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About Sweet Helicopters

Based in the heartland of the midwest, Sweet Helicopters is dedicated to giving you unrivaled access to the sky with safety, professionalism, and courtesy. We combine the warm personal touch of a small midwest company with the dependability and experience you need. We’re committed to serving even your most crucial needs while providing an unforgettable experience.

The Sweet Helicopters Staff

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.

Founder Chuck Surack
Founder Chuck Surack flying over the Chicago skyline.

Chuck Surack – Founder/Owner

In addition to being the founder of Sweetwater Sound, the world’s leading music technology and instrument retailer, and the owner of more than a dozen other businesses, Chuck Surack has had a sweet spot for aviation ever since he first experienced flight as a boy with his aviator father in their Aeronca Chief. Chuck has since earned his rotorcraft private and commercial certificates — you may find him at the helm of his own personal helicopter, and he often serves as a Sweet Helicopters crew member. As the owner of Sweet Helicopters, Sweet Aviation, and Aviation Specialty Insurance, Chuck is a passionate advocate for aviation businesses, awareness, and safety.

Randy Sharkey — Director of Operations

Randy Sharkey is a dual-rated airline transport pilot certified in both airplanes and helicopters, and has accumulated almost 13,000 hours over his nearly 40-year pilot career. As a commercial flight instructor, Randy has accrued more than 1,000 hours of dual flight instruction in helicopters and he was selected to represent the Grand Rapids Flight Standards District Office as a Designated Pilot Examiner for helicopters. Randy is also heavily invested in the local community through his aviation ties — he founded Friendship Flights Foundation in 1995, America’s Freedom Fest Air Show in 2000, and Rotors ’n Ribs Helicopter Fly-in in 2012, all of which are based in Goshen, Indiana.

Tim Edmonds — Chief Pilot

Tim Edmonds has over 36 years of flying experience in Military and Corporate aviation, as well as thousands of hours while flying on international, mountain, and overwater flights in helicopters and airplanes. He has a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate of the FAA ATC Academy. He also has many years of managing aircraft for companies ranging from helicopters to midsized cabin jets.

Chris Heiter — Pilot

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.

Ken Janik — Pilot

Ken Janik has been a commercial helicopter pilot for 25 years with more than over 8,200 flight hours in helicopters. He’s also been a Certified Flight Instructor for over 20 years. Ken is the former owner and Director of Operations for Sun Aero Helicopters and is also an aerial Film pilot and member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

Josh Powell — Director of Maintenance

Josh Powell started his career in aviation serving in the United States Marine Corps for four years as a Sikorsky CH-53D flight line mechanic. Following his service, he obtained his FAA Airman Certificate with airframe and power-plant ratings at ATA Aviation Training Academy in Indianapolis. Josh has over 22 years of aircraft maintenance and military, commercial, and corporate aviation experience. He is a manufacturer-trained mechanic on Sikorsky, Bell, and Airbus helicopters.