Dave Jesurun founded High Country Air Service in 2016, following a distinguished 24-year military career, spent primarily in Special Operations. He began his military career at the United States Air Force Academy in 1992, graduated in 1996 and was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force. After completing pilot training in the T-34C and T-44A (King Air C90) in 1998, Dave spent the next 4 years flying the C-130H. With experience in North/Central/South America, Europe, and the Middle East, Dave then transferred to Air Force Special Operations Command where he flew the AC-130H for nearly 7 years. A veteran of deployments to South America and Afghanistan, Dave was selected to attend the United States Air Force Weapons School, the Air Force's version of Top Gun. Upon graduation, he was then selected to return as a Weapons Instructor, teaching the best flight instructors and leaders in the Air Force to be more effective, more efficient, and more lethal.
After completing his tour at the Weapons School, Dave attended the Naval Postgraduate School. While there, he earned a tailwheel endorsement, a seaplane rating, and co-authored an award winning thesis with Major Grant Sharpe on the use of low-cost, light attack aircraft for close air support.
Following his tour at NPS, Dave then served in Germany for 3 1/2 years as the Director of the Special Operations Liaison Element for Special Operations Command-Europe. Upon his return from overseas, Dave qualified as an Instructor Pilot on the C-146A (Do-328) and led airmen at the squadron and group levels. As Acting Director of Operations, he led a 150-person flying squadron and managed a $252 million fleet. As Commander of the Joint Special Operations Air Component-South, he supervised all Special Operations air activities in Central and South America. Dave retired from the Air Force as a Command Pilot in 2016.
In his previous role as Chief Test Pilot and Site Leader for Honeywell's Albuquerque Flight Test department, Dave spent two years flight testing in the high density altitudes of the Western U.S. In that time, Dave earned two type ratings and maintained currency on 5 different aircraft types while leading a cross-functional team of pilots, engineers, and mechanics in the development and testing of avionics for general aviation aircraft.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Air Force Academy and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a multi-engine Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI/II/MEI), Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI) and Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI) with over 4200 hours, a commercial single-engine land/sea license (SEL/SES) license, and four type ratings (L-382, Do-328, CE-500, BE-300). He has landed on every continent except Antarctica and has experience in 24 different aircraft.
Having gleaned a number of highly effective leadership and risk-mitigation strategies over the course of a successful aviation career, Dave founded High Country Air Service to bring these lessons learned to pilots and aircraft owners who share his passion for operating their aircraft safely even in the most rugged and austere environments.