We work hard to be the very best in aviation

The right equipment. The right fleet. The right team for every job.

Utility construction

An insistence on excellence

For almost 30 years, we’ve committed to providing our customers with the highest standards of safety, reliability, and precision in the industry. From our aircraft to our team, our company takes every step necessary to ensure we carry out every mission with highest quality results, on time and within budget.

The Helicopter Express hangar

A steady ascent

Helicopter Express first took to the air in 1995 when owner Scott Runyan secured the company’s first government contract with the United States Forest Service. The consistent quality of their work and their willingness to diversify their fleet with helicopters that could tackle clients ever-changing needs led to expanded services, continued company growth, and a stellar reputation.

It’s been a steady climb ever since. The company’s philosophy of buying new equipment and working with the most skilled pilots and mechanics in the industry has set them apart from the competition. Today, they boast a diverse fleet of 36 helicopters ready to take on any mission. With a continued focus on safety, professionalism, and efficiency, Helicopter Express continues their upward trajectory and has become one of the most trusted contractors in the U.S.

Our Team

Scott Runyan

Founder and President | CEO

Scott Runyan started Helicopter Express in 1995 with a vision of building a versatile helicopter company that offered a broad range of services to the Southeast. From the outset, he knew that meant Helicopter Express would need to be a reliable, flexible organization that could adapt easily to ever-changing client needs.

By putting the very best personnel and equipment in place, Scott has cultivated consistent growth of the HX fleet. He continues to uphold the company’s standards of excellence by maintaining the highest level of safety, employing talented staff, and assuring that HX always delivers precision and a more reliable, superior service on every mission. Under his guidance, the company and fleet have continued to evolve and become trusted leaders in the industry.

Richie Kittrell


Richie joined Helicopter Express in 2003 after serving as a line pilot and chief pilot for other operations. He has vast experience ensuring flights are conducted safely and according to federal regulations standards. He specializes in helicopter and personnel management with a focus on exceptionally high safety, security and quality standards.

Today, Richie is a key member of the senior management team at HX, where he applies his expertise in scheduling and maintaining flight records to manage the busy day-to-day operation of HX. He expertly designs and implements business strategies, plans, and procedures, while also establishing policies that promote the HX culture and vision. His overall goal is to increase the capabilities of the HX business and to drive the company towards continual and steady growth.

Julie Jones


Julie joined the Helicopter Express team in 2004. She has 10 years of accounting experience and worked five years as a controller. As our senior executive with the responsibility of our financial affairs, HX relies on Julie for her keen expertise in managing our budget as well as our daily administrative operations.

Julie is an expert at keeping things in order and deftly contributes her strategic vision to everyday activities. Her administration efficiency is an incredible asset as she collaborates with the HX team to implement policies and develop improvements. Her talents in financial analysis combined with her ability to project the long-term financial picture of the company are an invaluable asset to the HX and our continued success.

Danny Hoss

Vice President, Commercial Services

Danny joined Helicopter Express in 2007 to assist in coordinating and maintaining our ground operations. He diligently worked his way into the position of General Manager while simultaneously attending flight school. With 15+ years of experience in this industry, his role is imperative to our success and encompasses managing the day-to-day operations of our commercial and government service contracts.

While maintaining the development and quality control of our evolving global business, the excellence he demonstrates helps keep the highest level of safety and operational conditions in all that we do.

Scotty Runyan

Vice President, Government Services

Flying has always been part of Scotty’s life, especially once his father started Helicopter Express. In fact, watching his father’s drive and entrepreneurial success as he launched the company has helped shape Scotty into the leader he is today.

Scotty officially joined the HX team in 2004 as the Ground Support Manager. His experience responding to service requests, troubleshooting, repairing and overhauling ground support equipment and his ability to uphold everything to the highest safety standards made him an invaluable team member and a natural candidate to become a valued member on the the managerial team. Scotty now provides critical support to vital elements of the business and its missions. He offers outstanding direction and insightful vision for HX’s continual future success in aviation while always keeping the human factor of their work in perspective.

