Ray is one of Australia’s most experienced helicopter pilots and instructors and has been a key contributor to the development of helicopter safety and training policies and regulations.
His aviation career commenced in 1975 when he joined the Department of Civil Aviation, working his way through the ranks to achieve a Diploma in Air Traffic Services while at the same time pursuing his commercial pilot’s license for both airplanes and helicopters.
In the mid-1980s, Ray identified a void in the Australian market for a helicopter training school, filling that void by founding Kestrel Aviation, which has since become one of the leading service providers for helicopter aviation in Victoria for aerial firefighting.
Ray has focused on building Kestrel into an innovation leader, consistently looking to improve its technologies and service delivery, with other organizations continually looking to Kestrel for leadership in delivering safe and efficient operations.
Throughout his career, Ray has also been a constant contributor to improving the safety of helicopter operations in the country through inputs to government and regulatory committees (including CASA’s Aviation Safety Advisory Panel) that currently represent the interests of the Australian helicopter industry domestically and internationally. Ray also serves as the President of the Australian Helicopter Industry Association and has also been awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Col Pay Award for a Lifetime of Service to General Aviation.