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Michael Benton, founder and managing director of VyClimb Consulting, received the prestigious Jim Charlson Aviation Safety Award earlier this month at the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Jim Charlson Safety Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions promoting aviation safety within the air medical transport community.
Benton has over 22 years of aviation industry management and operations experience and holds a master of business administration (MBA) with marketing specialization from Colorado State University as well as a master of aeronautical science (MAS) from Colorado State University with dual specialties in aviation operations and education.
After serving a distinguished 15-year career in the United States Army as an armed reconnaissance helicopter instructor pilot and member of the Directorate of Evaluation & Standardization (DES), Benton began a civilian career in helicopter emergency medical services as a line pilot.
He soon rose through the ranks as check airman, accident investigator, regional aviation director and director of aviation compliance before starting his own consultancy in 2015. He has been instrumental in assisting his clients with process improvement, operations and safety enhancements and implementation of the FAA’s Safety Management System Voluntary Program and Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). Among his accomplishments, Benton has advised the development of operational control management, tracking and hazard alerting systems for the aviation industry.