Hi, my name is Jerry Trimble. I am Jerry Trimble Helicopters. To tell my company history is to tell you my history. For you to make an informed decision about whether or not we are the right company to fly with, you need to know the background of your instructor. If you are looking for a large flight school with all that a large flight school has to offer, then we are not for you. If you are looking for a more individualized approach, then we may be a good fit. I encourage you to read on. Otherwise good luck with your aviation career. I wish you the best of success.
Jerry Trimble Helicopters is located in McMinnville, Oregon, approximately 50 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon. The McMinnville airport is located in a valley in the heart of Oregon wine country. To the east we have the Oregon Cascade mountain range and to the west we have the Pacific Coastal range. We have very mild weather year round which makes for great flight training.
Not to date myself, but my first logbook entry was 1/4/1974 in a Cessna 150 – N5914G. But I had been flying long before that. We have family photos of me at the grand old age of 1 sitting in the seat of an early Bell 47 reaching for the cyclic. I must have thought it to be a piece of licorice or candy. From that early age until I started my formal training in a Cessna 150 I had been in all types of aircraft. My dad, Robert E. Trimble along with a couple partners, Hjertager and Matthews, started Aetna helicopters in the early 1950’s in Northern California. The company was one of the first to operate the Alouette. This made high altitude mountain work much easier. A mechanical forced Trimble and a passenger down the side of a mountain ending both of their lives. Helicopter Association International in their “Salute to Excellence” award have honored his memory every year at HAI with the Robert E. Trimble memorial award. This award is given to a qualified pilot who is especially distinguished in mountain flying.
I received my fixed-wing CFI in March of 1976 and then was invited over to Indonesia where I was allowed to fly a Bell 47 at Budiarto. After 80 hours of Bell 47 time I came back to Oregon and flew about 7 hours prep in a Bell 47 G4A. This 47 was set up for agricultural spraying so every time I was to fly we had to remove the spray rig. I was working for the operator Herb Henderson at the time on an earn while you learn basis. I was mixing chemical and driving the mix truck. I was making $3.50 per hour and the Bell 47 cost $250 per hour to fly. I did not receive my Commercial Add-On rating until October of 1976. It took a long time to pay Herb back for that flight time, glad he was patient.
I received my A&P certificate at Northrup University in Inglewood, California in 1978 and started working for Frank Robinson as an A&P mechanic in January of 1979. My first day on the job I was selected to fly with Frank in ship s/n 002. Serial number 001 had done a nose dive into the ocean before I got there so we were flying the backup. It was something for me to be the unqualified flight test engineer with Frank Robinson flying the prototype on my first day. I spent two years with Robinson and worked my way up to production test flying. Bob Golden one of Frank’s certification test pilots flew with me to help me get my CFI Helicopter in September of 1980 in an R-22.
In December of 1980 I started Hillsboro Helicopters in Hillsboro, Oregon. I was a one man band in the beginning. In 1992 when I sold the company to Ed Cooley we were over 40 people strong with over 25 aircraft. Since then I have flown corporate turbo props, fought fires in the skycrane, flown EMS in BO-105 and the EC-135. I have been a Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, Director of Maintenance and a Chief Flight Instructor for both airplanes and helicopters.
In all that flying I discovered that some of the most enjoyable flying I have done is that of working with pilots working on becoming flight instructors. I believe that our knowledge gene pool is being compromised when we have inexperienced teachers teaching new pilots how to teach. Now working as a mom and pop operation I can give each of my students 100% attention to help them get to their desired goals. This is why we are here. I don’t need any more time in my logbook. My goal is to make our students the best in the most efficient manner.
Jerry Trimble Helicopters