Brian McMahon has the aviation experience that very few others can claim. He is a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot with over 40 years experience and over 20,000 hours of flight time in the air (mostly in turbine helicopters). He served in combat as a door-gunner / crew-chief on UH-1 attack helicopters during Vietnam. There were plenty of job openings for door-gunners as the life expectancy for the position was measured in mere seconds. Fortunately, Brian returned home to Michigan alive and with a passion for aviation. Since Brian wasn't a licensed pilot during the war, he began flight training in fixed-wing aircraft soon after his return and eventually worked his way back into the helicopter world. After finally gaining enough experience, he was able to get a job working for several construction firms as a commercial helicopter pilot. Then in 1980, Brian took the plunge and founded his own charter company, McMahon Helicopter Services, Inc., with a single, leased, Bell Jet Ranger. Brian is President of McMahon Helicopter Services and still enjoys flying and managing the day-to-day company operations.
Son of Brian, Nick McMahon grew up in aviation and eventually earned his pilot's license in 1999. He was named Chief Pilot of McMahon Helicopter Services in 2006 and took over as Director of Operations in October of 2012. Nick manages most of the day-to-day flight operations. Nick specializes in aerial film production and actively works on feature films, television shows and commercials. He has over 14 years of experience in aviation and has logged over 4,000 hours of flight time in numerous makes and models of aircraft (mostly turbine helicopters).
Pilot / Web Development
Commercial Pilot: Helicopter
Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter
Instrument Airplane Single Engine Land
Nate McMahon is Brian's younger son. He too grew up in aviation and earned both his fixed-wing and helicopter pilot's lincenses at a young age. In 2008, Nate graduated from Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He returned home to Michigan after college to begin flying again and work with the family business. In 2011, Nate completed Bell Helicopter Factory Training. He now plays a key role in coordinating flights after hours and during Canadian freight operations. In his spare time, he has spent two years taking classes, researching and studying web development and programming. Nate is helping McMahon develop new online tools that speed up communication to clients and help employees complete their work more efficiently. We probably won't be surprised if one of the next major tech companies is inadvertently born through his work at McMahon.
Commerical Pilot: Helicopter
Mike Foss has over 20 years of aviation experience. Prior to flying full-time, Mike worked at St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, Ohio as a flight dispatcher for the Life Flight air ambulance program. Mike originally started working at McMahon in 1999 and after two brief periods away flying for TV news contracts, Mike returned back to McMahon in part-time in 2006 and full-time in 2010. He was named Chief Pilot in October of 2012. Mike is always a pleasure to work with and is very experienced with McMahon's flight operations while in the cockpit and behind the scenes at the hangar.
Director of Maintenance / Pilot
Commercial Pilot: Helicopter
Certified Flight Instructor: Helicopter
Private: Single-Engine Land Airplane
A&P Mechanic, IA
Like the McMahon boys, Russ James grew up into aviation. His dad founded one of the first helicopter companies in Michigan during the 1960's. Russ gained his early pilot and aircraft maintenance experience helping his dad with the family business. Russ has over 30 years of experience and has logged over 6,000 hours as a pilot. He is one of the few dual-rated pilots who is also licensed as an Airframe / Powerplant mechanic and IA. Russ has worked all over the US on various private and government contracting assignments ranging from aerial construction to fire fighting. After working primarily in California for a number of years, he recently rejoined the McMahon team in 2011 as our new Director of Maintenance and pilot. Some of his training includes factory courses from Bell Helicopter and Robinson Helicopter - both flight and maintenance programs. Russ brings vast experience and excellent customer relationships with him. We're glad to have him back in Michigan.
Mark Lobdell joined McMahon in 1999 and has been a key member of our team ever since. Like Russ, Mark has attended the Bell Factory Training course for the aircraft McMahon operates and maintains. He is also very experienced with Sikorsky and Robinson aircraft maintenance, but his skills don't end at maintenance procedures. Mark is an avid painter and specializes in cosmetic and sheet metal repairs on aircraft. This is especially helpful for our maintenance customers that bring in aircraft with dings, dents, cracks and scratches in paint or exterior skin damage. Mark is a perfectionist and has the experience and patience to get projects done correctly and in a timely manner. We're fortunate to have him as a part of our team for over 12 years now.
Private, Instrument Single-Engine Land
Jeanne Hunter also joined McMahon in 1998. Jeanne has 20 years of aviation experience. She holds a Private Instrument Airplane license and has logged over 600 hours in airplanes. Jeanne handles all of McMahon's invoicing, work orders and plenty of other paperwork and behind the scenes tasks that the helicopter pilots would rather forget about (and often do). In addition to the office work, Jeanne often relays flight information to the pilots from the hangar and coordinates landing locations. If you have called our office within the past 14 years, chances are you have talked with Jeanne. We're fortunate to have an office manager like Jeanne that can handle the endless nightmare of paperwork required for an Air Carrier operation.
Camera Operator / A&P Mechanic
Bryan Smith began working at McMahon in 1993. Originally hired as an A&P Mechanic, Bryan quickly showed that his talents were better distributed in other avenues. Brian McMahon placed Smith in charge of technical operations on McMahon's gyro-stabilized camera systems in Detroit. Soon after, Bryan Smith became the full-time camera operator one of McMahon's first TV news contracts in the country, WXYZ Channel 7 - ABC Detroit. For the next 14 years, Bryan would accumulate well over 6,000 hours operating Gyrocam camera systems onboard the helicopter making him one of the highest time aerial camera operators in the world. McMahon's contract with WXYZ ended in December of 2009. Bryan is actively working with McMahon part-time as a camera operator and A&P mechanic. Recently, he has filmed for live NFL games and TV commercials including Onstar, Henry Ford Hospital, the University of Michigan, University of Toledo and many others.