Apr 10

Join us April 11th to hear from two CH-53K Test Pilots!

Please join our AHS East New England chapter for our upcoming dinner and networking event featuring Lt. Col Jonathan Morel and John Rucci presenting,  “CH-53K Integrated Testing.”  See event details below – we hope to see you there!

AHS ENE CH-53K Announcement

Apr 07

That’s a wrap: AHS ENE Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 2017!

AHS East New England chapter’s first Drone Night and Trivia Challenge was a huge success!

AHS Drone Night Boston

0ver 60 people joined Boston’s local AHS chapter at the new interim GE Corporate Headquarters in the seaport district of downtown Boston for a UAV-themed night with four guest speakers and a drone/helicopter-themed trivia contest.

The evening began with a UAV show-and-tell.  Our guest speakers each brought in some drone hardware to share with the AHS Boston audience.



Bob Gettler brought in a variety of FPV racing quadcopters, and gave our members the chance to fly for themselves using his quadcopter flight simulator, and a micro-quadcopter he flew around the crowd in the room (streaming live-video!).

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 2 AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 5

Adam Sanford of Northeastern University brought in their fixed-wing UAV affectionately known as, “The Optional Step.”

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 4AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 1

This unique RC aircraft is their own design, and was built for an upcoming SAE design competition.

Nick Brusco and the Boston University UAV Team brought a number of projects that their team has built, including a fixed-wing RC airplane and many quadcopters.

At 6:00pm, AHS East New England chapter president Harry Nahatis kicked off the presentation portion of the event.  Harry discussed the benefits of AHS membership, and gave a special thank you to the event sponsor, Top Flight Technologies.

Harry Nahatis, AHS ENE Chapter President

AHS ENE University Coordinator Brent Vlasman expanded on the benefits of AHS membership from a student perspective, and highlighted AHS’s annual student design competition as well as the annual Micro Air Vehicle challenge.  About 1/3 of the Drone Night participants were students from the Boston area – with particularly large turnouts from Northeastern and Boston University – there was a lot of interest in participating in future design contests.  Most of the students agreed with Brent’s assertion that it’s, “Time for Boston to win some of these things and bring some hardware home to New England!”

Students interested in participating in future AHS design competitions can contact Brent Vlasman or Scott Hannula, the AHS East New England Chapter University coordinators.


With Drone Night officially underway, AHS East New England Chapter Membership Co-chair and Trivia Master extraordinaire Dave Spillman took the stage to kick off the Trivia Challenge.  With only a slightly obvious affinity towards Coast Guard aviation history, Dave kept the audience guessing with a healthy mix of Drone and Helicopter trivia questions that covered a broad spectrum of vertical flight topics.

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 12AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 11

There were four rounds of questions, each progressively more difficult than the last.  The winning team received the highly desirable prizes of an RC Blackhawk helicopter for each member of their team!

We had four great presentations from our lineup of drone experts, starting with Michael Clatworthy from GE Ventures.

AHS Drone Night Speakers

Michael’s presentation explored the art of the possible, as well as the reality, of what drones can do to inspect high-tech industrial applications such as oil fields and refineries.  Michael is a UAS Operations Director at Avitas, a GE company, and his expertise and passion for drone applications shined throughout his presentation.

Adam Sanford, a Bioengineering student from Northeastern University, introduced our chapter to the Northeastern University AIAA club and their efforts to design and build a fixed-wing RC aircraft.


Their innovative approach to design is the result of many lessons – often learned “the hard way” through trial and error, blood sweat and tears, and maybe a few mishaps here and there.


Nick Brusco, a senior in Electrical Engineering at Boston University, shared with us what it means to be a member of the Boston University UAV Team – of which he is the President.

Nick showed us many of his club’s multi-rotor builds and highlighted their passion for pushing the boundaries of design, with many unconventional approaches to the multi-rotor architecture.

Nick’s club uses hackathon’s to teach newcomers about the basics of robotics, design, and ultimately UAV construction and flight.



Bob Gettler was the final speaker of the evening, and he wowed the crowd with the new adrenaline-pumping sport of First Person Viewer (FPV) quadcopter racing.

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 9 AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 8

Bob explained how quads are built, and how they fly – with a much-loved deep dive into control logic and fine tuning of a race quad.

Our AHS got to experience a little bit of FPV racing when Bob showed us some video he took of his recent races on the MultiGP circuit.


After Bob took questions from our members, he had the honorable job of drawing our 50-50 raffle winner.  A special thank you to Glenn Davis for running the 50-50 raffle, which helps us to raise funds for our chapter to put on events like Drone Night.

