Captain Fergus Ponder – Head of Commercial Operations

Fergus Ponder returned to Becker Helicopter Services in 2008. Fergus is responsible for the management of all commercial aerial work operations.

Skills and Experience

In 1995 Fergus qualified with his Commercial Helicopter Licence and immediately accepted a position mustering cattle in Outback Australia. This work included many months of remote area operations, low flying and working directly with clients. Fergus gained his CASA Instructor’s rating in 1998 and followed on with a CASA Agricultural rating and flight time in Central NSW spraying crops.

Fergus won his American Green Card work visa and moved to the USA in 2000. He immediately started flying in South East Alaska as a long line natural resources pilot. After a couple of years gaining experience with various charter EMS and ENG organisations, he moved into multi-engine medium helicopters.

From 2003-2008 Fergus relocated to Chicago as Chief Pilot flying a Sikorsky S-58T conducting external load precision lift and firefighting operations. The long line operation supported construction in major cities throughout the Mid-West and Atlantic Seaboard. Other challenges included tower construction for power plants and transmission lines.

In 2005 Fergus flew in New Orleans supporting the USFS and FEMA for the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort, which involved flying the USACE throughout the region in the weeks immediately following the disaster.

With a young family he accepted the position as Head of Civil School and Commercial Operations at Becker Helicopters and moved to Australia in 2008.

Fergus’s position at Becker Helicopters includes disaster relief, fire-fighting, long line construction and working with Head of Safety, Quality and Training to provide ongoing instructor support and training.

Maritime Safety Queensland acknowledged Becker Helicopters for their role in supporting oil spill clean-up operations on Morton Island in 2009 and the grounding on the Great Barrier Reef of a Chinese Coal Carrier in 2010.

Flight Experience:

Total hours: 9,500+

Multi-Engine: 2,400

Instructing: 3,000

NVFR and NVG: 850


  • Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Flight Operations)
  • ATPL Pilot (Helicopter)
  • Night and NVG qualified.
  • Flight Instructor Grade 1 (Helicopter)
  • CASA approved Instrument Instructor (Helicopter)

CASA approved NVG Flight Instructor