Chuck Aaron - Aviation and Film Aerobatics

Chuck Aaron

November 7, 2019
The Great Hall

Reflection | Podcast | VideoPhotos

The living legend of aviation and film aerobatics shares his experiences.

Chuck Aaron is the biggest name in the helicopter industry right now. He was previously the Red Bull helicopter aerobatics pilot and for a long time was the only FAA certified aerobatic helicopter pilot in the world. He has also flown helicopters in several big name movies like 007 Spectre, Shooter, and The Rock. He was voted Helicopter Association Internationals pilot of the year in 2014 and was voted into the Living Legends of Aviation group in 2014.



A.P.E.X. Events and SUU Aviation was proud to welcome living aviation legend Chuck Aaron to share his incredible experiences with SUU students, faculty, and community on November 7th, 2019. For many years, Aaron was the world’s only FAA certified pilot to be allowed to perform acrobatics in a helicopter, and is currently one of three pilots to hold such a title. He has also served as the Red Bull Helicopter Pilot and has flown the stunt helicopter in the James Bond film, Spectre. Now retired from the industry, Aaron runs the only flight acrobatics school in the world, Chuck Aaron Aviation, and is open to the public. Aaron was introduced to the stage by SUU Executive Director of Aviation and Chief Flight Instructor, Mike Mower.

Aaron’s presentation focused on highlights of his illustrious aviation career, beginning with a video showing some of the incredible things he has accomplished. “They asked me to give a speech about me, which is embarrassing,” Aaron humbly noted. “It’s not embarrassing, it’s just hard to do it and not get emotional about it.” Aaron began his presentation talking about his biggest inspiration to fly, his father, a former United States Air Force pilot.

Aaron also talked about his experience being the Red Bull Helicopter Pilot, and how Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of Red Bull, contacted him, asking if Aaron was ever sell his Cobra and if he would perform acrobatics with a helicopter, to which Aaron’s response was “No, we can’t do that.” Aaron reflected on how he thought about attempting to do such a feat; he had the financial backing, he just needed to figure out how to do it. He also noted on his safety concerns at the time and how he wanted to be certified and safe. He worked extensively with other engineers to build a helicopter designed for acrobatics, and finally, both Aaron and the helicopter were they first ever FAA certified acrobatics pilot and helicopter, respectively.

Throughout his presentation, Aaron showed the audience numerous videos documenting some of the different stunts he had performed and provided a unique insight of many of the amazing things he has accomplished; the loud, blasting, energetic music combined with footage of him doing what was once believed to be impossible captivated the audience, as a humble, smiling Chuck Aaron stood and watched from the stage.

by Emily Sexton


Audio Transcript