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 7

After the raffle, Mr. Spillman took the stage for the final time to announce the much-anticipated Trivia Challenge winners.

Once the winners claimed their Blackhawks, AHS ENE Chapter President Harry Nahatis closed the event by thanking our speakers one last time, thanking Top Flight Technologies again for their sponsorship, and announcing our next upcoming event on April 11th featuring CH-53K test pilots.   We hope to see you there!

AHS Boston Drone Night and Trivia Challenge 3

Drone Night and Trivial Challenge guest speakers. From left to right: Michael Clatworthy, AHS ENE Chapter President Harry Nahatis, Adam Sanford, Bob Gettler, Nick Brusco.

Mar 15

AHS ENE Presents: Drone Night and Trivia Challenge!

Calling all AHS East New England Members and Boston area drone enthusiasts!


We are very excited to announce our first AHS ENE event of 2017:  “Drone Night and Trivia Challenge!” 


AHS Drone Night and Trivia Challenge

Join us at GE’s new Headquarters in Boston for pizza and a great lineup of speakers including presentations from GE Ventures, the Boston University UAV Club, Northeastern University AIAA chapter, and AHS ENE’s own Bob Gettler.  The event will include a UAV show-and-tell with the guest speakers, pizza dinner (included in ticket price), four short presentations with Q&A, and a trivia challenge with a prize for the winner!  For more information see the attached flyer and/or the EventBrite page.


AHS Drone Night and Trivia Challenge

When:    Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 5:30-8:30pm

Where:   GE HQ in Boston, 41 Farnsworth Street, Boson, MA

Price:      AHS Members: $12, Students: $5.

RSVP:     Tickets must be purchased in advance via EventBrite: https://ahs-ene-dronenight.eventbrite.com


Tickets must be purchased by Monday, April 3,, 2017, and are non-refundable.  Space is limited to 50 people.  Since pre-registration is required, tickets will not be sold at the door.


Please contact Brent Vlasman (Brent dot Vlasman at GE dot com) if you have any questions.

Nov 12

AHS East New England dinner September 27, 2016, with guest speaker Liutenant Riley of the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing

The American Helicopter Society East New England Chapter was proud to welcome Lieutenant Timothy J. Riley as the speaker at our dinner on September 27th, 2016.

Mass State Police Helicopter

Lieutenant. Riley is an Executive Officer with the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing, and gave a fantastic presentation about how the police use helicopters to serve and protect.


The event sponsored by Flir, and held at Teresa’s Function Facilities in Middleton, MA. We had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks, Lieutenant Riley!

Nov 10

Guest speakers Pat Donnelly and Doug Shidler, and a special farewell to Ed Birtwell, at AHS East New England dinner event March 22, 2016

AHS East New England held a very special dinner on March 22, 2016, where we celebrated Ed Birtwell for his dedicated service to AHS.

Ed Birtwell and Mike Hirschberg

Mike Hirschberg (left) and Ed Birtwell (right)

Mike Hirschberg, AHS International Executive Director, attended to honor Mr. Birtwell for decades of involvement with AHS.


We also welcomed two guest speakers, Pat Donnelly, the Program Director of VTOL and Mobility for Boeing Phantom Works, and Doug Shidler, the Program Director and Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator/FVL.

Pat Donnelly and Doug Shidler

They educated us on the Sikorsky-Boeing Joint Multi-Role Program.  The event was held at Teresa’s Function Facilities in Middleton, MA and sponsored by Triumph. Thanks again to our speakers and special guest Mike Hirschberg for making this a great event.


And a special thank you to Ed Birtwell for everything he has done for AHS during his long and impressive career!

Ed Birtwell and T700

Nov 09

AHS East New England Event January 26, 2016: Dinner with guest speaker Tom Judge, Executive Director of LifeFlight of Maine

The American Helicopter Society East New England Chapter, Boston’s local chapter of AHS International, held a dinner with guest speaker Tom Judge on January 26, 2016 at Teresa’s Function Facilities in Middleton, MA. The event began with a social hour at 5:00pm, followed by dinner at 6:00, and a guest speaker at 7:00.

Tom Judge


AHS was proud to welcome guest speaker Tom Judge,  Executive Director of LifeFlight of Maine. LifeFlight of Maine provides critical care transport throughout Maine. Mr. Judge presented, “The Geography of Time: Mapping the Impact of Helicopters on Medical Care Delivery.” It was an intriguing lecture, and all present had a great time while learning a lot.


As usual, there was a cash bar, great attendance, and a 50/50 raffle. Be sure to check our events page so you don’t miss any other wonderful educational and networking opportunities. We hope you can join us at our next event!

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