Lee grew up in Florida and during high school worked ground crew for Ag Rotors, Inc. for two summers. At the time the Pennsylvania based helicopter company had an operation in Florida. This triggered an itch to fly and three days after high school graduation he had a private fixed wing ticket. College was spent at the University of Wisconsin, ending with a degree in civil engineering, but summers and spare time were devoted to learning to fly helicopters and earning a commercial license. Two summers were actually in the hot seat of ag flying.
After a stint in the army, flying drew him back home. His career was spent operating helicopters starting in the citrus market, expanding to all areas of herbicide applications—aquatic, power line right-of-way, phosphate mine reclamation and others. During this time he earned a commercial fixed wing rating, instrument and twin engine ratings, including a CFI in rotorcraft. After being involved in agricultural work for about eight years an A&P license was included. A seaplane rating was added to the ticket in 2010.
Lee has been a member of the NAAA and Florida AAA having served as a past director of both and current director to the NAAA and past president of Florida.
After owning and operating Whirly Birds, Inc. for 37 years Lee retired and is spending time giving back to an industry that served him well. He looks forward to meeting people all over the country and sharing experiences.