Helicopter Training Fly In with Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Last month, we were able to spend a few days with the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders of Hawaii Preparatory Academy for their “Come Fly With Me” Theme Week.
The Mauna Loa fly-in crew headed to the HPA campus. Students gathered around the helicopters in the baseball field at the upper campus, and listened as our flight instructors demonstrated the main controls of the helicopter — cyclic, pedals, collective and throttle. Each student also got the chance to go up in the helicopter for a real, hands-on lesson.
Instructors Chris and Jordan were thrilled with the students’ attentiveness and understanding.
“They responded better than Jordan and I expected. They all had their notebooks out and were taking notes. When we would ask questions to see if they were following along, hands would go up super fast to answer.”
When asked what it was like teaching younger students in comparison to the adults they teach every day, our instructors were very impressed.
“These students were very open-minded which made it very easy. They were getting concepts most adults struggle to understand on the first try. They were very smart.”
While we’ve participated in this theme week before, and it’s always been a fantastic experience to share the world of aviation to such young minds, this year was special for one of our pilots in particular.
Chris Byram, one of Mauna Loa’s flight instructors at our Kona base, attended high school at Hawaii Prep and always dreamed of landing a helicopter there one day.
“Being able to land a helicopter at my old high school was a dream come true. It was a very proud moment to see old teachers and know that they just saw you fly a heli
copter and land it to take students up for a ride. In the end this event will stick with me forever. I dreamed of landing a helicopter on campus. But it was only a dream, never did I think it was going to actually happen.”
We’re so excited to have not only been able to share the world of aviation with the students of HPA, but to also make the dreams of one of our team members become a reality.
Thank you as always to the students and staff at HPA for your hospitality and making this such a fantastic experience!