From our friendly and professional customer service agents to our highly experienced pilots, everyone at Sweet Helicopters is committed to sharing our passion for flight with you. We want to show you how fast, easy, and comfortable it is to travel by helicopter. Whether you’re a busy professional or just looking for a unique vacation experience, you’ll love working with our crew. We have the warmth and personal touch of a small-town company, with the professionalism and reliability of a major operation. We look forward to showing you how fun it is to fly with us!
Our dedication to safety starts with a meticulously rigorous maintenance schedule that keeps our fleet in peak flying condition. Our friendly crew will make sure that you are completely comfortable and informed, and our experienced pilots will make even the most time-sensitive flights a carefree experience. Our perfect safety record is representative of our commitment to your well-being.
Our pilots are highly trained professionals that far exceed FAA standards. We take pride in the fact that two of them are Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs), and there are only four DPEs on our region. In addition, we operate on a 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification that requires us to abide by stricter training regulations that assures our clients of a higher level of safety when compared to other operators. All training, approved by the FAA, executed and overseen by in-house FAA Designated Pilot Examiners.
You may recognize Chuck Surack as the Founder of Sweetwater Sound, Surack Enterprises, the owner of Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, or as a community leader, serving on the boards of many local non-profit organizations.
What you might not know is that Chuck is a helicopter pilot and aircraft enthusiast. Inspired by his aviator father, Chuck has loved flying since childhood, even keeping his Boy Scouts Aviation merit badge to this day. His first flying experiences were in his dad’s Aeronca Chief based at Smith Field. Chuck would go on to own many other airplanes and helicopters, such as the Cessna 414, Cessna Citations, and the Airbus H130, just to name a few. He loves flying and can often be found at the helm of a helicopter.
In addition to Sweet Helicopters, other aviation related businesses under the Surack Enterprises umbrella include Sweet Aviation, which provides charter flights, training, and rental for fixed-wing aircraft from both Smith Field Airport and DeKalb County Airport and Aviation Specialty Insurance, which insures the aviation industry including corporations, light aircraft, flight schools, drones & UAVs, and more.
He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons and a daughter.
Rated as a dual Airline Transport Pilot, Randy Sharkey has accumulated over 13,000 hours in both airplanes and helicopters. Randy began his aviation career in 1985 flying business jets for large corporate companies. In 2013 Randy was hired as the first full time pilot for Sweet Helicopters. In addition to overseeing our team of professional pilots, Randy still flies many VIP trips for Sweet Helicopters. As a commercial helicopter flight instructor, Randy has conducted over 1,000 flight hours of dual flight instruction and represents the Federal Aviation Administration as a helicopter Designated Pilot Examiner.
Randy is the director in charge of our satellite base at the Goshen Municipal Airport where he also serves as the Airport Manager. Randy is active on many board positions including the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, America’s Freedom Fest, Rotors ’n Ribs, and Friendship Flights Foundation.
Randy and his wife Elaine have three grown daughters and four grandchildren.
California born, but Ohio raised before Sweet Helicopters, Jeff spent 29 years as Chief Pilot/Director of Training for a large Midwest Air Medical program. With years of aviation consulting experience, Jeff also has spent the last 30+ years as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. Dual rated in both helicopters and airplanes, Jeff spends his days at Sweet Helicopters administering the day-to-day management of the business, and overseeing FAA operational control.
Bob has had an interesting career. He’s worked at Sweetwater Sound where he managed GearFest and Sweetwater Academy of Music, was the director of BOSS US where he was responsible for sales and marketing for all Roland/BOSS guitar products in the US, and for several years now has been the Director of Business Development for Sweet Helicopters. In this role Bob seeks out new clients and makes sure that Sweet Helicopters is providing concierge level services to all our existing clients. Bob holds a private pilot certificate and on the weekends loves playing in the band the Sweetwater All Stars.
Josh is a second generation United States Marine that started his career in aviation as a Sikorsky CH-53D heavy helicopter flight line mechanic. Following his military service, he obtained his FAA Airframe and Powerplant Certifications and began his civilian career. He has over 25 years of aircraft maintenance experience to include 145 repair station work, helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operations, U.S. military contracting, commercial airlines, and corporate aviation. He is factory trained by Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters, and Safran Helicopter Engines. Josh manages our maintenance department and ensures airworthiness of our helicopters and compliance requirements for our 135 certificate. He is very dedicated and passionate about his career and position with Sweet Helicopters and is excited about the company’s growth and future. At the end of the day, Josh looks forward to spending time his with family, friends, and his dogs.
