Certified Flight Instructors and Management Staff

Ben Fouts – President / Designated Examiner

Ben has been a CFI since 1998 and company owner of MLH since 2000. Ben flew for Era Aviation in the Gulf of Mexico from 2001 to 2003, and also worked as a Check Airman for Paradise Helicopters in Kona from 2003-2008. Currently, Ben works full time at Mauna Loa Helicopters.

Cara Hollenbeck – General Manager

Cara grew up in Northern California working in her family’s business, Blue Ox Millworks, Historic Park and School of the Traditional Arts. In 2005 she moved to Hawaii and has led MLH in attaining national accreditation and Title IV status making the school the first of its kind to be able to offer federal financial aid.

Noah Haydn-Myer  –  Chief Pilot / Designated Examiner

Noah found his passion for helicopters while working in the ER as an EMT. After graduating our Professional Pilot Program he quickly rose to become the Chief Pilot.  Noah has flown a varied career in the industry including 500+ hours piloting Bell 412/212 helicopters performing Wild Land firefighting, EMS, Utility, IFR, Hoisting, and NVG.  Company wide, staff and students rely on Noah as a leader and role model.

Sean Hardesty – Assistant Chief Pilot

After high school, Sean earned a degree in Life Science. He worked as a toxicologist, but wanted to do something different. He started his PVT training in Oregon. After completion, he transferred to MLH and completed the Professional Pilot Program.

Peter Howarth – Assistant Chief Pilot

When Peter was 17, he took an intro. flight at a local flight school in Alaska. That flight started it all for him. Two weeks after finishing high school, he flew to Hawaii, started training and has been flying ever since. For the future, he wants to explore the variety of jobs the helicopter industry has to offer.

Pamela Garrity – Assistant Chief

Pamela grew up in New England and worked managing ski shops, until one summer she took a job at a helicopter company in Alaska. The excitement, beauty, and challenge of flying struck her, and not long after she began training at MLH. Tours, forest service, fire fighting, and heli skiing are some of many jobs she hopes to experience in the future!

Jordan Hays

Jordan grew up in California. His grandfather was a pilot, and his uncle was in the Airforce, so aviation was a part of his life from a young age. Helicopters seemed like a challenge that needed to be taken, “Everyone flies planes.”  He chose MLH for their proven record of producing quality pilots. He looks forward to flying tours in Hawaii, and then will see where life will take him.

Erik Steinbauer

Erik found a love for helicopters in Antarctica and vowed to return there, but at the front end of the helicopter. Hailing from New Jersey, Hawaii offered an escape and some of the best training available. Erik wants to explore the range of options that helicopters offer, utility, heavy lift and VIP work in countries all around the globe.

Shane Roberson

Shane started flying airplanes before he was old enough to drive a car. He took his first solo flight in an airplane at 16 years old. Shane has loved aviation since he was a young child, but helicopters always seemed like more fun to him. At age 19 he started school at Mauna Loa Helicopters and never looked back. Eventually Shane would like to become a fire suppression pilot or a rescue pilot.


Stephanie Hobbs

Stephanie has been around aviation for many years and grew up in Alaska, where she envisioned herself one day becoming a pilot. Working as a lineman, fueling and servicing aircraft, dispatcher and public relations for aviation tours taught her a lot about the different aspects of the industry. She has flown throughout Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming prior to moving to Kauai where her passion for helicopters drove her to complete her training with Mauna Loa on Oahu. She moved to Kona to become a flight instructor after finishing her training. and enjoys flying, beach days and riding her horses. She would some day like to fly tours in Hawaii.

Even Valbjoern

Even’s first experience with helicopters was back in 1991 when he and his family were flying to their family cabin in Hardanger, Norway. Ever since this blond, blue-eyed boy saw his first MD 500 he knew that he simply had to become a pilot. He did his initial training with Bristow in Florida getting his EASA commercial license and continued with CFI and CFII with Mauna Loa in Honolulu. He’s really happy to be working with Mauna Loa and hopefully help others to fulfill their dream.

Josh Han

Josh’s passion for aviation and traveling caused him to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot. He loves the unique perspective heli pilots get while flying around remote areas. His goals are to work internationally and fight fires in the Pacific North West where he grew up.  


Jacob Pearson

Jacob had never considered a career in helicopters as an option until meeting and talking to a couple of pilots working on some of the large fires in California at the time.  He then took some time to research different schools and financing options. Mauna Loa seemed like the obvious choice, high altitude training, long line, NVG, diverse and beautiful landscape, Class B experience, and title IV financing.  Jacob has a strong interest in utility work and is excited to pursue his new-found passion of helicopters and see where the road takes him.

Nicholas Matisse

After earning a degree in Politics, Nick spent winters working in a small Colorado ski town and summers as a multi-day fly fishing guide in the Idaho wilderness. While recovering from a ski injury in the bitter cold of Montana, he realized it was time to make a big change. Four months later, Nick moved to Hawaii to enroll in the MLH professional pilot program and the rest is history! When not in the air, Nick enjoys fly fishing, spearfishing, and other fish related activities.​

Justin Hopp

At a young age, Justin became infatuated with helicopters and it became a passion that only grew stronger with time. Finally, the choice had to be made, either pursue the dream of flight or stop going on and on about it. Luckily, he made the decision to pursue that dream and passion and did so at Mauna Loa Helicopters here in Hawaii. Tough Decision! He hopes to provide enthusiastic instruction and keep students and those interested as emotionally involved and motivated as he was at attaining his goals and dream, which he is now living. It is possible!

Nils Gunnar Henriksen

Nils grew up between the mountains and fjords of the Viking country Norway. From an early age, he knew that aviation was it, and quickly fell in love with helicopters. After spending some years traveling and snowboarding, he finally pulled the trigger and moved to the USA to pursue aviation. Having initially trained with Bristow Academy in Florida, graduating with his EASA license, he transferred to MLH for his FAA license and instructor rating. While dreaming of one day returning to Norway, Nils is enjoying life in Hawaii as a flight instructor, and hope he can assist you in achieving your dream of joining the elite group of aviators.

Stephan Yablochkin

While attending high school, Stephan got to experience a mock car crash. Fire, police, and EMS departments working together to save a life. The highlight being that a helicopter landed on the road right at the scene. That was when Stephan decided he wanted to become a pilot and become part of the team. Bringing his love for aviation and the need to help others together. Moving from Minnesnowta to attend Mauna Loa Helicopter was just the beginning of the road ahead.

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