SoCal Rotors Board of Directors and Advisors
Jim Davidson - Seat 1
Jim Davidson has been flying since 1966, graduated from the United States Armys Warrant Officer Flight School December 6, 1966 (Class 66-19). Spent two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. Both with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in the central highlands (first tour 1967-68 with C Company 229th Aviation Battalion flying UH-1Ds H model hueys, then the second tour 1969-70 with Troop B, 1st Squadron 9 Cavalry, flying AH-1Gs OH-6As). Jim holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Rotorcraft Helicopter, and Instrument Helicopter with over 12,000 hours (all in helicopters). Moved to Southern California in 1974 and has been working for various aviation companies,include Western Helicopters, Inc., Arizona Helicopters, Inc. Aerohead Helicopters, Inc., Mercy Air, Inc. and San Joaquin Helicopters, Inc. Jim was sworn in as the first of two full-time Fire Pilots for Orange County Fire Authority Air Operations on April 1st 1998, and was most recently flying two UH-1H Super Hueys until his retirement in 2017. Jim is a long time participant in the FAA Wings Safety Program and has completed levels I through XIII in the program, and has attended a number HAI Aviation Safety courses. Jim and his family reside in Crestline, California.
Dave Andrews - Seat 2
I am a Southern California native, and grew up in the shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains. I was always fascinated by Pasadena's PD1, an orange Enstrom F-28A, that flew overhead all the time. Watching it orbit with its searchlight was like magic to me. My parents took us boys to San Pedro, where I got to ride in the co-pilots seat on a helicopter harbor tour. When I was twelve, I tagged along with a group of more experienced and older hikers on a hike up Santa Anita Canyon. While trying to keep up with the older hikers, I became dehydrated and very sick. I was rescued by the LA County Sheriffs in a OH-6, and transported to the trailhead and then to the hospital. At that point I was hooked on aviation and helicopters. While in college, I started to work event security, and quickly moved my way up to event operations. I was able to plan and work such events as USC, UCLA, Rams, Raiders and 49ers games, arena and stadium concerts, races and motor sports, the Rose Bowl, a couple of Super Bowls and a World Series. After college, I continued to be involved planning and working large events, like the Bakersfield Business Conference, Pasadena Rose Parade, Portland Rose Festival and small-town parades. Fifteen years ago, a friend approached me to help at Heroes Airshow, it was a natural fit, helicopters and large events. I have worked my way up from an Aircraft Marshaller to Mini Boss and then Air Boss. I received my Air Boss LOA this year. I have worked at Wings, Wheels and Rotors, several off-airport landing zones as well as Heroes Airshow. I have been involved with the South Pasadena Police and Fire Department Open House, where I plan and co-ordinate flyovers, landings and departures of several helicopters during the day. This year I ran the PHPA's demonstration ramp at HAI in Anaheim. I still live in the shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains, watching PD1 and Air 5 fly overhead. I am still involved with several of the large events, and local community programs. I still hike those mountains, but with the adult supervision of my Saint Bernard.
Anthony Byrnes - Seat 3
Anthony Byrnes, who goes by Tony, is a professional pilot who grew up a "kid at the fence" at a local airport, and was lucky enough to have been mentored by some very kind and interesting people, who also happened to be pilots. He learned to fly airplanes at a young age, added helicopters in his twenties, and has been very fortunate to have had a varied and interesting career so far. Tony is currently the Chief Pilot for the Hawthorne Police Dept., Chief Pilot for Star Helicopters LLC's On-Demand Charter operation, and an Adjunct Instructor for Glendale Community College. His experience includes a 20 year stint with U. S. Customs and Border Protection as an Air Interdiction Agent-pilot, (most of his career was with U. S. Customs Air and Marine Interdiction, which became CBP after merging with Border Patrol Air Operations in 2003). During his government career in law enforcement aviation, he was a senior pilot in rotor and fixed wing aircraft including UH-60A, AS-350B2, Bell 206/TH-57, and HU-500E helicopters, as well as Cessna 550, Beech C-12C, and Cessna T210 airplanes. Tony was also assigned as a Rotor-wing Standardization Instructor Pilot, UH-60 Instructor Pilot, Safety Officer and Aircraft Accident Investigator. Not satisfied to truly retire and go fishing most of the time, he has since his retirement been employed as a corporate helicopter manager and pilot, EMS pilot, Chief Pilot and CFI. He also graduated from Embry-Riddle with a Bachelor's degree in Professional Aeronautics in 2009, and a Masters of Aeronautical Science and Aviation Education in 2013. A member of the PHPA for many years, he was first appointed to an open seat on the Board of Directors in 2014. Tony's goals for the association are to grow the membership, provide professional and safety education to our members, and to help to make SoCal Rotors the premier pilots association it should be.
