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.

Jonas Hitthaler – Assistant Chief Pilot

Jonas grew up in the heart of the Alps and obtained his first pilot license before he was allowed to drive a car. Having experience in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, Jonas chose the career as a helicopter pilot because it is more challenging. His goal in the future is to work as a utility and SAR pilot in the Alps.

Rafael Puig

After being an air traffic controller for 12 years, Rafael decided to pursue his dream of flying helicopters. Being able to obtain an F-1 Visa was a huge plus for him. Rafael says that everyone at MLH embraces the aloha spirit and made him feel at home from day one.

Dan Metien

Daniel has maintained a strong interest in all things aviation since an early age. Mauna Loa was an easy choice of flight school with its close-knit atmosphere, and tremendous flying opportunities. He hopes to make a difference in people’s lives by flying air medical transport in the future.

Sean Hardesty

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

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.

Brian Heinz

Brian has admired flight since childhood, so when the possibility of actually becoming a helicopter pilot entered his thoughts, there was no turning away. It was a long thought out decision and challenging process to change careers, but the passion, work and effort made the dream come true.

Oliver Kirsch

Growing up in the Swiss Alps, Oliver was surrounded by helicopters. He starting his flying career by paragliding, and became hooked by the freedom in the air. He studied for two years, but the need to get in the air for a living grew too strong. One year later and he’s now living his dream in Hawaii.

Alwin Schneider

When Alwin was 5 years old he rode along on a utility flight in a helicopter. That was when his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot was born. He enjoyed training at MLH because of the high quality of instruction and varied environment that Hawaii offers. He hopes to one day become an EMS pilot in the Austrian mountains.

Dietmar Gufler

Didi’s dream of becoming a helicopter pilot started when he was in primary school. He always watched the helicopters flying through the valleys at home. Didi grew up in the heart of the Alps, where he wants to work as an SAR and utility pilot. He chose MLH because of their good reputation and the ability to get an F1 visa.

Pamela Garrity

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!

Blake Andrews

Blake found helicopters through a stint with the UK Military, a few grateful appearances cemented their importance to him. Having studied in the UK, Florida and now Hawaii, Blake is happiest flying, teaching and surfing, and for sure, the weather is better than home! Looking forward to a career in rotary aviation, Blake would like to go everywhere and fly everything.

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.

Jinsong Luo

Jinsong was born in Hangzhou and lived in Shanghai since he was 5 years old. After 20 years of hard work in logistics, he decided it was time to have more fun. His new career choice was to become a helicopter pilot. He knows that flying for a living is going to be tough for a 42 year old man starting from scratch, but he has the NEED to fly, and he can’t deny it. 


Justin Mitchell

Justin’s love for aviation sparked at a young age. Having obtained his Private Pilot License just as he graduated high school at 17, he quickly gathered experience in the industry in a wide variety of aircraft from tailwheel to turbine. Growing up in Canada, where the winters can last up to 9 months, Justin jumped on the opportunity to move to Hawaii and pursue helicopter training while instructing on Fixed-Wing aircraft. 


Chris Byram

Chris grew up on the Island of Kauai. He grew up racing dirt bikes. So after a friend told him about how helicopters and riding were alike, he decided to give it a shot and fell in love. He plans on trying different things out but hopes to one day do tours back home on Kauai.

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.


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.  


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.

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