About Our Flight Instructors
TODD M. DONAHUE (CHIEF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR)
Todd Donahue is the President/founder of Homestead Helicopters Inc. HHI was incorporated in 1996 in Missoula, MT. Todd began his helicopter career as a flight instructor in 1994 working for Northeast Helicopters out of Ellington, CT. His primary job assignment was to train students from around the world, specializing in commercial/instrument instruction. This experience gave him the foundation to adapt teaching techniques to many different cultures and learning needs.
In 1994 while working for Northeast Helicopters in Connecticut, Todd was assigned the task of reading accident reports and compiling a statistical analysis of every accident in every make and model helicopter from 1980 – 1994 to determine trends in the causes of helicopter accidents ranging from make and model, type of operation, pilot experience, as well as ultimate cause. This work lead to his nomination and appointment as a FAA Accident Prevention Counselor in the New England Region. Todd gave several lectures over the next few years at FAA sponsored seminars on the cause and prevention of helicopter accidents.
In 1996, Todd established Homestead Helicopters, Inc. in Missoula, Montana offering flight instruction and FAR Part 91 commercial services, and in 1998 aquired HHI's FAR Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate and FAR Part 133 External Load Certificate. Homestead Helicopters began performing charter and utility operations throughout the Western United States utilizing R44 and Bell Jet Ranger Helicopters.
After successful completion of several years of NRCS Snow surveys in the Northern Rockies, scenic operations and charter, HHI added a Bell Long Ranger IV and in 2001 began contracting with the USFS for Fire Fighting utilizing Jet Rangers and Long Rangers for CWN and Exclusive Use Initial Attack, Fire Suppression, and Aerial Ignition throughout the US. Todd has over 17 years of commercial helicopter piloting without incident and has long been known for his commitment to safety and desire to enhance operational safety in the helicopter industry.
He has taken this experience along with his operational knowledge, thousands of fire piloting hours and management to develop a comprehensive advanced FAR Part 141 training program with the assistance of the retired USFS National Helicopter Standardization Pilot. Todd has been responsible for the development and implementation of HHI’s FAR Part 135, 133, 137 and 141 Training programs and Operational Manuals. He is also the company’s Chief Pilot and Check Airman.