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Charles "Chuck" Aaron (call sign "Malibu") is the only pilot licensed by the FAA to perform aerobatics in a helicopter in the United States,[3] and one of only three such pilots in the world.[4] In 1980, Aaron worked on the air rescue program for NASA's Space Shuttle, and he founded his own company, FX Helicopters in Westlake Village, California in 1997.[5] Aaron announced his retirement from the airshow circuit in 2015[6] and made his last performance at the 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Las Vegas.

Chuck Aaron
Aaron in 2011
Full nameCharles Aaron
Born (1948-11-21) 21 November 1948 (age 70)[1]
San Antonio, Texas
Aviation career
Known forTAH-1F Cobra
Helicopter Aerobatics
Red Bull Air Force
First flight1968[1]
Flight licenseFixed-Wing & Helicopter Pilot,[2]
Helicopter Aerobatics (2005)
(all FAA)
AwardsArt Scholl Showmanship (2009)
SETP Member (2011)
Living Legend of Aviation (2013)
HAI Pilot of the Year (2014)

Aaron is also an experienced test pilot, having test-flown a tracking system for the Boeing AH-64 Apache; and an infrared vision system as the first helicopter pilot to deliberately fly into brownout conditions. He is also an FAA certificated Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, and has assembled three working TAH-1F Cobras from surplus parts.[7]

Aaron performed aerobatic maneuvers—loop, roll, vertical climb, Split S, Cuban Eight, Immelman, and "Chuckcevak" (modified Lomcovak)—at air shows and other demonstrations in an MBB Bo 105, with proprietary modifications invented by Aaron, that allow it to perform maneuvers previously impossible for helicopters.[5] This was featured in the opening sequence of the James Bond film Spectre.[8] He serves as Chief Pilot and Director of A&P Maintenance for the Red Bull Air Force.[5] One of Aaron's TAH-1F Cobras is flown on the European air show circuit, by "The Flying Bulls".[5] It was heavily damaged in an accident in May 2017 [9]

In 2019, Aaron opened a helicopter aerobatics flight school based at Concord Regional Airport [10]



  1. ^ a b "Chuck's Details". Chuck Aaron. Red Bull. 2013.
  2. ^ Fawkes, Gregg (28 January 2003). "Upgraded: Chuck Aaron, Julia Schmitt". Aero News Network.
  3. ^ Paur, Jason (1 June 2011). "Licensed to Loop: America's Only Aerobatic Copter Pilot".
  4. ^ Cotnoir, Stephanie (17 June 2013). "Chuck Aaron: a Living Legend of Aviation".
  5. ^ a b c d e f Padfield, R. Randall (25 February 2014). "Pilot of the Year Award: Chuck Aaron". HAI 2014 Heli-Expo News. AINonline.
  6. ^ Aaron, Chuck (27 September 2015). "I am retiring from the "Airshow Circuit"".
  7. ^ Helicopter Association International (26 February 2014). "Salute to Excellence Awards". HAI (
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Fedy, Dayna (14 March 2019). "Chuck Aaron opens helicopter aerobatics flight school". Vertical Magazine.
  11. ^ "Chuck Aaron". Red Bull Air Force. Red Bull.

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