Mike is an Emmy award-winning news helicopter pilot, with over 25,000 incident-and-accident-free flight hours, recipient of the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, law enforcement professional, Colorado native, devoted husband, and proud father of three. He currently serves with the Colorado Army National Guard in the Homeland Security division, training first-responders. He is being honored here for a 26-year “mission” with KCNC Channel 4 as their Chief Pilot, working for most of that time with David Gregg and Luann Akin – affectionately known as the A-Team.
Mike started flying for TV back in 1978, working for KUSA, KMGH and KCNC, then exclusively with KCNC in 1983. He earned his second degree at Metro State College in 1989, in Meteorology and Broadcasting, and has covered some of the most memorable news events in recent history. Lots of spectacular tornado footage has come from his ‘copter, along with technological achievement in covering many Bolder Boulder events, forest fires, floods, crashes and chases. A truly excellent media helicopter pilot is more than the guy in the cockpit; he understands news and makes it easy and safe for his crew to see the story, get the story and show the story to their viewers; Mike knew how to position his “camera platform” to allow for that compelling shot.
Mike was a key contributor in writing the helicopter safety standards that are still followed to this day by NBC/Universal, for all ENG pilots; Mike’s work in the field of helicopter news has made it a safer, more professional industry. He remains steadfast in his desire to continue to help, learn and be the best in his profession. He is the recipient of myriad awards, both civilian and military, for the integrity and honor that he displays in all areas of his life. Commendations from the American Red Cross, President Ronald Reagan, Boy Scouts of America, the Federal Aviation Administration, Catholic Charities of Denver, and the U.S. Army, describe Mike as a mentor, a teacher, a hero, and a caring friend.