ASU Inc., Welcomes Army Veteran Mitch McKinstry as NVG Instructor Pilot

Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) announced on June 1, 2023, the addition of Mitch McKinstry to their team of NVG Instructor Pilots.

“Mitch is no stranger to the industry or ASU, and he brings with him proven NVG experience,” said ASU President Dr. Joe Estrera. “ASU continues to win training contracts worldwide, and his experience and skills are a welcome addition to our team as we expand our mission to advance safety globally.”

McKinstry is an Idaho native, born and raised in Twin Falls. In his early twenties, he was inspired and mentored by ASU’s founder Mike Atwood to get involved with aviation through the Idaho Army National Guard. That led him to a distinguished military aviation career spanning over 38 years. He served in several duty positions as a flight instructor, standardization pilot, master gunner primarily in the AH64 Apache helicopter.

Later in his career, he transitioned to the UH60L as an instructor and safety officer. CW5 McKinstry retired in August 2022 as the Idaho Army National Guard State Aviation Safety Officer. He transitioned from the Idaho National Guard to Life Flight Network for a short period before being recruited by ASU. McKinstry brings more than 2000 hours of night flying experience using Night Vision Imaging Systems to the ASU team.  “It really is an honor to continue a career instructing and flying with such an outstanding company and leader in the industry.  I look forward to working with the ASU team in supporting our partners making flying at night as safe as possible.”

ASU recently announced winning the FAA rotorcraft training contract, and McKinstry will play a vital role in helping to train not only FAA pilots but also aircrews for initial and recurrent training.

McKinstry joins an experienced team of NVG instructor pilots who have trained over 6000 pilots and crewmembers. ASU holds FAA certifications in Part 133, 135, 137, and 141.

About Aviation Specialties Unlimited

For over 25 years, Aviation Specialties Unlimited Inc. (ASU) has proudly served those who protect and defend around the globe with the most advanced night vision system integration. Their experienced team supports safe and sustainable night vision programs with military-grade NVGs, flexible training, and custom aircraft lighting modifications. For more information, call +1 208-426-8117 or visit

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Magazine strives to provide you with breaking aerial firefighting industry news and information.

Latest Print Edition

Latest Articles

Related articles