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Faces of PSA - Meet Dean M. Cole

Dean M. Cole

Name: Dean M. Cole

Title/Position: First Officer

How did you find out about PSA’s Rotor Transition Program?

I was referred to PSA’s RTP from coworkers from my previous employer who strongly recommended the program.

What was your career path before coming to PSA?

I flew AH-64 Apaches for the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division in Desert Storm. Left the military in 1992 and stepped away from aviation. I had a very successful career as a construction project manager, but I missed aviation. In 2002, I received an offer to return to the helicopter industry, and I jumped on it. I spent the next fifteen years flying all over the world on various missions, including air ambulance and offshore oil exploration. I assisted with post-Katrina evacuations of New Orleans area hospitals. During the Deep Water Horizon disaster, I flew extensively, doing everything from taking up EPA and Coast Guard officials for aerial inspections of the oil spill to transporting personnel to and from the recovery efforts.

In addition to being an ATP-rated helicopter pilot, I am also a multi award-winning author of apocalyptic science fiction. Most recently, the audiobook for my latest novel, Solitude: Dimension Space Book One, became the only science fiction title to be a finalist for both the 2017 Voice Arts Awards and the 2018 ABR Audiobook Listeners Awards. My fifth book, Multitude, the sequel to Solitude, is slated to premiere this summer.

What was one of the biggest challenges transitioning from being a Rotor Pilot to Fixed- Wing?

Learning how to read back complex taxi instructions—I didn’t do a lot of taxing in helicopters. As a pilot with over 8000 hours of flight time, I can’t tell you how humiliating it was to endlessly botch those radio calls.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

Ireland! My wife and I had an incredible two-week adventure during a self-directed tour of the Emerald Isle. Loved it! Favorite Irish destination: Skellig Michael (the tiny island featured as Luke Skywalker’s home in the new Star Wars movies), The Cliffs of Moher, Dublin, and Kenmare.

What are some of your hobbies?

Building things. In addition to several homes, I’ve built a custom motorcycle and have completed the wings and empennage of an experimental airplane.

What do you love about working for PSA?

The people. I truly enjoy working with PSA’s outstanding collection of professional crew members. Also, after years of flying out of the remote swamps of coastal Louisiana, I’m enjoying the opportunity to hang out in locations developed enough to at least warrant an airport terminal.

Would you recommend PSA and why?

Yes. I have already recommended PSA several times. Always happy to share my PSA RTP experiences with fellow rotorheads. Through their Rotor Transition Program, PSA offers an excellent path for helicopter pilots who are considering the career change. I believe that PSA’s corporate mindset and philosophy make it the best of the Regionals.

Tell us something no one knows about you:

While at The Lincoln Center for the 2017 Voice Arts Awards, my wife and I got to meet Lily Tomlin. We’re both old enough to remember her in Laugh-In, so that was a pretty special moment for us.