There is not a time when we don’t think back and reflect on the decisions that have guided us to our present. We sat down with Bryon E., one of our pilots at Sundance Helicopters, to revisit his path to becoming a pilot and how he helps the team at Sundance create awe-inspiring moments for our guests.
1. What motivated you to become a pilot?
Byron: I had this vision as a kid, as I sat down and pondered on what a hero looked like, it came to mind one day in the seventh grade that these men, 10-feet tall and bullet-proof pertained to the United States Marine Corps. In my opinion, the smallest yet the toughest branch in the military. They have the longest and toughest boot camp training but what was most impressive was the drilled-in mentality of a team and having that brotherhood with your comrades.
2. What was the most important thing you learned while being in the United States Marine Corps?
Byron: Well, definitely going from a 19-year old kid to becoming an adult. I learned responsibility, self-respect, and discipline.
3. What was the toughest obstacle while being in the Marine Corps?
Byron: Going on deployments and being away from family years on end. No technology. Phone calls were the only means of contact.
4. From learning these skills in the United States Marine Corps, what brought you to be a pilot?
Byron: During my second deployment to South Korea, I went on a training mission in a CH-46 Sea Knight Chinook Helicopter. As I saw the pilot pick up and bring the helicopter to a hover, that was it. It was the coolest thing ever. When I got out of the military, I decided to go to Guidance Aviation in Prescott, Arizona. Montgomery GI Bill helped pay for flight training.
5. How long was your journey to become a pilot?
Byron: 2 years from start to finish.
6. What brought you to Sundance Helicopters?
Byron: Oh, that’s easy! Two main reason, we fly the EC-130 and the A-star; there is diversity in the aircrafts we get to fly. It breaks out the monotony, flying different tours and seeing new faces everyday, at times, repeating ones. Sundance offers a superior turbine transition into the helicopter industry. The most exciting part though, has to be the opportunity to fly in Las Vegas and flying people from all around the world.
7. What reason would you give to fly with Sundance?
Byron: Sundance is unlike any other helicopter company in Las Vegas and in the United States. Who can say that they’ve flown over 4 million people and have been awarded TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” 6 years in a row and voted Las Vegas Review Journal’s “Best Helicopter Tours”, “Best Family Attraction”, and “Best Extreme Adventure” just last year? Not to mention, unbeknownst to guests, the experience in flying class bravo airspace in the third busiest airport in the nation. You’re flying with a team of top-notch pilots who provide a safe, reliable, extraordinary and personalized customer experience.
Like Byron, we love to see people fly with us from all over the world. The Sundance team always welcomes reviews!
If you’ve flown with us and want to let us know about your experience with our pilots, customer experience team, and overall, your helicopter tour, please feel free to leave a TripAdvisor review here. If you have not flown with us, visit our customer testimonials page here to get you excited and on your way to start your New Years resolution of awe-inspiring experiences.