Meet Paradise Helicopters Pilot, Daniel
Where are you from?
I was raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where I grew up and attended Kealakehe High School. Since attending college and serving in the United States Army I have returned and am raising my own family here in Hawaii.
What do you do for Paradise Helicopters?
I am currently the Chief Operations Officer and had previously served as the Director of Safety and Standardization. I am proud of the Safety Culture of our company and the achievements our safety program has attained. With my guidance, Paradise Helicopters has successfully achieved the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations Stage 3, and Helicopter Association International Accreditation Program of Safety for Air Tour Operations in 2016 and VIP/Corporate Transport in 2018, Air Tour Operations and External Load in 2020.
What do you do in the aviation industry as an Aviation Safety Advisor?
I am responsible for providing safety consulting services to respective operators to aid in incorporating Safety Management Systems into their organizations. Giving back to the aviation industry through safety is important to me because I believe the experience and lessons learned could greatly serve young aviators.
What is your favorite tour to fly and why?
I enjoy VIP Charter services. Flying charters allows me to provide the elite opportunity to share remote locations, authentic Hawaiian experiences and share the beauty all of the islands have to offer that can only be seen by helicopter.
Why did you choose to become a pilot?
I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on an Army scholarship, where I completed a flight degree in Aeronautical Science. Upon graduation I commissioned in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant and served as a Pilot in Command and flight lead of a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter in support of air medical evacuation operations in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.
What do you do for fun (besides working)?
I enjoy heading to the beach with my family and occasionally jumping in the water for a quick surf session.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Hawai’i?
My top three favorite restaurants on Hawaii Island are Pueo’s Osteria, Shimaichi Sushi and Residence Beach House at the Four Seasons Hualalai.
Is there a flight you’ve done that sticks out to you as a favorite?
My time flying Medical Evacuation flights in support of our Soldiers will always be held as my highlight in my aviation career.