About Us

Colorado Highland Helicopters is a family owned and operated business based in Durango, Colorado.

Brandon Laird, Chief Pilot (CFI, CFII, BS) has experience in educating beginning to advanced pilots. He has spent the bulk of his flying career in the mountains of Western Colorado serving as a search and rescue and aeromedical pilot.

Dayle Morningstar Laird, Owner/Operator (NAEMT-P, MS)

completed a 20-year career as a critical paramedic working on
ambulances, planes and helicopters in Florida, New Mexico and Colorado before devoting herself full-time to CHH. She has experience in swift water SAR, open- ocean SAR and wilderness SAR. She completed college at the University of West Florida. Dayle co-owns CHH with Brandon and serves outreach, coordination and organization roles for CHH’s school and SAR branches.

Charlie Vaughan, Former Lead Instrument Instructor Pilot (CFI, CFII)

is an experienced mountain pilot who is native to Durango, CO. After
focusing on teaching instrument flying Charlie has relocated to the beaches of Florida to work as a tour guide. In 2021 Charlie had an engine failure flying and was able to successfully land the aircraft with no damage and vacate all passengers unharmed.”

Tim Durkin, (DO, FAAEM, CAQSM)

is a physician with over 25 years of experience as a responder, instructor and medical director. Dr. Durkin began with Appalachian SAR and worked as a paramedic prior to medical school. He completed residency at Einstein Medical Center,Philadelphia and fellowship at the University of Florida. He is board certified in emergency and sports medicine. He is Chief Medical Officer for Base Medical (insert website), a wilderness and SAR education company. He is medical director for San Juan National Forest and is a responder for La Plata County SAR. He is a trained RECCO Rescue Specialist.

Colorado Highland Helicopters was founded in 2016 by Durango residents Brandon and Dayle Laird to provide the full range of helicopter aviation services and training to the four corners region and beyond. CHH operates the AS350SD2 “A-star”,MD500 and R44 aircraft from their base at the animas airpark. CHH is a fully FAA approved air charter & taxi service, and provides air tours, transportation, photography, inspection, and public safety flight services in addition to initial, recurrent and specialized mountain flight training. CHH has flown over XXXX hours since founding with a perfect safety record.

Mountain flying with Chris Kyle Arctic Frog Jeep