Eric Zipkin

Strategic Advisor – Middlebury, CT

Guest Speaker – 3/4/2021

Eric Zipkin serves as a Strategic Advisor to Young Pilots USA, consulting on the management of the national organization and non-profit financial management, in addition to logistical coordination roles with the Goodspeed Fly-In and Coast-to-Coast Cub flight. He presented at Young Pilots USA on Thursday, March 4th, 2021, focusing on opportunities for young people to get involved with warbirds. 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 and owned a Stearman biplane.

Eric is the President of Tradewind Aviation, an independent regional air charter and premium scheduled service company which he founded in 2001 with a single Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. Today, Tradewind has 25 aircraft, 180 employees, and bases in New York and Puerto Rico.

He is the President of the Board of Directors 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/C-47/C-53 aircraft to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. He is a member of the Commemorative Air Force's Sea Control Squadron in Rhode Island, as well as the North American Trainer Association and the Soaring Society of America.

Prior to aviation, Eric started his career in real estate development in southern New York, started and sold an e-commerce business in ​antique car parts, and later became a professional pilot in 2000 as a seaplane flight instructor in East Haddam, CT, before flying air charter in Piper Navajos and night cargo in Cessna Caravans.

Zipkin holds a B.S. in Economics and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and attended the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. He also serves on the aviation advisory board of Bridgewater State University and has been a featured speaker at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a dual U.S. and French citizen, and speaks English and French fluently.

As a pilot, Eric Zipkin holds an Airline Transport Pilot License. He holds ATP-level ASEL, ASES, AMEL, and AMES ratings, and a Commercial-level glider rating. He holds CFI and MEI instruction certifications, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 525 series (single-pilot), Douglas DC-3, and a VFR-only type rating in the Grumman TBM Avenger. Mr. Zipkin also recently completed an Experimental Aircraft Authorization for the North American P-51 Mustang. He holds a current FAST Lead formation flying qualification, as well as a qualification to instruct at Aérodrome Rémy-de-Haenen (TFFJ) in St. Barths. Mr. Zipkin has made nearly a dozen Atlantic crossings in light aircraft and has performed at airshows across the United States. He has flown over 60 types of aircraft and has over 10,000 hours of flight time, much of it in tailwheel and warbird aircraft.

As an aircraft owner, Zipkin owns a variety of vintage and tailwheel aircraft, ranging in size from a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub to a 1942 Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor. He is also the co-owner of Goodspeed Airport (42B) in East Haddam, CT, since November 2020.

Eric lives in Middlebury, CT with his wife, Ann, and sons Luc (17) and Ben (14), when not managing the Goodspeed Airport in East Haddam, CT or travelling to the Caribbean on business.