Helicopter aerobatic pilot Aaron Fitzgerald kicks off Vertical’s new Rotor Radio podcast

It's time to crank the volume and tune in to Rotor Radio, the new semi-weekly podcast from the pages of Vertical Magazine to your headset.

Vertical, the helicopter industry's premier magazine, is launching Rotor Radio, a podcast featuring frontline, in-the-air, on-the-ground perspectives from helicopter industry leaders. The semi-weekly podcast will be available at www.verticalmag.com and coming soon to your favorite podcast platforms.

"Our editors meet a lot of interesting people who operate, fly and fix helicopters and a lot of what they have to say doesn't make into stories," said Vertical publisher Mike Reyno. "Now you can hear directly from pilots who fly the missions you read about in Vertical."

Complementing the storytelling Vertical and Vertical Valor present online and in print, Rotor Radio will focus on first-hand accounts of challenging missions, the art of flying rotorcraft, in-depth industry analyses and news reporting.

Listen for conversations with influential industry insiders like helicopter aerobatic pilot Aaron Fitzgerald, the test pilots flying the U.S. Army's futuristic helicopter prototypes, military officers, CEOs and others.

Dan Parsons, editor of Vertical Valor, will host the podcast with regular participation by other Vertical editors and contributors. To suggest topics for future podcasts, email [email protected].

Episode 1: Doing Flips in a Helicopter with Aaron Fitzgerald

Aaron Fitzgerald has been flying "mostly full-time" for movies, sportscasting and television for 20 years. He has been a camera pilot and aerial coordinator for some spectacularly complex live events, and as a pilot for the Flying Bulls is one of only a handful of people on earth qualified to perform helicopter aerobatics. He talked with Rotor Radio about growing up watching helicopters fight fires over his boyhood home of Wenatchee, Washington, flying for Hollywood and pulling flips in a Bo.105 above the Statue of Liberty. Scroll down for some photos of Fitzgerald's exploits while you listen.

The view from the cockpit as Fitzgerald rehearses his six-minute air show routine, which is sketched out on the piece of paper attached to the instrument panel. The routine starts with a hammerhead, followed by a loop, a half Cuban eight, a roll, a split S, another loop, a slow loop, an “Immel flip,” two barrel rolls, an Immelman, an Immel flip with a roll, and a bow turn. Mike Reyno Photo
In a typical Red Bull display, the G loads range from about zero to +2.6. The Bo.105 is capable of going down to -2 G, “but we hardly ever do that,” said Fitzgerald. Predrag Vuckovic Photo
Red Bull helicopter pilot Aaron Fitzgerald practices aerobatics over Southern California in one of Red Bull’s MBB Bo.105 helicopters. Fitzgerald can be seen in air shows across the United States this summer. Mike Reyno Photo

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