Sitting governor earns helicopter rating

August 20, 2008

Ron Carroll and Sonny PerdueCFI Ron Carroll (left) with Gov. Sonny Perdue Photo by Sheri Christianson, Aerial Innovations of Georgia

Besides legislation, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is beating air molecules into submission.

The second-term Republican recently added private helicopter privileges to his pilot certificate. The governor already held a commercial airplane certificate with single- and multiengine ratings. Having started flying in his youth, he now has more than 2,800 total hours.

“A hearty congratulations! I envy you,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. “Other than navigation and communications, little from your past background, or mine, assists in the rating you have earned. Great work!”

Perdue, 61, did his training in a Robinson R44 at Blue Ridge Helicopters, Inc. in Lawrenceville, Ga. He used his vacation time to satisfy the solo requirements.

Perdue has shown the value of general aviation to political campaigning. He flew a Bellanca Super Viking to campaign stops around the state in his successful 2002 bid for the Georgia governorship. For more about his aerial exploits, see Tom Haines’ blog posting.