Congratulations to our Helicopter Training Student of the Month for February, David Lopez! Get to know David and hear about his journey through helicopter training here at Mauna Loa.
Private Pilot license
Where are you from?
What point in your life did you know you wanted to fly helicopters?
All my life I have dreamed about flying helicopters.
I have worked for 16 years at a firefighting department, 7 of these years I was part of a search and rescue mountain team as a specialist (hanging on the winch) and also working as a mountain guide doing heliski operations.
I really enjoyed my work but after these years I thought it was time to let the young people do this work and that I should move to another level and accomplish another dream.
What is your favorite to fly?
Off airport around Oahu, is amazing, you have all the conditions: wind, confined areas, pinnacle, ridges, valleys and various challenging conditions.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Money, of course, and to convince myself to pursue this career due to the difficulties of getting a pilot job in Europe.
Where do you hope your training will take you?
I love the utility work as well as search and rescue. I want to acquire enough experience in the USA to come back to Spain and get hired as a professional pilot.
But one step at a time, I am going to enjoy flying here in Hawaii and the challenges it presents and hopefully become an instructor to gain further experience.
What advice would you give to people just starting out in their training?
Choose a path that is fun and challenging. Maintain attitude both in and out of the helicopter — positive out of the helicopter and level in the helicopter. Haha!
What has been your favorite experience while flying with MLH?
Flying around Kauai and also off airport in Oahu
How did you pick MLH?
Checking the F1 schools and I talked with the different students to see the positive and the negative in each one. MLH was the best for what I was looking for, and Im happy with my decision.
What’s your favorite thing about flying in Hawaii/at MLH?
As a student you will have all you want: personal instruction, wind, valleys, ridges, pinnacles, class b air space, small airports, 99% good weather days for flying… What else can you ask for in the helicopter world?
Are you looking to kickstart your aviation career? You could be our next Student of the Month!Start Your Helicopter Training!