Eric Zipkin serves as a Strategic Advisor to Young Pilots USA, consulting on the management of the national organization and non-profit financials. Originally from Bedford, NY, Eric first got involved in aviation through his father, who earned his Private Pilot License on the G.I. Bill as a World War II veteran.
Eric is the CEO of Tradewind Aviation, an independent regional air charter and premium scheduled service company which he founded in 2001 with a single Cessna Caravan. Today, Tradewind operates nearly 25 aircraft, has grown its team to over 230 people, and has bases in Oxford, CT, White Plains, NY, and San Juan, PR.
He is the Board President of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of a D-Day veteran aircraft, the 1942 Douglas C-47 Placid Lassie. As Chief Pilot of the D-Day Squadron, Zipkin organized the Atlantic crossing of 15 DC-3 series aircraft to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. He serves on the General Staff of the Commemorative Air Force and on the aviation advisory board of Bridgewater State University.
Prior to aviation, Eric worked in real estate development, and started and sold an e-commerce business in antique car parts. His aviation career began flying night cargo in Piper Navajos and Cessna Caravans and instructing in seaplanes.
Mr. Zipkin holds a B.S. in Economics and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and attended law school at Pace University. He has been a featured speaker at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and speaks English and French fluently.
As a pilot, Eric is an Airline Transport Pilot with ASEL, ASES, AMEL, and AMES ratings and a Commercial Glider rating, along with ratings in the Cessna Citation 525 series, Douglas DC-3, Grumman TBM Avenger, and North American P-51 Mustang. Mr. Zipkin holds CFI, CFII, and MEI instruction qualifications and a FAST Lead formation qualification. With almost 11,000 hours in the air across over 60 types, he has made almost a dozen Atlantic crossings in light aircraft and performed at airshows across the United States.
Mr. Zipkin owns and operates a variety of airplanes, and is the co-owner of Goodspeed Airport (42B) in East Haddam, CT.
Eric lives in Middlebury, CT with his wife, Ann, and sons Luc and Ben.