Robert Eisele


Robert (Bob) Eisele is the Owner and President of Bighorn Airways.  Robert has been involved with Bighorn Airways, Inc. since 1961.  Under Roberts’ ownership and leadership Bighorn Airways has grown from a small FBO with a few employees to a much larger and diverse aviation operation. Robert is a highly experienced and seasoned pilot with over 30,000 hours of flight time in everything from helicopters and spray planes to large multi-engine turboprops.

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Chris Eisele

VP/Director of Operations

Chris Eisele is the Owner, Vice-President and Director of Bighorn Airways. Chris has been employed at Bighorn Airways since the 1980’s starting out as a Line Technician. Chris is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the company and specifically oversees the company’s smokejumper operations. Chris has been instrumental in guiding the company towards its niche in special use aircraft missions and contracting. Chris is a highly accomplished pilot with over 7,800 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from a Super Cub to a Citation turbojet.

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Dennis Keesling

Chief Pilot

Dennis Keesling is currently the Chief Pilot for Bighorn Airways, Inc.  Dennis had a successful career in the U.S. Marine Corps and retired in December 2001 after nearly 21 years.  His duty stations included Cherry Point, NC, Corpus Christi, TX as a recruiter, Okinawa, Japan, Hawaii, Beaufort, SC, and then finished up back at Cherry Point. During his tour in Hawaii, he deployed for participation in Desert Shield / Desert Storm.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Dennis worked as a flight instructor in North Carolina and Kansas. He worked up to a charter pilot position in early 2005 and eventually worked as an Air Ambulance Pilot in a King Air 200 in Georgia and Nebraska.

Dennis’ education includes a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a minor in Business

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Mike Vennie

Senior Director Technical Operations

Mike Vennie leads the maintenance operations for Bighorn Airways. Prior to coming to Bighorn, Mike was most recently Director of Quality for Textron/Beechcraft Global Mission Support, having previously held senior management positions in airline maintenance operations and special mission aircraft operating in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

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Randy Leypoldt

Director of Training

Randy is an Aviation Professional with experience in most areas of aviation, flying, management, and litigation. Randy’s experience includes extensive Low Level Operations, Aerial Application, Firefighting, Military Contracting, and Low Cost-Low Altitude (LCLA) Para-cargo operations. Randy has routinely worked in remote areas including Arctic Sea Ice, Afghanistan and Africa. Randy has extensive experience in Standardization and Training Programs, Check Airman, Chief Pilot and Director of Operations under Parts 135 and 121. Randy’s corporate experience involved many high profile clients.

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Phil Jacobson

Director of Maintenance

Phil Jacobson graduated from Kirtland Community College in 1993 in the Aviation Maintenance Technician program. Phil started his career as an A & P mechanic and worked his way to positions of increasing responsibility. He has maintained aircraft ranging from light piston aircraft to regional jets and helicopters. Phil joined Bighorn Airways as the Assistant Chief Inspector and was promoted to the position of Director of Maintenance in 2010.

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Erin Traub

HR Manager/ Marketing Manager

Erin came to Bighorn Airways in January 2015 as the HR Manager. She also helps with our marketing and advertising as well as Charter/Dispatch.  Prior to working for Bighorn Airways she was the branch manager of a local Credit Union. Erin was also the branch operations manager for a financial consulting business.

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Penny Rader

Customer Service Manager

Penny began working for Bighorn Airways in the summer of 2013 as a Customer Service Representative. She came to Bighorn Airways with over 15 years of customer service experience.  Soon after hiring on she was promoted to Customer Service Supervisor and took on the responsibilities of ensuring scheduling and basics functions of customer support for Bighorn Airways.  In the fall of 2015, Penny was offered an opportunity that lead her in another direction.  While she says she enjoyed this opportunity, she returned to Bighorn Airways in the Summer of 2016 as the Customer Service Manager.  She assists in many areas of operations in the FBO and is thankful to be back.

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