JR Liming

Chief Pilot

JR Liming’s aviation journey spans more than two decades, making him a seasoned professional in the field. His passion for aviation was ignited courtesy of flying in his Grandpa’s C182 as a young boy, which left an indelible mark on him and set him on the path to becoming a seasoned aviator. Growing up on the farm provided JR with valuable life lessons about the importance of family, hard work, and dedication and he has carried these principles into his professional life.

JR leads by example. He readily steps up to assist with any projects or tasks, setting a positive precedent for his colleagues and inspiring them to do their best. His dedication to both aviation and his work family at Helicopter Express, whom he has been with for more than 16 years, underscores his commitment to excellence and his genuine passion for what he does.

Pete Morris

Director of Maintenance

Pete Morris served as HX’s chief inspector for several years before being promoted to Director of Maintenance in 2004. He has an extensive aviation background with 41 years of industry experience, 39 years of which were spent an aircraft maintenance technician. He holds an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), making him an expert in aircraft inspections.

In addition to inspections, Pete performs, supervises and conducts preventive maintenance. Safety is of utmost importance to Pete and he works hard to ensure that every job is completed with the highest level of integrity. Pete oversees the HX maintenance staff, which is composed of dedicated, experienced and factory trained technicians. Pete’s diligence and attention to detail ensure that our clients can depend on HX to meet all of their needs safely, efficiently and to the highest industry standards.

Eddie Morris

Director of Safety

Eddie recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service after 35 years of federal service in Aviation and Fire Management. Their loss was our gain when he joined Helicopter Express in 2013 to assist us with the advancement and implementation of our Safety Management System (SMS). He coordinates and oversees safety and quality in all aspects of our aviation operations. Eddie maintains an excellent safety record and ensures the highest standards in regulatory practices, guaranteeing effective safety reporting.

Eddie is an essential member of the HX team as he helps guide our safety practices through effective leadership. He doesn’t settle for the status quo but is always investigating opportunities to increase our efficiencies and improve the quality of our safety processes.

Marcques Bennet

Ground Support Manager

After leaving the USMC, Marcques worked for 15 years in the transportation industry advancing from commercial driver to a supervisor responsible for 80+ employees. He brings a wealth of knowledge about driver training, management, and DOT regulations.

Marcques has joined our team in our continuing efforts to provide the best service to our customers and navigate the increasing DOT ground transport regulations. We are convinced that he will add another layer of success to our quality efforts.

Colby Martin

Heavy Chief Pilot

Colby Martin joined Helicopter Express in the winter of 2022 to help launch our Air-crane program in Saudi Arabia. Colby developed a passion for flying at age 13 in the late 1990s. He began flying helicopters in 2003 and has loved every minute since. With extensive experience in heavy lift operations, Colby holds type ratings in the S-61, S-64, S-70 and BV-234 models. His career has taken him around the world, working utility and firefighting missions.

Colby has quickly progressed as a skilled pilot, establishing a strong reputation in the industry as an advocate for training, mentoring, and guiding fellow aviators. Colby found his true calling in management at his previous company as Chief Pilot. Now at Helicopter Express, he has answered the call to service by helping build and lead our heavy lift team.

Kimberly Braun

Chief People Officer

Kimberly Braun is the Chief People Officer at Helicopter Express, bringing decades of human resources experience from the home healthcare and manufacturing industries, managing subsidiaries globally. As a member of the executive team, she plays a vital strategic role overseeing personnel management, organizational development, culture preservation and total rewards to promote employee engagement, recruitment, and retention.

Kimberly understands that by investing in employee success and experience, Helicopter Express drives sustainable performance and attracts top talent in a competitive industry.

Make us your go-to team.

Our highly skilled pilots have the experience and equipment needed to rise to any challenge. When you need experts you can trust, give us a call.