Congratulations to our Helicopter Training Student of the Month for February, Paige Groff! Get to know Paige and hear about his journey through helicopter training here at Mauna Loa.
Where are you from?
From the Big Island of Hawaii (Kailua Kona)
What point in your life did you know you wanted to fly helicopters?
In 2012, I was lucky enough to get on a helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters, and also got to sit in the front seat. Instantly I was hooked. I knew from the way I felt that flying was what I wanted to do. I had just dropped out of college to follow my dreams towards being a mechanic, and then that one flight changed my life path again.
What is your favorite to fly?
I’d have to say the R22 is my favorite. It’s a very well manufactured aircraft, agile and fun to fly.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Some obstacles that I had to overcome mostly was getting back into the rhythm of being back in school and learning something that I had no experience in. Having to train myself to study multiple things at once, as well learn how to fly the helicopter.
Where do you hope your training will take you?
Im relatively open at this point in my career however, my goal in the industry is to be a tour pilot here in Hawaii. Being able to take tourists in the air and show them a birds eye view of some of the most beautiful terrain in the world is my dream. Being able to fly almost everyday and meet people from around the world and then take them on an adventure of a lifetime, that’s my goal.
What advice would you give to people just starting out in their training?
Have fun with the training. This career choice is so challenging but so rewarding. Learn as much as you can and strive to do your best while having the time of your life because there is nothing like being the pilot of a helicopter.
What has been your favorite experience while flying with MLH?
My all time favorite experience with MLH was my very first flight with passengers. It was a night flight and I took up my Mom and best friend Karly. The love, support and most of all trust from them made me truly feel that I made the right choice for a career. The smiles on their faces before, during and after the flight will forever be imprinted in my memories.
Choosing MLH wasn’t hard for me actually. Being from this island and finding out that there’s a flight school right here made everything for me that much easier.
What’s your favorite thing about flying in Hawaii/at MLH?
Flying in Hawaii is amazing in so many ways. I’d have to say my favorite part is being able to fly basically everyday, in so many different conditions that enhances my flying ability. MLH is an amazing school, everybody is super nice and helpful. The school has such a positive environment to make friends as well as learn and better yourself as a helicopter pilot.
Are you looking to kickstart your aviation career? You could be our next Student of the Month!