On Standby

Dragonfly Exploration Cargo and Charter is currently on standby.

Our work with Herron Investigations is ongoing but we are currently not taking any charter assignments as we undergo re-organization.

Take care and keep the shiny side up!




Nearly a year later and Dragonfly is still very much in action.  Our growth has been small but very steady.


Some quick updates:

  • Smokey, our Bell 412, made it up to the San Juan Islands and is currently stationed out of WA35, Clam Harbor with it’s sister our original Bell 206B.
  • We have two more FBOs at larger airports.
    • One is 50D near Iron Mountain, Wisconsin.  This serves clients in the northern Wisconsin area as well as serving as a direct line to 0MI5 in Houghton/Hancock in the U.P.
    • The other is 8U8 in Townsend, Montana.  From here we are able to get clients into and out of the nearby mountainous regions or just get them home to Helena, Billings, etc.
  • Dragonfly Exploration has partnered up with a nearby Civil Air Patrol unit and given them a gate at 8U8.  We regularly fly CAP missions for the group as needed with rental aircraft.
  • We’ve recently partnered with Heron Investigations.  Heron will be housed out of what originally was the Dragonfly Nest based at Lake Monroe, Indiana.  The central, Midwestern location benefits Heron’s work and Dragonfly pilots will be flying investigative teams wherever they may need to go.  Another gate at 8U8 has been leased to them as well.  We here at Dragonfly are pretty happy to be assisting Heron Investigations with their ground breaking and adventurous work.  For more on Heron Investigations be sure to check out their upcoming page on this site.
  • CJ is pretty stoked about the recent find of a beautiful Grumman Goose in Hawaii.  With the Grumman being one of his favorite planes, he personally flew down to the Paradise state to inspect her and, eventually, purchase her.  She’s the newest addition to our fleet and CJ couldn’t be happier.  He’s personally overseen her shipping from Lanai, Hawaii to Long Beach, California and will be flying her in a few days on an assignment with Heron Investigations.
  • We were able to pick up a very special Cessna 172 parked west of London about a month ago.  The 172 will be taking part in a special event in the next few weeks.  Until then, its on the ramp there for a dragonfly to use if needed.
  • We continue to have Dragonfly pilots flying bush flights all around the world.

There’s more to come.  As we get our feet underneath us after a very busy year.  Thanks for following along!

We Are Still Buzzing

412CockpitJust a quick note that Dragonfly is still up and running!  I’ve not posted here in a long, long time but over on FSE there’s been a bunch of activity.  Mainly, I’ve been focused on Dragonfly’s little base at Clam Harbor in the San Juan Isles as well as re-arranging the micro-fleet of vehicles a little better.

My plan is to re-think how I want to do things here with the blog and then get back to posting updates, screenshots and maybe some fiction.  We’ll see how it all goes.  I also would like, in the near future, to open the group up for some folks to join.  More on that soon, I hope!



Wearing the Colors

Just thought I’d put up a quick screenshot of the custom Dragonfly Exploration livery.  Right now, all we have painted is CJ’s Bell 206.   In time, we’ll get some of the others dressed up in something fancy!

The paint job is referenced from the Green Darner dragonfly which happens to be one of the most prolific in North America and the official state insect for the State of Washington.


The New 412

In August, a respected client notified Dragonfly Exploration of a nearly mint Bell 412 that had been stored in a hanger in northern Washington State near the Canadian border at WA63.  After flying out from the San Juan’s to have a look, CJ found the copter to be in excellent condition. After a brief test flight he purchased the Bell immediately and her first shakedown flight was a few miles south to R49 in Ferry county.

Intense wildfires were active in the area and CJ opted to stay in the area to see what help could be given with the 412.   He didn’t have to wait long as a client contacted him regarding an immediate medical flight to the south and into Oregon.  A team of about 4 firefighters, some exhausted, and 2 medics were being sent back to their base near the Columbia River with supplies.   Another fire was burning in that area and they were needed there.

Of course, CJ agreed and within a day, the 412 was on her initial assignment flying through the mountains and the smoke and haze of the nearby fires.  Due to her current paint job and the assignment, CJ dubbed her “Smokey.”

Smokey 01

CJ  followed WA-21 southward and skirted the edge of the North Star fire burning heavily along the whole area.  The passengers were quiet as they studied the smoke and the fire line.  CJ was asked to radio an update to the North Star fire HQ but otherwise the flight was uneventful with a clear day and gentle winds.  CJ eased Smokey down at R49 and stretched his legs a bit.

He was happy to report that Smokey had performed solidly the whole flight.

Smokey 02

While Duffy and a few others handled things up in the San Juan, CJ let us know that he’d be staying in the area to pick up more runs and to rub the rest of the dust off Smokey.  His plans were to head west to Portland, see a friend and make a few runs in the area before bringing Smokey home to WA35.


Hello and welcome to the internet home of Dragonfly Exploration!

Dragonfly Exploration has been around and active for a few months but the crew’s been so busy getting everything started and squared away, I just didn’t have time for the blog.  Now we do and here we are!

We’ve got two spots we’re calling home right now.  One is up in the San Juan Isles where CJ, the boss, set up shop in a little place called Clam Harbor, WA35.  He’s a wandering fool but he’s fond of the land up there and, hey, he’s the boss.   He’s been working on a small network up there, helping folks get themselves around the islands and the mainland.

The other is our first location, Lake Monroe, or, The Nest,  in the good ol’ Midwest; 07I.   I’m still not sure why the Boss picked here but he said it was important.  Given the wide range of folks that we cater to here I guess he was right.  We also have a quiet little river (seaplane) base in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.   Again, I’m not sure why CJ bought it but, hey, he’s the one with the cash.


What are we going to do here?  Well, we figured we’d post up pics and stories, keep you updated on our successes and let you follow along on the fun.  We have quite a few clients that like to use our services but where necessary we may have to leave their names out of the official record.  I’m sure you understand.  Because of what we do our pilots have their fair share of the “unusual.”  We’ll try to post what we can of their stories.

Enjoy your time and remember – Wherever you need to go, we’re there.

“Cal” Hopkins
Head Butt-Kicker, Dragonfly Exploration

((This blog will serve as the central spot for updates, PIREPs and “out of character” bits concerning this small charter flight group.   For more information, make sure to check out the “ABOUT” page.  What I’ve found the most fun of my time in FSEconomy is there not only a progression that occurs for you as a pilot but there is also a story that begins once you decide to own FBO’s and to begin a company.  Hope you enjoy the blog and my apparent addiction to screenshots and stories!  -Bryan ))