James Paules - Seat 4
With over 25 years of experience in real estate development, non-profit management and event development Paules brings a unique toolbox of skills in financial / accounting management, business development and volunteer / team management. Paules holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge along with graduate certificates in Real Estate Finance and Construction Management from the UCLA Graduate Builders Program. Jim is also a Certified Management Accountant, C.M.A. Paules career in real estate has included roles with many of the premier home and commercial property builders in Southern California including Griffin Industries and Forecast Homes. Additionally, Jim imagined, designed and took to market the landmark Customer Satisfaction Study for Homebuilders during his tenure with J.D. Power and Associates. A member of the PHPA since 1996 Paules first served on the Board of Directors during 2000. During this long tenure with the PHPA Paules has served as the association Treasurer, Membership director, newsletter editor and has worked on committees supporting the Helicopter Awareness Day and PHPAs involvement in a host of community events over the years. As an enthusiastic supporter of rotary-wing aviation, Paules originated the American Heroes Air Show at the Santa Monica Airport in 1993. Since then this unique event has grown into the nations premier helicopter-only, admission-free aviation experience volunteer-produced in communities from coast to coast. Paules has additionally connected with the Southern California community via his authored articles in BUILDER Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Air Space Magazine and 9-1-1 Magazine with themes from helicopters role in SAR Operations to customer satisfaction for builders to financial management tactics for non-profit organizations Upon graduation from Los Angeles first FBI Citizens Academy class in Paules organized the F.B.I. Citizens Academy Alumni Association and served as the founding President. Additionally, Paules was the founding President and continues to sit on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles A.T.F. Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Married since 1981, Jim has made West Hills in the San Fernando Valley his home with his wife Kristen, a Special Education teacher with LAUSD and their two grown children Ryan and Victoria.
Monica Campos - Seat 5
Monica Reich Campos inherited her fascination with aviation from her grandfather Herbert Reich who owned his own aircraft as a young adult. She grew up listening to his flying stories and considered a career as an airline pilot. It was a 20 minute ride in an R44 helicopter however that immediately caught her attention and changed her career path. Two months after her first helicopter flight she began helicopter flight training at Long Beach Airport. Two years after that she became a flight instructor at the age of 21. She taught in the San Francisco Bay area for several years before returning to the Torrance area. It was a chance meeting in the parking lot of Robinson Helicopter that Monica met Frank Robinson and she took the opportunity to ask for a job at the Robinson factory. She began as Frank Robinson's personal assistant and worked her way up from making coffee, to providing tours of the factory, to assisting in the sales department. Her experience and background as a helicopter pilot especially in Robinson aircraft was key to working in the sales department. She now handles law enforcement, news helicopters, and government sales. She flies helicopters to the trade shows, is the Whirlygirl representative for the factory, and participates in the Flight Safety Department, creating safety videos and safety content for pilots.
Chris Artac - Seat 6
Chris currently serves as the Flight Safety Officer for the U.S. Coast Guard base at Point Mugu, flying the MH-65D helicopter. He has maintained Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner, and shipboard operation qualifications since 2012, previously held qualifications in airborne use of force and rotary wing air intercept, and has amassed over 4,300 flight hours. From 2015 to 2018 he served as the senior flight instructor at the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School in Cape Disappointment, Oregon, training Coast Guard and DoD air crews in high seas, surf, and cliff rescue techniques. He is particularly passionate about Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC), routinely leading instructional courses for both Coast Guard and partner-agency audiences. Chris is a California native who attended American High School in Fremont, and graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 2003. In 2005 he left his civilian career to join the Coast Guard, following in his father's footsteps. After graduating from Officer Candidate School he completed Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida. Subsequent aviation assignments include Air Station San Francisco, Sector North Bend, Oregon, Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, and Air Station San Francisco's Forward Operating Base at Point Mugu. He and his wife, Robin, have two children, 9 and 11 years old.
