Dan Hesselius is a lifelong aerial enthusiast: he has designed and flown unmanned aircraft since 1979. His fascination with aircraft led him to the University of Oklahoma, where he studied Aerospace Engineering and Aviation, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree. After college, he continued to build his flight experience by flight instructing and operating charter flights on the east coast. In 1998 he became an Air Force Pilot. In the Air Force he served two tours in Bosnia, two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan as a combat pilot. He has been an airline pilot since 2001 and has accumulated over 11,000 total hours as a pilot in over 50 different aircraft types. He served as an aircraft accident investigator with the Air Force and has assisted the NTSB on accident investigations. Dan is highly decorated as a pilot, holding accolades for piloting both manned and unmanned aircraft, including being a three-time US National Champion Radio Control Pilot.
At CU, he is a Drone Engineer and Pilot that deploys on field missions with multiple IRISS projects. In the summer of 2016 he was made Director of Flight Operations for the CU Boulder campus.