Lt Mike KurtgisText Box:






4101 Southwest 47th Avenue, Suite 106
Ft. Lauderdale , Florida   33314
Phone: (954) 584-7000
Fax: (954) 584-7004
web site:


I arrived back at Fort Lewis from where I left a year earlier, early on the morning of July 4th 1969 (a true Freedom Celebration starting with steak and eggs and ice cream at the chow hall.)  By 0800 I was before a Colonel who gave me an early out and by 1100 I was out of the Army on my way home.  I then decided to go back into Aviation my first love as a Pilot before “Nam”.  Under the GI Bill I was entitled to use my education credits for college and additional flight training.  So I enrolled at Embry Riddle in Miami , and got a Helicopter rating added to my Commercial Airplane Pilots license.  (Yes...Vietnam convinced me that helicopters were safe to fly)  I went to work as a Corporate pilot for several years and ended up flying for Florida Power and Light the local Electric Utility Company.  I flew both Helicopters and Airplanes for them, but found the work pretty boring.  Going to an airport or power plant wait four or five hours and fly back to base. (Pretty much a glorified taxi driver).  Sometimes, however, I would get to fly engineers out into the field on projects they were working on and became interested in what they did.  For this I would fly them in the helicopter to look at mostly high voltage transmission lines.  When I saw how the maintenance crews had to spend hours to rig a tower to climb or position a bucket truck, I got the idea of using a helicopter to place a Lineman alongside to work the tower or conductor.  Of course this work would have to be done with the lines energized to be exciting enough for me.  (After Nam, life in the "real world" was pretty tame).  Well, of course, I became known as that crazy pilot in the Company and they would not let me play with the lines using the helicopter as an employee.  So I resigned my gold watch retirement position with FPL and started my own Company “Utilities Services of America” (dba USA Airmobile, inc.) in 1979. I successfully developed methods and procedures to use a helicopter to work on high voltage power lines typically from 230 kV (thousand volts) to 765 kV while energized.  (Yes, we energize the helicopter too!)  Really hot stuff (pun intended).  We will celebrate our 30th year in 2009!   You can see what we do online at: .  We were also the subject of a History Channel documentary “High Risk Helicopter Lineman” which some of you may have seen on TV in 2006 and still shows occasionally.   

I became re-acquainted with my Vietnam history when I received a telephone call out of the blue from a woman in 2000 named Lynne Krause who turned out to be my buddy Roger Fulkerson’s (KIA Sept 25 1968 FO 2/9th with “C” 2/35th) daughter.  Her call prompted me to recall my past and the memories I thought were buried. I wrote about Roger, me and her after the call and it is posted in several places including this website titled “Chasing the Past until it Catches You”.  From her I learned of the 35th   Regiment "Cacti” association and eventually Dennis Dauphin who created this site, “The Mighty Ninth” and here I am.

I can be reached at:  954-584-7000