While many of our students come from all over the globe to begin their careers in aviation, being able to provide training to local residents of the Hawaiian Islands is equally as rewarding. This February, our Student of the Month was Koa Chang, and he shed some light on his goals, experiences, and outlook on his journey through flight training at Mauna Loa Helicopters. Congratulations Koa!
Current ratings? Private Helicopter License
Where are you from? Maui
What point in your life did you know you wanted to fly helicopters? As a young boy
What is your favorite to fly? So far, I’ve only flown the 22.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to get where you are today? Training while running a business has proven especially difficult. The inability to dedicate my full schedule to training has definitely cost me more in time and money. I’m fortunate to have had enough flexibility at both work and school to have made flying possible, though it has been a definite challenge.
Where do you hope your training will take you? My hopes with pursuing my private license was to confirm whether or not I wanted to commit to commercial training, which I do. I’m now working to reorganize my business and lifestyle to incorporate training into my lifestyle again. My end goal will be to fly fire, search and rescue or utility here in Maui.
What advice would you give to people just starting out in their training? First, be present; there’s tons of great advice offered on the deck, at student housing and in the office. Second, GoPro your flights and take notes. I think this is especially useful when learning maneuvers or when flying with other instructors – skip what you know, playback what you don’t. The cost of equipment pays for itself by reducing training time if you dedicate to reviewing your flights. Third, chair fly like crazy – radio calls and all.
How did you pick MLH? Great reputation, convenient (and awesome) location.
What’s your favorite thing about flying in Hawaii/at MLH? The culture of MLH is great, professional and inviting. The staff is incredibly generous and full of Aloha. The conditions in Kona are perfect for learning how to fly, and with such localized weather you can often find more challenging conditions just a few minutes out of the airport. The volume of traffic is also perfect for learning radio calls, dealing with traffic and adjusting approaches without being overwhelmed. Overall, MLH is the perfect environment to learn how to fly helicopters!
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Are you looking to kickstart your aviation career? You could be our next Student of the Month!