Department of Administration
Department of Administration
Department of Administration

New Leadership Named at State Aviation Division


CHARLESTON, WV - Department of Administration Cabinet Secretary Mark D. Scott announced today the appointment of Larry Copley as director of the Aviation Division and Mark Lowdermilk as deputy director for the division, both under the Department of Administration. Copley is retired from the West Virginia Army National Guard with more than 40 years experience as a pilot, including multiple deployments. Lowdermilk has been a certificated pilot since 1977 and currently operates an aviation training and pilot services business in West Virginia and also serves as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Pilot Examiner. Both appointments are effective January 2, 2024.

This announcement comes after the current Aviation Director, Charles R. "Chip" McDowell, II, gave his notice of retirement, effective at the end of December.

As director of the Aviation Division, Copley will oversee and manage the operations and maintenance of all fixed and rotary wing aircraft owned by the state of West Virginia and assigned to the Aviation Division. Copley has more than four decades of aviation experience from his prior work as a pilot and flight instructor in the West Virginia Army National Guard. He also previously served as a pilot within the state's Aviation Division for many years. Copley is qualified in multiple fixed and rotary wing aircraft, with more than 16,500 military and civilian flight hours. He is also a certified flight instructor and has extensive maintenance experience with an FAA issued Airframe and Powerplant certificate.

As deputy director, Lowdermilk will supervise pilots and staff assigned to the Aviation Division, and will manage aviation operations, safety, training, and maintenance for the division. Lowdermilk also has extensive aviation experience, including working as a pilot for Chautauqua Airlines, Inc. and Eastern Air Lines, Inc. and has more than 11,000 flight hours. He holds FAA Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor certificates for single and multi-engine aircraft and is type rated in several jet and turboprop aircraft, and rotary wing rated. As an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, he is authorized to test and certify pilots at all levels and in multiple high-performance jet and turboprop aircraft. He also has a Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University.​


Samantha Knapp