This is our crew. Flying is their passion and sharing this unique perspective with you is their mission. We look forward to welcoming you to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and all of the other beautiful places throughout the Smokies.
CFI, Pilot, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic
Les is Scenic Helicopter’s fearless leader. As a long-time employee of Scenic, Les took over as Operations Manager in 2015 and has continued to carry the company into expanding markets and varying fields of operation. As a certified pilot, Airframe and Powerplant mechanic, Les also assists in keeping our fleet of aircraft in optimum running condition.
CFI and Chief Pilot
Rusty joined the Scenic crew as a tour pilot in July 2020 and was promoted to chief pilot in April 2021. Rusty is a native of Hawaii, but grew up in central Kentucky where he worked as a mechanic for seven years before going to flight school.
He has six years of flight experience, plus a year and a half experience as certified flight instructor prior to moving to Sevierville.
Rusty loves the outdoors and enjoys surfing, snowboarding, biking, and many other outdoor activities.
Phil has wanted to fly helicopters his entire life. Today, he is fulfilling his dream of flying visitors over and around our beautiful Smoky Mountains. Phil is from Visalia, California and when he isn’t flying, he enjoys golfing, dirt biking, surfing, and traveling to surf destinations.
Drake is a certified flight instructor from Lafayette, Louisiana. He loves to fly and share helicopter experiences with those that have never flown in one before. In his spare time, Drake enjoys restoring and riding motorcycles.
CFI and Instrument Rated Helicopter Pilot
Retired Air Force Veteran of 21 years, Collin is a certified flight instructor and instrument rated helicopter pilot. Collin moved to East Tennessee from Idaho in October of 2020 to join the Scenic team.
His childhood dream was to be a helicopter pilot. “The helicopter is an amazing tool and I’ve always been fascinated by it. The challenges of helicopter flight, the experience of 3-dimensional freedom, and leveraging its unique capabilities are what inspires and motivates me to fly,” said Collin.
Samuel is a certified flight instructor and tour pilot here at Scenic.
I’ve always loved learning new things and facing a good challenge. I decided to pursue flying, one of my passions, as a career.
In my spare time, I enjoy songwriting and music production. I also like to keep active and play soccer.
Jordan, a native of Albany, New York, is a turbine line-pilot at Scenic Helicopter Tours. He has always loved aviation but never considered it to be a viable career option until after leaving the Marine Corps. Motivated by a desire for a new adventure and challenges, Jordan is now a certified flight instructor and pilot with over 800 hours of flight time. He also holds a Bachelors of Science with a Rotor Wing emphasis.
Enrico as a New Jersey native, who went from jumping out of aircraft in the Army to flying helicopters post military. After earning his pilot’s license in Utah, Enrico flew for operators in Lakes of the Ozarks and St. Louis, Missouri for about six years before coming to Tennessee and joining our Scenic crew.
Hudson is from Amsterdam, New York and got his start in aviation by working as a thermographer doing infrared and other inspections on power lines in a helicopter. That paved the way for Hudson to become a pilot. “I started helicopter training in 2019 and haven’t looked back,” he said.
Hudson said what keeps is, “LaCroix, my family, and my love of aviation.”
Connor is a certified flight instructor and comes to Scenic from Raleigh, North Carolina. When he’s not flying and entertaining our guests, Connor enjoys traveling, mountain biking, riding motorcycles and outdoor activities.
Patrick is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan and moved to Oregon to pursue a career in aviation. He chose to go to flight school after talking with a helicopter EMS pilot he met several times.
He finished his flight instructor training at Hillsboro Heli Academy in Oregon and jumped at the opportunity to move to Tennessee and fly as a tour pilot.
“I’ve always been super interested in helicopters and would love it if I could move into the filming industry. Chasing and filming races like the Baja 500 or being fortunate enough to film a Hollywood scene would definitely be a goal for me, but really, I feel fortunate to be able to do what I do every day.
He spends his spare time off-roading his Jeep, enjoying video games, and going to comic conventions.
Scenic Helicopter Tours was founded in 1972 and is a second generation, family owned and operated helicopter tour company. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional experiences and life-long memories of the beautiful area in which we live. Our crew is an award-winning team that is second to none.
We first opened our doors in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and moved our heliport to its current location at 1949 Winfield Dunn Parkway (Hwy 66), Sevierville, Tennessee in the late 1980s. Since then, Scenic has grown by leaps and bounds. We now maintain a fleet of seven aircraft and offer a large variety of tours to fit most any budget.
In addition to air tours, Scenic Helicopter Tours offers a diversified range of flight services including special events such as weddings, proposals and golf ball drops, charters and 135 charter services, aerial film/video/photography, power line patrol, turbine transitions, search and rescue, and real estate, ranch and wildlife surveys.