CFHA Board

Current Board of Directors

  • Scott Sampsel – Chairman
  • Stan Pruitt – Co-Chairman
  • Ken Dascher – Treasurer
  • Charles Cantrill – Secretary

Scott Sampsel, Chairman

scottI consider it a real honor and privilege to be working with the Central Florida Helicopter Association (CFHA) in my role as Chairman. I have been an active member of the association and attended meetings for many years, and I have always valued and appreciated the education and networking opportunities that it presents. I believe the CFHA serves the public in addition to its members by promoting safety and communication which is paramount to our industry. My goals as Chairman include continuing the high level of quality programming that members have come to expect, as well as taking every opportunity to promote CFHA in hopes of educating and reaching more people that may benefit from our work.

As far back as I can remember, I was one of those kids who looked skyward at every hint of an aircraft overhead, I have always been fascinated by flight. One of my earliest memories is a visit to the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB near Dayton, OH as a cub scout. I was in awe, and from that day on I always had an interest in aviation. Growing up in Atlanta, GA, many of my friends father’s flew for the airlines and I knew I wanted to fly one day too. After high school I moved to Orlando, FL in hopes of attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and becoming a pilot. Unfortunately, I had to keep my dream of flying on hold and I went on to graduate from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and began my career in law enforcement with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. On many occasions I could be found hanging out at the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Section hangar trying to bum rides with the helicopter crews. A few years later, one of my best friends shared the gift of flight with me through general aviation in a small airplane, and I was hooked! I had high aspirations to one day become a member of the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Section, and in 2003 I got my chance. Today I work with a very dedicated and capable group of professional aviators. I have come a long way over the years and continue to learn new things all the time. I consider myself very fortunate to be one of the few people to realize a childhood dream actually become reality. Today I hold commercial airplane and helicopter ratings and I am an aircraft owner as well. I love flying and I enjoy sharing the incredible gift of flight with others both personally and professionally and I never forget just how lucky I am.

In my role as Chairman, I will strive to follow the direction of the membership and my fellow board members, keeping in mind that this organization came about to promote safety, education and inform the public and the CFHA membership. The board encourages input and communication from any and all sources so please email us your comments / concerns and come spend an hour or two with us at one of our quarterly meetings, we would be happy to hear from you and get to know you.

“The fascination of flight can’t be expressed with words.
But it really lies beyond the capabilities of human endeavor.
Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never be able to forget it.”
Friedrich Oblessor

 Stan Pruitt, Co-Chairman

stanMy name is Stan Pruitt and I am honored to be representing Central Florida Helicopter Association as the Co-Chairman. I grew up in the Orlando area and attended Oviedo High  School.  I started my career in aviation in 1998 when I started taking flying lessons at the age of 16 at Comair Aviation Academy (Currently Aerosim Flight Academy). I obtained my Private Pilots license in airplanes when I was 17. After High School I attend Comair Aviation Academy and continued pursuing my aviation career. At Comair I obtained my instrument rating, Commercial ASEL, Commercial Multi, and CFI.  I later added on my CFII, and flight instructed at several different flight schools in North Carolina, and Florida.

After 9/11 I decided to pursue a career in law enforcement, and I attended the police academy. Around that time I added on my Commercial Helicopter rating in hopes in one day pursuing a career in Airborne Law Enforcement.  I went on to serve as a patrol deputy for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, then later flew for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

During my time at Marion County I obtained an Associates of Arts degree from the College Of Central Florida.  In 2011, I was able to return to the Orlando area and obtain employment as a pilot/deputy for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. I have since added on my CFI helicopter.  I currently fly an Eurocopter Astar, and EC-120 outfitted with a full array of law enforcement equipment.

As Co-Chairman I look forward to working with all of the board members in maintaining and increasing communication in the aviation community within the Central Florida area. Also, we hope to increase education by finding speakers to lecture on current and informative aviation topics.

Ken Dascher, Treasurer

kenI am presently the Lead Pilot for Florida Hospital’s air ambulance, Florida Flight One.  I work for Metro Aviation, which is the contract vendor for aviation management for the hospital. I have been with the program for 3 years. Prior to that, I spent 8 years at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland under the STAT MedEvac program flying an EC145, EC135, and BK117 and was an active member of the safety committee.

I soloed a fixed wing in 1987, just out of high school, and then made the switch to helicopters. I  worked for several years as a flight instructor in the Northeast and from there, spent time working in Alaska, Texas, and Louisiana. In 1998 I began working for Liberty Helicopters in New York as a sightseeing and corporate charter pilot.  I became the lead pilot at Liberty and continued working there until September 11, 2001.

Safety has become a passion for me and I spend most of my down time working on implementing a Safety Management System at the hospital.

I currently hold a Rotorcraft, Helicopter ATP and CFI.  I am also enrolled at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University seeking a degree in Aeronautical Science with a minor in Aviation Safety Management. I am a member of the National Emergency Medical Pilots Association (NEMSPA) as well as the Florida Emergency Medical Pilots Association and I volunteer for the Florida Aviation Network, an organization which dedicates itself to the promotion of aviation safety through the production of webcast videos.

Charles Cantrill, Secretary

charlesI was born and raised in Orlando, FL and I first became interested in aviation at the age of 13 when I was brought to an airfield to take pictures for my Boy Scout photography merit badge. This is where I took my first ultralight flight and only a short time later, I started taking lessons and was able to solo at the age of 14. Pursuing my love of flight, I received my private pilot’s license at the age of 18. Since then, I have obtained a single engine seaplane rating and among other aircraft, I currently own a Progressive Aerodyne Searey. My wife and I are currently very active in an Ultralight Association in Groveland, FL where I have held the position of President and I am currently Vice President.

I started my law enforcement career in 2008 with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) as a patrol deputy in hopes of becoming a part of their Aviation Unit. In 2012, my dream began to come true when I was hired on as a part-time Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) and in late 2013 I became a full-time TFO with the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit. Being up close & personal with the helicopters rekindled my flame of becoming a helicopter pilot. In early 2013, I began taking lessons at KORL and soloed in a Robinson R-22 and in late 2013 I obtained my commercial helicopter rating in hopes of one day flying for OCSO.