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Episode 150- HAI’s 2024 Salute to Excellence Pilot of the Year, Mike Sagely

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Episode Description

Welcome to The Hangar Z Podcast, brought to you by Vertical Helicasts!

This episode was recorded live from the floor of HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim in March 2024, where we were able to interview the HAI Salute to Excellence Pilot of the Year Award recipient Mike Sagely.

Sagely’s path to becoming a decorated pilot isn’t typical. After a successful college volleyball career that even included a stint on the U.S. Olympic volleyball team, Sagely enlisted in the U.S. Army in his mid-20s. His talent and dedication shone through immediately. He excelled in flight school, becoming a distinguished graduate, where he began flying the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

Sagely’s impressive military career spanned 22 years. He served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, later joining the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment where he flew special combat missions. His bravery earned him seven Air Medals, a Bronze Star, and countless valuable experiences.

After retiring from the Army, Sagely continued his service by becoming a contract fire pilot and later joining the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. In 2009, he joined the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD), where his leadership and abilities led to a swift promotion to senior pilot.

His heroism during rescues and lifesaving missions has been recognized at LA County Fire with two valor awards and three separate rescue awards from Sikorsky.

Sagely’s dedication extends beyond flying. He credits his success to strong mentors throughout his career and actively mentors others, pushing them to grow and excel.  His leadership and mentorship are invaluable assets to the LA County Fire and the public safety aviation community as a whole.

Thank you to our sponsors Precision Aviation Group, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing and CNC Technologies.

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