Aerial Firefighting Virtual Symposium
October 22, 2020 at
A Helicopter Pilot’s View of Modern Aerial Firefighting
Speaker: Mike Sagely, Senior Pilot (Sikorsky Firehawk S70i), Air Operations, Los Angeles County Fire Department
Mike Sagely has more than 34 years of aviation experience. His career began in 1986 as a Blackhawk pilot in the United States Army. During his 22-year military career he served as a Mission Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Flight Leader, Standardization Pilot, Mission Commander, and Squadron Safety Officer. His assignments included the 82nd Airborne Division, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), and Flight Concepts Division. At the completion of his military career, Sagely had accumulated more than 6,500 hours of helicopter and airplane time, 2,700 hours of Night Vision Goggle, and over 2,000 hours of combat flight in Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
In 2007, Sagely transitioned out of the Army and into the public safety profession serving with Santa Barbara County Fire Department. In 2009, he was hired with Los Angeles County Fire Department and promoted to Senior Pilot in 2011. The County of Los Angeles spans 4,700 square miles from Catalina Island to the Mojave Desert serving over 10 million residents. He is responsible for operating a multi-engine aircraft single pilot utilizing Night Vision Goggles conducting fire suppression, trauma transport, and technical rescue. Additionally, he coordinates daily operational planning, training, and supervision of three duty aircraft and six crewmembers. Sagely holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics with a minor in Aviation Safety. His professional licenses include Airline Transport Pilot Rotorcraft-Helicopter, Airline Transport Pilot-Airplane Multi-engine land, Certified Flight Instructor with NVG endorsement privileges, and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument. Sagely has accumulated over 10,000 flight hours and is qualified in over 30 different makes and models of helicopters and airplanes.