the hawk aerial team

Our team members are the best in the business, providing services of unsurpassed quality and professionalism.


Kevin Gould, CEO, Saint Helena, CA

Kevin knows aviation – he is an instrument-rated pilot who has spent the majority of his career as an executive in the aircraft industry: Piper Aircraft (CEO), BendixKing/Honeywell Avionics (President), Adam Aircraft (SVP) and Boeing (Director). As an executive, innovator, pilot and drone expert, he sees the potential for UAV’s to benefit industries of all types. He founded Hawk Aerial to advance the commercial use of drone technology in business. Kevin holds an MBA from Harvard, an MS from Stanford and a law degree from USC.


Peter Vogl, VP, Flight Operations, and Pilot Qualified under Hawk Aerial 333 Exemption, Napa, CA

Peter received his bachelor of fine art degree from the San Francisco Art Institute with a major in photography and minor in cinematography.  After graduating from SFAI, he attended Oakland Academy of Aeronautics and earned his commercial, multi-engine and flight instructor pilot license.  He has been a professional pilot for 32 years with ratings in L-188, B-737, B-747, DC-10 and A-320, and is currently a pilot for a major airline. For the past 10 years he has flown unmanned aircraft including glider, fixed wing and rotorcraft.


Jim Cash, Pilot Qualified under Hawk Aerial 333 Exemption, Georgetown, TX

Jim has been fascinated with flight since his early teens, earning his pilot’s license at the age of 17 and graduating with a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle.  He’s been a professional pilot for thirty-nine years, is a captain at a major airline and has logged over 18,000 hours of flight time. He holds a number of aeronautical credentials including Air Transport Pilot license, Turbojet Flight Engineer, Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic and FAA ratings on many different types of aircraft.  He also has years of experience flying unmanned aircraft, including model airplanes, helicopters and drones.


Rick Harrison, Sales, Woodinville, WA

Rick's career in sales began at 12 with his first paper route. At 16, he sold ladies shoes at Nordstrom, later becoming manager and lead buyer for the Downtown Seattle Men’s Shoe Department. He then opened his own Farmers Insurance agency, finding 28 years of success through customer service and hard work. He is very excited about the ever growing use of commercial drones and opportunities they bring to help businesses. Besides flying drones, Rick enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and being outdoors.   


Branden Spencer, Pilot Qualified under Part 107, Ritzville, WA

Branden is an FAA Part 107 drone pilot. From production to management, marketing to research, Branden has been involved in the agriculture sector most of his life. Branden operates a 4th generation cattle ranch in Eastern Washington. In addition to ranching, Branden is an Eagle Scout and an accredited commercial diver. Branden's experience in both the private and public sectors of multiple industries shows his dedication to getting the job done right the first time. Branden is a highly skilled drone pilot who can execute pre-planned flights and is also well adapted to freestyle missions and moving target videography.


Ryan K. "Coconut" Koffman, Pilot Qualified under Hawk Aerial 333 Exemption, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Ryan's dream as a child was to have a career in aviation. In 1988 his father surprised him with his first flight lesson which lead to obtaining his Private Pilot's License.  He's now an Airline Transport Pilot with a major airline after gaining flight experience varying from banner towing to scenic air tours over the Grand Canyon, the Big Island of Hawaii and Alaskan wildlife.  With over 10 years of experience flying unmanned aircraft, Ryan has acquired a respect for safety which began while flying full-scale aircraft and has carried over to the operation of UAV’s.  And over the last three years he has become proficient flying and racing via FPV (First-Person View) with drones.


Ben Barash, Pilot Qualified under Part 107, Cincinnati, OH

Ben has always had an innate interest in the world of aviation.  He pursued flying at an early age and is now an instrument-rated pilot working in Fleet Management for a commercial aircraft engine company.  He received his engineering degree from the University of Vermont and earned his M.S. degree from the Ohio State University.  Outside of airplanes and drones, Ben also enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking and scuba diving.


Jesse Slesar, Pilot Qualified under Part 107, Spokane, WA

Jesse is an accomplished UAV pilot with an extensive background in aerial photography.  He’s flown everything from Inspires to Phantoms to complex homebuilts, and has a strong understanding of the electronics involved.  He recognizes the tremendous potential drone technology holds for a wide variety of businesses, and he’s excited to be in the commercial UAV industry as it develops.  Jesse loves the outdoors and has broad experience in customer service.


Tim Baur, Pilot qualified under Part 107, Long Beach, CA

Tim’s love of flying, photography and film started as a teenager.  Tim soloed a Cessna 182 at the age of 16, and currently holds a private pilot’s license and a commercial helicopter license.   He has been flying RC helicopters since 1983, has over 2,000 hours flying drones, and is an experienced instructor teaching classes on flying drones from beginner to advanced.  His recent drone cinematic work includes commercials for Hyundai and Nissan as well as television on American Pickers, Community, Supercyclone and Modern Family, and The movie Hunger Games.


Gregory Hiltbrand, Pilot qualified under Part 107, Colorado Springs, CO

Greg has over 19,000 hours in 35 years as a professional pilot. At a young age he started building and flying remote controlled aircraft, and obtained his Private Pilot certificate at age 19.  Upon completion of a B.S. from Brigham Young University, he became a USAF pilot flying T37, T38, KC135Q (Boeing 707), EC135 and RC135 reconnaissance aircraft.  He is rated in the 707, 717, Lear 35, and Airbus 320/321 aircraft, and is currently a Captain for a major airline.  He also holds a Masters of Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle University.  He is an expert drone pilot and an avid outdoorsman.


Bob Swanson, Pilot qualified under Part 107, Napa, CA

Bob has been an FAA certified commercial hot air balloon pilot for 38 years.  He has flown throughout the western United States and in Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland and Turkey during his 8,700 hours of flight time.  He is also an expert drone pilot, flying out of Napa, CA. 


Giorgio Enea, Pilot qualified under Part 107, Oakland, CA

Giorgio is an Airline Pilot with over 15,000 hours of flight time, currently working for a US Major Airline. Born and raised in Italy, he studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan, then served in the Italian Army and at age 23 got his Private Pilot License before moving to the US where he completed a B.S. with a Minor in Aviation Safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Today he is an avid video-aerial photographer and drone pilot.  Giorgio speaks three languages and enjoys meeting people of different cultures and backgrounds. 


Chris Spaur, Pilot Qualified under Part 107, Sacramento, CA

Chris holds a Private Pilot’s license obtained at Purdue at age 18, and also holds a Part 107 commercial UAS license.  Chris works in law enforcement and also attends Sacramento State University where he is finishing up his bachelor's degree in Organizational Communications and Marketing.  He is an avid drone pilot having completed a number of cinema, commercial, marketing, real-estate, and music video projects in California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana and various other locations.


Rich VanDeFlier, Pilot Qualified under Part 107, Campbell Hall, NY

Rich’s experience with working on Aircraft and keeping them flying has been his life.  Straight out of High School he joined the USAF as an Aircraft Technician, specializing in Landing Gear, Flight Controls, Engine Rigging, and as a Crash& Recovery Team Chief during his 30 years of Service.  Aircraft he specialized in included F111A/FB, KC, RC, NKC, EC-135, C-5 Galaxy, C-130, C-17.  Rich’s attention to detail helps with communication between internal and external customers.  He enjoys landscaping his property, hiking, photography and being outdoors.