Meet Paradise Helicopter Pilot, Kahekili
Q&A with Paradise Helicopters Pilot, Kahekili
Where are you from?
- Wailuku, Maui
- Hanging out with my family, mostly fishing, teaching my two kids to surf and enjoy the ocean.
Why did you become a pilot?
- Seeing a lot of helicopters on Maui planted that seed.
What’s your background in flight experience? Where did you get the bulk of your hours?
- I’m also a pilot with the Hawaii Army National Guard, so I do have a military background, but I feel Paradise Helicopters has allowed me to become the helicopter pilot I am today because of the diverse mission set or capabilities and services we provide. Tours are the company’s bread and butter but the company allows us to do so much more! From external load flights supporting construction projects, the challenging conservation effort protecting our native forest, firefighting support to our state wildland firefighters, and every task imaginable that can be done legally and safely with a helicopter, we do!
What is your favorite tour to fly and why?
- The North Shore Adventure out of Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, so I can check the surf haha!
What’s your favorite place to eat in Hawai’i?
- It used to be the firestation (when I worked there), as long as I wasn’t cooking that day. But nowadays, I’d have to say anywhere with fish on the menu.
Is there a flight you’ve done that sticks out to you as a favorite?
- Well there is a lot and a lot more yet to come Im sure. I love flying in the mountains doing conservation work with various agencies. Being part of the effort to restore native hawaiian rainforests, and watersheds so our kids and their kids can enjoy one day, is just unreal. I mean, that’s every week monday-friday and it’s always my favorite. But one particular flight would be when I got to take the helicopter surfing for the day with Nathan Fletcher (Pro Surfer). He jumped out of the helicopter right onto a wave!