Lt. Gen. Vern M. “Rusty” Findley II, a highly decorated retired member of the U.S. Air Force, has joined SkySkopes as a senior consultant for business development.
SkySkopes was the first North Dakota start-up legally approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aircraft for business purposes. The company employs nearly 20 pilots and flies its large fleet of aircraft for industrial inspection, security purposes, precision agriculture, training certification and other uses. The company recently inked FAA permission to fly unmanned aircraft systems at night.
Findley, whose military career spans 35 years, is a former vice commander of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
“General Findley is a proven leader in aviation, and he is coming to SkySkopes in order to help fulfill our national ambitions,” says Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes.
Findley also has ties to the Grand Forks, N.D., area, where SkySkopes is headquartered. A refueling tanker assignment brought him to Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB) in February 1978, where he served as a navigator and instructor navigator for the 905th Air Refueling Squadron until June 1981.
Findley returned to GFAFB in January 1999 to serve as base commander for just over a year before receiving an assignment to lead Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina. He holds an MBA from the University of North Dakota, a master’s degree in national security resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Arizona State University.
SkySkopes says Findley’s years of flight and operations experience will help the company expand nationally.