AT Test Pilot Mike Rhodes Keeps his Cool for EAA Sport Aviation

His name is Mike Rhodes. Air Tractor chief test pilot and part-time aerial firefighter. It only makes sense that someone with his job description would be featured in an EAA article entitled “Cool Flying Jobs”.

“As a kid, I knew I wanted to have a job where I spent my day flying cool airplanes. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of flying, and there are always places I can improve.”

To say that Mike keeps his cool when the heat is turned up is an understatement. At airspeeds of nearly 200 mph, Mike maneuvers through mountainous terrain, dropping as low as 100 feet above wildfires—while sharing airspace with half a dozen aircraft communicating on five different radios.

All this while carrying a payload of up to 800 gallons of water. Sound cool? We thought so. Read more.