Ep. #6 - Gene Bishop on his Army Career, EMS Flying, Aviation Safety, and Careers in Aviation


"Best advice I can offer to anybody is to be true to yourself and to be integral with your word." - Gene Bishop

This episode’s guest is Gene Bishop, who is currently Captain and Department Safety Manager at a private flight department, flying Gulfstream G-IVs and an AStar helicopter in Birmingham, Alabama.

Gene was born and raised in Los Angeles, is a former US Army aviator, both helicopters and fixed-wing, and an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.  He flew EMS helicopters for ten years, and also manages several large Facebook groups dedicated to promoting aviation safety and helping aviation professionals chart their career paths.

In this episode we talk about Gene’s own career path through the US Army and various roles, including as an EMS pilot, some of the stories he has about aviation safety, his advice for aviation professionals in figuring out their career path, and much more.

Where you can find Gene:

LinkedIn | Email

Selected links from episode:

Show notes:

  • Gene's first job in aviation [1:40]

  • Why Gene joined the Army in the first place [3:45]

  • What Army training was like, including Warrant Officer Candidate school [7:48]

  • Gene's first assignment in the Army [18:55]

  • Why Gene learned Eastern bloc attack helicopter tactics [23:16]

  • Gene's experience scheduling pilots [25:55]

  • Gene talks about taking courses at Embry Riddle [31:01]

  • The process to switching to fixed wing from rotary wing [34:18]

  • Gene talks about his first job as a civilian, flying helicopters in New York City [39:21]

  • Gene's next job, doing EMS operations [45:53]

  • Gene's experience deploying to Iraq in 2007 [50:47]

  • How Gene ended up at a Part 91 flight department flying G-IVs and an AStar helicopter [53:08]

  • What his current role as Safety Manager entails [57:04]

  • Where Gene's passion for aviation safety comes from [58:34]

  • The Facebook groups Gene keeps active on a variety of aviation topics [1:09:35]

  • Gene's advice (and advice to ignore) for those looking to navigate a career in aviation [1:11:24]

  • Some of Gene's hobbies outside aviation, and the role they play in his life [1:18:58]

  • One of Gene's most memorable flights, and favourite places to fly [1:23:09]