Kyle Roth always had a desire to fly. His grandfather was a radio operator for float planes during WW2 and Kyle would follow in his steps joining the Marine Corps and serving three deployments in Iraq. In addition to receiving a BS in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Kyle has worked in line service, refurbished WW1 cloth-era biplanes, flown gliders, and became dual-rated in both helicopters and single engine aircraft.
Chris Heiter is a 3rd generation aviator. He’s a dual-rated fixed wing and helicopter pilot flying corporate business jets and helicopters. Chris is also an airframe and power plant mechanic with Inspection Authorization specializing in helicopter maintenance. He is factory-trained, both pilot and maintenance, on numerous helicopter and jet types.
Matt grew up in Colorado near the Air Force Academy where he found he had an affinity for aviation. After high school Matt received a degree in computer science and would work as a software engineer for companies like Amazon and Google. Wanting more, Matt would return to his first love of flying where he would train and become a helicopter pilot.
At Sweet Helicopters Matt is a charter pilot and also flies tour groups around the Midwest. In addition to being a pilot, Matt is also a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII).
Ken can remember back when he decided he wanted to be a pilot. “I took a helicopter tour in 1994 and knew this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life,” he said. In addition to being a senior pilot with over 10,000 hours in helicopters, Ken is also a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and acts as an aerial film pilot for Sweet Helicopters. He has flown in such movies and TV shows as Contagion, The Dark Knight, Prison Break, Finding Bigfoot, and Power Book IV: Force as well as working for Fox Sports. He is one of our company’s instructor pilots as well as a check airman. He has been a flight instructor in helicopters for over 20 years. Ken has also owned a helicopter company that was an exclusive charter operator for NASCAR races all over the country. He would trailer two helicopters to 30 out of the 36 races each year and would fly the drivers, owners and sponsors to and from the race tracks.
For Chris, aviation is in his DNA. His father was a pilot during the Vietnam War and flew helicopters for 20+ years. Chris graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s in law and society where he learned to fly as a student. When he’s not flying for Sweet Helicopters Chris is also a pilot for the Memorial Hospital Medflight Air Ambulance program.
Chris has three sons, one of which is a Marine, and when not flying enjoys working on his house and Jeep Wrangler.
Originally from Cloverdale, Indiana, Michael graduated from Manchester University, later working in Indianapolis in international logistics.
That all changed for Michael after a helicopter tour around the San Francisco Bay Area. After that, he felt destiny pull him in the direction of aviation which led him to training at Sweet Aviation. He has since obtained his fixed-wing private pilot certificate and helicopter CFI rating.
When Michael has his feet on the ground, he operates a non-profit sports foundation as well as several other community focused ventures in Fort Wayne.
Stacy Owens was raised in a military family where he spent the majority of his youth stationed in Germany with them. After enlisting himself, Stacy served in the United States Army where he learned of a program that allowed soldiers to be trained to fly helicopters, and after being accepted is where he learned to fly. Stacy spent 30 years as an Army aviator where he was deployed twice to Iraq, twice to Afghanistan, and retired from military service in 2015. Stacy also is an airline transport pilot and in his free time likes to travel.
Maintaining helicopters runs in Mike St John’s family. His dad served in the Army and maintained Apache helicopters during his service and Mike would grow up to do the same but with Blackhawks in his time.
Since he grew up in a military family, Mike’s family moved around a lot and he ended up graduating high school in Batesville, Indiana. After, he also joined the Army and would be deployed a total of four times to Iraq where he would act as a mechanic and crew chief where he flew over 1,500 hours in Blackhawk Helicopters. Later, Mike attended college and received a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.
At Sweet Helicopters, Mike assists with planning and management of maintenance and compliance with required inspections, maintains all maintenance and historical records for the fleet, performs maintenance on all helicopters, and much more.
Jonathan Saxton grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and loved helicopters from when he was a little boy. “Any time I would see a helicopter fly over, I would just stop what I was doing and just watch it until it was out of sight,” he said. After school, Jonathan spent five years in the Marine Corps as a CH-53E airframe mechanic and then became Sikorsky factory trained too. At Sweet Helicopters, Jonathan spends his days doing regular checks on the aircraft and also doing scheduled maintenance and inspections. When Jonathan’s not working he enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with his girlfriend Tabitha and son Ryder.
Ken started his aviation career in the U.S. Army as an aircraft electrician and later as a military contractor fielding the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Ken has extensive troubleshooting experience and refers to himself as a “mission focused soldier and systems guy.” Ken has previously worked in law enforcement, airborne law enforcement, and manufacturing as well. Most importantly, Ken enjoys his family and a good dog. He is also factory trained on Airbus Helicopters EC120’s and AS350’s as well as Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2D and Arrius 2F turbine engines.