Morrie Zager - Seat 7
Morrie Zager has been flying fixed-wing aircraft since 1990 and began flying helicopters in 2007. Morrie retired in April, 2020, after a 34-year career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He flew helicopters for the Aero Bureau since 2008 and is now flying as a part-time ENG (news) helicopter pilot in the Los Angeles area. He holds a private single engine land airplane rating as well as a commercial/instrument rotorcraft rating. Morrie is also a member of AOPA and APSA (formerly ALEA) and sat on the HAI Air Medical Services Committee until December, 2015. He has been on the frontline in the education of pilots as to the dangers of laser strikes against aircraft. He lectures on the subject and was instrumental in outfitting all the pilots assigned to the Sheriff's Aero Bureau with laser protective eyewear. He produced an educational video on the subject and worked closely with both State and Federal prosecutors to assist with the apprehension and conviction of persons who shine lasers at pilots. Prior to his retirement, Morrie worked diligently with the FAA and homeowners groups meeting monthly for over four years addressing helicopter noise over the Los Angeles basin. He regularly met with local, state, and federal elected officials and successfully lobbied against regulatory remedies for helicopter noise in Southern California.
Steve Goldsworthy - Seat 8
Steve Goldsworthy is currently the Manager for an electrical wholesale company. Steve has been active in all phases of public safety, having been a reserve police officer, EMS Reserve Coordinator for the Pasadena Fire Department and a volunteer with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department for the last 32 years. Steve is currently a member of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team. Steve is active in many charity organizations and is a former elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council where he served as Vice President and Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. Steve, also known as Goldy to his friends, has served on both the PHPA membership committee and events chair. Steve is an FAA rated commercial helicopter pilot who first soloed in 1990 at Watson Helicopters. Steve has written many feature stories for Rotorcraft Pro Magazine and has flown 19 different helicopter makes/models.
Patrick Carey - Seat 9
Patrick T Carey began his aviation career in 1963 learning to fly, and eventually working part time for Rose Aviation, Hawthorne California. He earned his Commercial Pilot Certificate September 1, 1966. He entered the US Army as an Infantry Private April 19, 1967, and turned twenty-one in the reception station, Ft. Polk, Louisiana, Basic Infantry school. The second week of Basic he tested for Warrant Officer Flight school. Instead of Advanced Infantry training he was assigned to Ft. Wolters, Texas to attend Warrant Officer Rotary Wing flight school. He completed flight training June 4,1968 at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, promoted to WO-1, and assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Division, Vietnam for his first one-year combat tour as a helicopter gunship pilot. July 1,1969, Pat returned home assigned to the Primary Helicopter School, Texas as a flight instructor. Four months after returning from Vietnam he received direct commission to First Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, and was promoted in February 1970. Most of his instructor tour was in the Flight Evaluation Department.
Pat continued a distinguished twenty-year career in command and staff positions that included a second combat tour as a pilot in the Second Infantry Division, Korea. His tour in Germany was most interesting. The first year he served as the Battalion Adjutant, and a maintenance test pilot in the Army's first Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Battalion. As a Captain he was selected as an aide to the Lieutenant General, Commander of the Army VII Corps in Germany. He returned to the US, assigned as the Commander, Libby Army Airfield, Ft. Huachuca AZ. He retired after 20 years as a dual rated, Aviation Branch, Master Army Aviator at the rank of Major. His military awards include the Bronze Star, 2 awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Army Commendation Medals, and 38 Air Medals, 2 for Valor, and other campaign ribbons.
After the Army, his civilian career is also unique. He has worked as a test pilot, corporate pilot, charter pilot, film pilot, and flight instructor in both airplanes and helicopters. Pat holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with 9 advanced aircraft type ratings. He was an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for 28 years, and an FAA Designated Engineering Representative Test Pilot when he worked as a Gulfstream Test Pilot for Gulfstream Aerospace. He flew five years for Toyota Motor Company, as an International Gulfstream V Captain and the Company Aviation Safety Officer. He is still an FAA Gold Seal CFI and enjoys teaching flying.
