Chairman, President & CEO
David Groen co founded Groen Brothers Aviation with his late brother Jay in 1986. Mr. Groen served as the President and CEO of the Company since 1990 and has been the Chairman since 2006. David’s determination and persistence is directly responsible for GAC’s recognition as a world leader in sustained autorotative flight. Mr. Groen has 45 years experience in leadership roles, 29 years in executive leadership of Groen Brothers Aviation the predecessor of Groen Aeronautics Corporation, with 26 years as its President and CEO, becoming Chairman of the Board in 2006 and now Chairman, President, & CEO of Groen Aeronautics Corporation. Mr. Groen led in the creation of its patented technologies, now 28 patents issued with 60+ under application, and led the development of many aircraft including: the Hawk 4 Gyroplane: World’s first turbine-powered gyroplane and the DARPA Heliplane: a successful Department of Defense Program designed to develop a 400 mph long range VTOL rotorcraft. His prior Executive & Management positions covered multiple activities including: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO); Operations Manager, Safety Officer, and Branch Manager; Chief Pilot and Lead Pilot in: Emergency Medical Services, Power Line Construction, Forest Fire Fighting, Off/On Shore Oil Drilling, Seismic Oil Exploration, USGS Topographic Survey, and many others. Mr. Groen, in the US Army, was a Combat Pilot Aircraft Commander and Air Mission Commander in Vietnam flying hundreds of combat sorties, a significant number of which were led by Mr. Groen. He has 7,000 Hours of Flight Time in Rotary Wing & Fixed Wing Aircraft.
Senior Vice President of Sales
Mr. Waddill’s background and training is in both technology and aviation, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Houston. Notably, he has particular experience in emergent technologies, playing a significant role starting in 1987 early in the development of the cellular telephone business, including moderating six annual technical seminars for cellular operators. Subsequently, he joined Morgan Stanley in the mid 90s where he presented regular seminars on digital technology companies.
A licensed pilot since his seventeenth birthday, he was an active member of the United States Hang Gliding Association (USHGA) during its first ten years. He opened and operated two USHGA flight parks, taught hang gliding and organized national flying competitions. Earlier in his career, in the 1960s, he was a dealer for a company that produced a certified gyroplane. His resulting understanding of the opportunities for autorotative flight to bring a disruptive technology to the aerospace industry is a unique asset for the GAC team. He has been with Groen since 1998.
Mr. Brandt has been with the Company since 1999 and is currently Vice President Flight Operations and Chief Flight Instructor. A flight instructor since 1978, Mr. Brandt is a National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Master CFI (Certificated Flight Instructor), a designation achieved by only a few hundred out of the estimated 90,000 CFI’s in the United States. In addition to gyroplanes, he pilots airplanes, gliders and helicopters. He is a Designated Pilot Examiner for Gliders and Sport Pilots — Gyroplanes, Gliders, and Airplanes.
Mr. Brandt has a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State and Masters Degrees in Education and Business from Chapman University, Pepperdine University, and the University of Northern Colorado. He has served in the U.S. Army, instructed in high schools and colleges for more than 10 years teaching sciences, business and technical subjects. In his capacity of Flight Instructor, he has taught countless people to fly airplanes, gliders, and gyroplanes.