Printable Press Release

Travis County STAR Flight has selected Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Charles R. Spangler, Jr. (Chuck) as the new Director of Aviation Operations, effective June 1. Chuck began working at STAR Flight in 2006 after serving in the United States Army for twenty-six years. He has served at STAR Flight as a line pilot, additional duty safety officer, and the full-time safety officer on the management team. Spangler replaces Willie Culberson who will retire in September after 21 years of exemplary service to Travis County.

“Chuck brings a long history of providing quality public service to Travis County and our Nation,” said Josh Davies, County Executive – Emergency Services. “The addition of Mr. Spangler to the Travis County Emergency Services Leadership Team will help to move us to new levels in service in Travis County”.

Two years after enlisting in the Army, Chuck graduated from the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course in 1982 and became a pilot. Following five years as a Warrant Officer, Chuck completed Officer Candidate School becoming a commissioned officer where he spent the remainder of his career in the military. Sample highlights of Chuck’s career include leading a large rescue task force during hurricane Katrina, as well as to England Air Force Base to assist in the recovery efforts resulting from the Space Shuttle Challenger accident. While in the United States Army Chuck has been the recipient of multiple rescue awards including, Sikorsky Helicopters, NASA, Secretary of Defense, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many Congressmen, Senators and Governors. While at STAR Flight, Chuck has received numerous commendations for emergency and disaster response including response to 2011 wildland fires and the Higgins and Langley Memorial Award in Swiftwater Rescue.

“Chuck’s senior leadership experiences in the United States Army and 11 years at STAR Flight will be valuable to the STAR Flight program as we look to the future needs of the people of Travis County, Central Texas and our customers,” said Casey Ping, Program Director for STAR Flight.

Chuck was born and raised in Austin, Texas and attended both John H. Reagan and Lyndon Baines Johnson High Schools. After graduating high school, Chuck played college baseball first at San Jacinto Junior College in Houston, Texas and then at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1980, when his baseball career concluded, Chuck enlisted in the United States Army with the hopes of becoming a helicopter pilot. He and his wife Toni currently reside in Austin where they enjoy lake living, boating, wake surfing, golf, the company of many family, friends and many dogs.

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Charles R. Spangler, Jr. (Chuck)
Director of Aviation Operations - STAR Flight

charles spangler pr sm