Pat is very involved in the FAA Aviation Safety Program, serves as the Co-Chair of the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group, SCAUWG. He is the Vice President of the Aero Club of Southern California and serves on the Boards of "So Cal Rotors" and the "Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce".
Besides the military schools he attended, Pat did finish a little more education beyond high school while in the Army. He holds bachelor's degree in Business Management from Cameron University, Lawton, OK. He has a Master of Science Degree in Systems Management, from the University of Southern California, and a Certificate of Completion from the USC School of Aviation Safety Management, that includes the USC Expert Witness course.
Pat and his talented wife Kathleen have been married 55 years, moved eighteen times while in the military, and have three wonderfully successful adult children, and two very sweet granddaughters. Kathleen has been the rock in Pat's life, along with many friends.
Bill Withycombe - Seat 10
William (Bill) Withycombe is the Former Regional Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration Western-Pacific Region. His career in aviation spans five decades and establishes a solid knowledge basis as an Expert in Aviation Policy and Operations. Bill's aviation career includes service with the United States Air Force, and Senior Management experience with the Helicopter Airline Los Angeles Airways where he served as special liaison to the FAA 1961-1971. Bill began a long career with the Federal Aviation Administration in 1971 as an Aviation Safety Inspector, Flight Standards Division Manager and assignments in two FAA regions in the Senior Executive Leadership role as the Regional Administrator of the Great Lakes and Western-Pacific Regions until his retirement in 2013. Bill holds FAA Certificates as an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic, FAA Certified Commercial Pilot with Instrument and multi-engine ratings. He is a graduate of Northrop University and FAA General Aviation and Air Carrier Specialist Schools. He also has completed studies as an graduate of the FAA Academy and Aircraft Accident Investigators Training School. During Bill's career with FAA, he served in senior positions as Flight Standards Division Manager in Great Lakes Region and in the Washington DC Special Field Office. In 1996 he was assigned to the Office of the Regional Administrator of the Western-Pacific Region based in Los Angeles where he served as the principle FAA representative in a four state area. As such he worked with various representatives of the aviation industry, government agencies, Unions, and civil and private aviation interests. He lead numerous regional and national programs involving aviation safety, airport operations, air traffic control, including direct FAA regional command and communications operations. This included National Leadership of the Helicopter Air Tour Management Program for the FAA and oversight of the FAAs International Aviation Program for the US Pacific Territories and Micronesia Island areas. During his career he received numerous awards and recognition including U.S. Transportation Secretaries Award for Excellence in Government and the FAA Administrators Award for Air Carrier Safety Management.
Alex Calder - Seat 11
Alex has been working in television news helicopters in Southern California since 1995, most recently for KNBC-TV. Before becoming a Board member, Alex was an advisor for the PHPA Board of Directors for 20 years, working behind the scenes for much of that time on the PHPA.org web site. Additionally, he is the founder of the popular helicopter photo web site Helispot, which he launched in 1996. Alex currently lives in his hometown of St. Louis, MO.
Ricarda Bennett, Esq. - Legal Liaison
Ricarda Bennett's law practice focuses on heliports and airport permitting, land use planning, government relations, administrative law, public agency, business organizations, and contracts. Ricarda works with architects, hospitals, corporations, municipalities, and the property owners in the area of the heliport permitting, site evaluation, facility layout, safety analysis and environmental noise assessment. She is familiar with local regulations throughout California and the Western Region. Ricarda has served the Board of Directors of PHPA for over 19 years as legal counsel and at various times as Chair of Helicopter Awareness Day , Secretary, Treasurer, and Legislative Analyst. She provides our membership with the latest information on upcoming laws and statutes. As an active Helicopter Association International (HAI) member, she is currently Chair of the Heliport Planning Committee and a member of Acoustics and Environmental Committee and the Fly Neighborly Committee. She is past co-chair of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California. Her office is in Westlake Village, CA and she acts as a judge pro-tem with the Ventura County Courts.