Field Director: Douglas W. Smith
Email Douglas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Douglas: 802-324-5464
Doug Smith owns and operates Heros Aviation on South Hero Island in the Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont. His Middle Hero Seaplane Base on the “inland sea” of Lake Champlain in the town of Grand Isle, Vermont, is accompanied by a 2,000-foot grass airstrip by the same name on his property.
Doug has done float plane training and rides for all occasions in Vermont since 1995, and was the sole seaplane training facility on the lake. He now combines airplanes and instructors with ScootAir at the nearby Northern Lights airport and seaplane base in South Alburg, for full diversification of training in seaplanes. This summer of 2010, a new relationship with MESratings in Tavaras, FL has formed an alliance to bring the rare but delightfully Twin Seabee to Vermont in summers to meet the needs of pilots seeking the MES. Doug and instructors work with the UC-1-1 Twin Seabee, to offer both Multi-Engine Sea and Land combination ratings, and are offered at Private, Commercial & ATP certificate levels. Doug is a New England Designated Pilot Examiner for all certificates and ratings, under the Portland, ME FSDO.
The love and enjoyment of float flying came from a life-time of boating and sailing and flying, and upon receiving his SES on lake Champlain in 1994, he has trained pilots for hundreds of seaplane ratings over the years. Combining flying with boating seems to be the perfect way to enjoy both through float planes!
Doug holds an Airline Transport Certificate – Airplane Single and Multi-Engine Land & Sea, and 6 Type ratings, including DC-3 and most Boeing airliners. His 29 year career as a Delta Air Lines pilot and Check Airman in their Flight Standards Department, ended in Delta’s 2005 bankruptcy. He is presently a B-777 Ex-Pat Captain with Air India. He has held since 1974 a CFI- Airplanes Single & Multi-Engine and Instruments. He was Chief Flight Instructor at Auburn University’s School of Aviation in 1976-77. He received his BS from Purdue University in 1971, and an MS from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1980. He lived and flew light airplanes in Australia after immigrating to Sydney after college in the early 1970’s. Doug is married with 3 grown children, two of which are in aviation also.
Currently Doug is Chief Flight Instructor and DPE of the newly formed Vermont Flight Academy in Burlington (BTV), which will soon have an FAR 141 Approved School Certificate for Private, Instrument, and Commercial; he intends to add virtually all other ratings to the pending Air Agency Certificate, including SES and MES which will particularly benefit military personnel with VA and GI-Bill benefits.
The new flight school has partnered with the Vermont Technical College to offer 4-year BS degrees in AVIATION TECHNOLOGY which will entail all certificates and ratings through CFIs. He and his partners feel that Vermont can offer far more variety of flight training than other locations, and float plane flying will certainly be emphasized with Lake Champlain nearby! Using the Vermont Flight Academy facilities, Doug intends to expand his FAASTeam work in many areas including seaplane workshops and fly-ins.
Heros Aviation also serves New England and East Coast as the only distributor for aircraft fabric supplies & paint, including Poly-Fiber, Ceconite, and Randolph. Doug’s primary training Cub won the “Outstanding Fabric Float Plane” award at Oshkosh 2005.
Doug has flown all the Cubs to Oshkosh and back on straight floats for several years now, and his experiences make him continuously fascinated and interested in all aspects of seaplane operations everywhere. He trains students in all usable lakes in Vermont as well as nearby Lake George, focuses on all bays the length and breadth of Lake Champlain, and he ventures often to the major lakes of the Adirondack National Park.
In 2009 he and other local seaplane pilots hosted the 1st Annual Float Plane Fly-In in Lake Champlain, the location at North Hero, Vermont’s waterfront City Bay in the Lake Champlain Islands. The 2nd annual float fly-in is August 15 in 2010. Doug was appointed to the Vermont Governor’s Aviation Advisory Council in 2010. He is a long-time member of NAFI, AOPA, EAA, and of course, SPA! He looks forward to working with local and state government as well as individual seaplane operators and bases, to protect, promote, and enjoy all types of seaplane flying in the state of Vermont.