked S-76’s and BLACK HAWK helicopters early in her career with Sikorsky
Education:  Master of Science degree in Organizational Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University
Tour Assignment: Tour Manager for the Americas and Asia

Schryver is honored to be part of The Legacy of Heroes World Tour.
“I am looking forward to traveling and viewing the world from one of the greatest products Sikorsky has ever manufactured, the S-92A helicopter.”

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Stacy Sheard

Production Test Pilot and S-92A/S 76 C++ Flight Instructor, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 5
Prior career experience: Sheard began her U.S. military career in Intelligence working as a Russian linguist for the National Security Agency (NSA). She was later accepted into the U.S. Army flight program to fly Huey and BLACK HAWK helicopters. After 11 years of active military service, she decided to pursue a civilian flying career. Gaining experience, she flew helicopter charters and tours in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon; emergency medical flights in Los Angeles, and news, corporate and Screen Actors Guild flying for television and commercials. Sheard is a Scholarship Director for The Whirly Girls - International Women Helicopter Pilots, and a U.S. International Liaison for South African Women in Aviation and Aerospace (SAWIA).
Education: FAA Helicopter Airline Transport Pilot license; Certificated Flight Instructor license, a B.S. degree in Aeronautics; currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Aeronautics.
Tour assignment: Demonstration pilot for the India leg of the journey

What made you want to be a part of the “Legacy of Heroes” demo tour?
Joining the Legacy of Heroes tour holds special meaning for Sheard, due to its focus on honoring first responders. “The Legacy of Heroes tour is about meeting people around the globe, showing them the unique capabilities of our helicopters and how they can save lives. Recognizing the “first responders” that come to our aid during natural disasters is especially dear to me after Hurricane Katrina. Many of my closest contemporaries flew the skies over New Orleans hoisting out every person and animal they could find.

What is she looking forward to most regarding the tour experience?
“The unique opportunity to see India, immerse into the culture and connect with people there. I especially enjoy sharing the passion of flight, and the many possibilities it brings to young dreamers all over the world.”

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Steve Schellberg

Flight Test Pilot (SGH)
Years with Sikorsky: 4
Prior career experience: Prior to joining Sikorsky, Steve worked as the Chief Test Pilot for the Piasecki Aircraft Corporation.
Education/Licenses:FAA Designated Engineering Representative, and Certified Flight Instructor with Rotary and Fixed Wing qualifications.
Tour assignment: Demonstration pilot for the India leg of the journey.

Steve was interested in joining the Legacy of Heroes demo tour because of the opportunity it offers to interact with potential customers.

What is he looking forward to most regarding the tour experience?

“The most important take-away from this trip will be the experiences gained through interacting with potential customers.”

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John Shuma

Avionics Technician, SGH
Years with Sikorsky:  3
Prior Career experience: Four years as avionics specialist, U.S. Air Force; also worked as avionics technician at L3/Vertex Aerospace
Education:  A&P license, FCC license; pursuing a degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Tour Assignment: Tour assignment: Avionics Technician for the first and final leg of the journey

Shuma is looking forward to putting the Legacy aircraft to work. He considers the Legacy crew and aircraft goodwill ambassadors for the United States and Sikorsky Aircraft, with a chance to support communities and recognize first responders.

“I want to make a difference. I want to show the world what a company as generous as Sikorsky can do when you get a great aircraft and team together. I really hope to make a difference in multiple communities around the world. There is nothing more rewarding then helping those in need.”

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Jamie Wittmeyer

Production Test Pilot and S-92A/S 76 C++ Flight Instructor, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 4½
Prior career experience: Previously worked as an airline captain for Comair Airlines for 8 years while also serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He was awarded multiple Air Medals for serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and retired after 23 years of service as the Executive Officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772.
Education/Licenses: Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s of Business Administration. Wittmeyer holds helicopter and fixed wing Airline Transport Pilot licenses and holds Flight Instructor ratings for both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
Tour assignment: Demonstration pilot for the Asia leg of the journey

Wittmeyer considers himself to be the greatest fan of the S-92A helicopter, and sees the demonstration tour as a real opportunity to demonstrate the S-92’s capabilities as a search and rescue/combat search and rescue helicopter to potential customers.

Similar to his colleagues on the Legacy of Heroes tour, Wittmeyer is looking forward to the opportunity of the global experience: “Learning new cultures and meeting new people who are also interested in the latest aviation lifesaving techniques and technologies.”

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Joel Vigue

Production Test Pilot, SGH
Years with Sikorsky: 3½ years
Prior career experience: Vigue flew CH-53 helicopters in the United States Marine Corps and retired in 1993. He was an EMS pilot for LifeFlight of Maine for five years and for Miami Children’s Hospital for one year prior to joining the Sikorsky pilot team.
Education: ATP/CFI license for helicopter and airplane; MBA from Boston University in 1994.
Tour assignment: Demonstration pilot for the Asian leg of the journey

What made you want to be a part of the “Legacy of Heroes” demo tour?

“It’s a great opportunity to show off our S-92A helicopter, especially to those people who have a need and can use this helicopter for life saving and humanitarian missions around the world.”

What is he looking forward to most regarding the tour experience?
“Since I started flying for SGH, I have had such a wonderful opportunity to travel, fly with and train new customers in both the S-76® and S-92® helicopters. I enjoy meeting new people and I always learn so much about their country and their culture. I hope to make more friends as we travel through Asia on this world tour.”

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Video

Sikorsky Legacy of Heroes - Celebrating Those Who Serve

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