Pilot/Reporter Judd Chapin joined WFLA as Eagle 8's pilot in 1985.
Judd began his career in aviation as an Army helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. In addition to piloting WFLA's helicopter now, Judd also serves as Chief Pilot for US Helicopters, Inc. He was the founding Chairman of the National Broadcast Pilots Assoc.(1985-1992), Co-Founder of Vietnam Helicopter Assoc. of Florida (1997-98), as well as Co-Founder (Chairman, 1999-2003, and Life Member) of the Vietnam Helicopter Aircrew Museum, along with keeping an active membership in other pilots' organizations. And believe it or not, he has time for hobbies: He enjoys woodworking, designing and building military miniatures and getting out with his fly fishing rod when he can.
Before moving to the Tampa Bay area, Judd was a rancher in his home state, Arkansas. When he arrived him Florida, he enrolled in University of South Florida, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration.
Students around the area benefit from Judd's experience. He can often be found in local classrooms talking to students about becoming a pilot, as well as a reporter. Hillsborough County high school students get to hear Judd speak in their Vietnam History classes.
Judd takes great pride in his work, and recognition for the outstanding job he does is nothing new for Chapin. In 1991, he was awarded the "Leo Galanos Award" for Pilot of the Year presented by American Eurocopter and the National Pilots Association. The Society of Professional Journalists recognized him with its annual Award of Excellence. Both the Associated Press and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards selected his aerial coverage for Best Spot News in 2003. Because he is such an accomplished pilot, Judd is also in high demand from other pilots to perform annual competency/proficiency check-rides to keep their licenses current. Because he cares about the aviation industry he travels around the country doing these rides when requested ... and of course, when we can let him out of Eagle 8 for few days.
Judd is always ready and willing to help the local community with his special abilities. He has been singled out for honors for assisting with searches that result in people being spotted and rescued or captured.
200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606
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