2019 Season Spotlight

Dauntless Pilot John Thomas

Dauntless pilot and author

John joined the Dauntless team at the start of the 2018 fire season. He brought with him an impressive resume of military, agricultural and firefighting aviation experience, including 20 years in the United States Marine Corp where he served as a Harrier ground attack pilot before retiring as a Lt. Colonel.

After his time in the Marines, John spent three years flying with several operators as an aerial applicator, otherwise known as an ag pilot or crop duster. John continues to fly ag missions when he’s not fighting wildfires as a Dauntless pilot.

In 2013, John began flying a wheeled Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) as an aerial firefighting pilot. This experience led him to Dauntless Air, where John transitioned to the Fire Boss — one of Dauntless’ twelve amphibious scooper air tankers.

When John is not in the cockpit, you can find him pursuing his second passion of writing. With more than 5,000 hours of recorded flight time, John writes about his experience in the aerial firefighting world and as a Fire Boss pilot. Click here to read one of John’s articles about initial and direct air attack capabilities, and how the Fire Boss is being used around the world to keep small fires small.


Previous Team Spotlights

Dauntless Safety Officer Mike Dagel

MEet Mike Dagel
Safety Officer and Assistant Director of Ground Operations / Crew Chief

As Dauntless Air’s Safety Officer, Mike manages and operates the company’s Safety Management System (SMS), monitoring safety hazards and investigating any safety incidents that occur. Mike plays a leading role in the company’s annual safety training, ensuring all Dauntless team members are prepared and trained in industry-leading best practices. Mike joined the Dauntless team in 2009 as a crew chief, and is now also assistant director of ground operations. In this capacity, Mike assists with all crew chief and support truck operations, including organizing and teaching company training, team scheduling and DOT compliance activities.