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Jim Cheatham Passes


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Ripped from Aero News Network

 

Gone West: 'Showcopters' Helo Pilot Jim Cheatham

 

Sat, 14 Mar '09

Leader Of Civilian Air Show Team Was 67

 

It was with sadness Aero-News learned this week of the passing of Jim Cheatham, who pioneered advances in helicopter-mounted aerial photography and headed the world's only civilian helicopter demonstration team, Showcopters.

 

Cheatham passed away Wednesday of a sudden illness, reports the Monterey (CA) County Herald. He was 67.

 

Once an instructor at Verticare Helicopters and Airplanes in Salinas, Cheatham eventually took over the fixed-wing and rotary flight training, sales and service business. He started Showcopters in 1996, and soon the three-ship team -- flying Robinson helos -- attracted a following at air shows throughout the country.

 

Cheatham's company also utilized the the rotating 'Sky Eye' camera, using the gimbal-mounted system to record aerial photography at the Reno Air Races and AirVenture. In 2008, one of Cheatham's specially-equipped helicopters was provided to the Monterey County Sheriff's Department for aerial recon work, though that program fell victim to budget cutbacks this year.

 

Born in Arizona on January 5, 1942, Cheatham learned to fly as a teenager... taught by his father, a B-24 pilot during World War II. Cheatham later served as an Army warrant officer, flying helicopters in Vietnam and South Korea for four years in the 1960s. Along with combat missions, Cheatham also tested helocopter gunships, according to the paper.

 

The County Herald notes a memorial service for Cheatham will be held Monday morning at Verticare's facilities at Salinas Municipal Airport.

 

A very big loss for our industy. Thanks for everything.

 

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

..."and if you do hit them, keep flying the helicopter"...

 

-Jim Cheatham

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Ripped from Aero News Network

 

Gone West: 'Showcopters' Helo Pilot Jim Cheatham

 

Sat, 14 Mar '09

Leader Of Civilian Air Show Team Was 67

 

It was with sadness Aero-News learned this week of the passing of Jim Cheatham, who pioneered advances in helicopter-mounted aerial photography and headed the world's only civilian helicopter demonstration team, Showcopters.

 

Cheatham passed away Wednesday of a sudden illness, reports the Monterey (CA) County Herald. He was 67.

 

Once an instructor at Verticare Helicopters and Airplanes in Salinas, Cheatham eventually took over the fixed-wing and rotary flight training, sales and service business. He started Showcopters in 1996, and soon the three-ship team -- flying Robinson helos -- attracted a following at air shows throughout the country.

 

Cheatham's company also utilized the the rotating 'Sky Eye' camera, using the gimbal-mounted system to record aerial photography at the Reno Air Races and AirVenture. In 2008, one of Cheatham's specially-equipped helicopters was provided to the Monterey County Sheriff's Department for aerial recon work, though that program fell victim to budget cutbacks this year.

 

Born in Arizona on January 5, 1942, Cheatham learned to fly as a teenager... taught by his father, a B-24 pilot during World War II. Cheatham later served as an Army warrant officer, flying helicopters in Vietnam and South Korea for four years in the 1960s. Along with combat missions, Cheatham also tested helocopter gunships, according to the paper.

 

The County Herald notes a memorial service for Cheatham will be held Monday morning at Verticare's facilities at Salinas Municipal Airport.

 

A very big loss for our industy. Thanks for everything.

 

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

..."and if you do hit them, keep flying the helicopter"...

 

-Jim Cheatham

 

My sympathies to his friends, families, students. Sounds like a big loss to the aviation world.

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He was often at the local rotor shows doing demonstrations. He used to demonstrate zero airspeed auto's from 300 AGL to the ground in an R22. Pretty impressive when you knew how little margin you had in that situation...just as he hit 65 knots he was in the flare and then was skids down. I loved to watch that as an observer, most people at the show never had any idea how difficult that was.....cause he made it look easy !

 

RIP.

 

Goldy

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