Congratulations to our Helicopter Training Student of the Month for May, Jason Zhang! Get to know Jason and hear about his journey through helicopter training here at Mauna Loa.
My name is Jason, Chinese name is 张杰 (Frist name: JIE, Last name: ZHANG).
32 years old.
Where are you from?
I am from a small city named PINGXIANG, south of China. It’s famous for colliery.
What point in your life did you know you wanted to fly helicopters?
In 2005, after I graduated from university, became a police officer and met my ex-girlfriend who is a fix-wing pilot. In order to stay with her, I became a fix-wing pilot in 2006 and worked for Shenzhen Airlines. I gave up the opportunity for fix-wing training in the United States because my father was sick that time and I had to take care of him. For the next 9 years, I tried to be a pilot but I couldn’t because of my age.
In 2015, I heard of MLH from my friend, and I learned more about helicopters. I found helicopter to be cooler than fix-wing. So, I decided to resign from the public security bureau to be a helicopter pilot.
What is your favorite to fly?
Cross-country, that’s amazing. But the main reason is because Hawaii is so beautiful.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Money and language, of course. And to convince myself to pursue this career due to the difficulties of getting a helicopter pilot job in China.
Where do you hope your training will take you?
I hope my training will allow me to get a job soon after I graduate from MLH. My goal is be a good pilot like my instructor Hadrien Rouch.
What advice would you give to people just starting out in their training?
I have a lot of friends want to be helicopter pilots, but they worry a lot. Now I want tell them, keep your dream, work hard, and your dream will come true.
What has been your favorite experience while flying with MLH?
Cross-country from Kona to Hilo, and I’m still looking forward XC from Kona to Honolulu or other islands.
How did you pick MLH?
Safety, and very responsible instructors.
What’s your favorite thing about flying in Hawaii/at MLH?
I can learn to fly in the beautiful scenery. You can see rainbows, blue oceans, volcanoes, valleys — every flight is cool.
Are you looking to kickstart your aviation career? You could be our next Student of the Month!