Boise, Idaho-based night vision goggle specialist Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has promoted company veteran Tony Tsantles to FAA Part 135 director of operations.
“Tony has led the ASU training team through many successes worldwide. They have included the award and performance of multiple FAA training contracts, ongoing training with the Irish Air Corps and unmatched custom training for air medical, law enforcement and firefighting aircrews in the Treasure Valley's diverse terrain,” says ASU vice president of aviation operations Kip McDermott. “With more than 20 years of experience operating with night vision goggles, as both a crew member and pilot, Tony has brought professionalism and expertise to our team and our customers, ensuring the safe and effective use of NVGs.”
The FAA mandated and approved position is critical in overseeing Part 135 operations, including night vision training and aircraft maintenance. In his new role, Tsantles will bring valued know-how to the leadership team and lead new aviation initiatives as ASU continues to evolve.
Before joining the ASU team in Boise, Tsantles spent over 20 years developing his credentials in the US. Army. He spent nearly half of that time as an instructor, both as a crewmember and pilot. This unique background of functioning in both instructor roles has given him the ability to adapt quickly in civil instruction, particularly where he's training pilots and crew members collectively, including EMS, law enforcement and select groups. His Army career, spanning two decades, allowed the capability to work with two Army workhorse aircraft, the UH-1H Huey and UH-60A/L/M Black Hawk, both of which employ rather complex systems that prepared him well for the dynamic civil industry he now manages. Having spent 11 years of his time in the military in EMS, he is quite familiar with the challenges that can affect civil EMS pilots and crews. Although he's no longer being asked to fly in combat, with two trips overseas as a medevac pilot, he's certainly ready for the new challenges ahead.
“I guess it's rare to catch me speechless, but I may be just that. I love this organisation and what we stand for; the core of what we believe is genuinely centred around the safety of aviators and crews,” says Tsantles. “I want to acknowledge our history with reverence and continue to focus on the future with partnerships in training, education and culture.”
In recent months, Tsantles has spearheaded several educational engagement initiatives, including at the Air Medical Transportation Conference and Heli-Expo trade shows.
Later this month, he will be instructing several courses at the Airborne Public Safety Convention in Reno, Nevada, including a technical presentation on spatial disorientation and NVGs.