Copeland was a Pilot who flew both military and civilian planes. His military history began in 1949 at the Shearwater. He flew a variety of operations, including NATO operations, acted as an observer for the United Nations as commanding officer of the 424 squadron in 1970, and as an Intelligence officer in the USN as a China watcher in 1978. In 1985 he was transferred to the Senior Officer Naval 75th Anniversary Team. He began flying staff charters for IMP in 1986, and stayed with IMP until his retirement in 1991.