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I am one of the recipients of the scholarships that was awarded and wanted to thank all of you who supported the scholarship fund as well as Lyn, all of the speakers, and the sponsors who all made Heli Success possible!


I thought it may be appropriate to share a brief bio so that you can all understand how important this scholarship is to me and how I will be using it.


I was about 3 or 4 years old when I caught the helicopter "bug". My family was on a road trip vacation when a Bell 206 L3 landed in front of us on the freeway to pick up a car accident patient. Fast forward to my high school days.


When I got my drivers license, I drove up to the University of Utah Hospital every day and parked above the helipad where I would watch the helicopters come and go. Eventually I got to know some of the pilots and flight crew and during my Jr. year, I was invited by the program director to go on a ride along. On the day of my ride along, we had 5 flights in AirMed's Bell 430. Needless to say, I was hooked as this was my first time in a helicopter. After my ride-along, I asked the program director if I could work for AirMed. He suggested that I ask my school if I could participate in an off campus internship with AirMed. My school approved the internship and every other day during my Sr. year, I was able to leave school half day and work with AirMed. The highlight of the internship was putting together a justification project for a 4th helicopter - a Bell 407, which is now flying in northern Utah (408UH).


After graduating from high school, I served a mission in Wisconsin for the LDS church. After my mission, I immersed myself in flight training at a very prestigious flight school. The day before I passed my Commercial check ride, I was approached by an operator/owner of a Bell 206 who advised me to get my commercial certificate and never pay to fly again as he would hire me to fly part 91 work and SIC in his 206. I thought my red carpet had been laid and jumped at this opportunity. This was in late 2008 and after just 3 flight hours, the operator advised me that he had sold his helicopter. I was out of money at that point and was about 3 weeks away from marrying my beautiful wife.


Since then, I have worked for a local police department and through a series of meetings and presentations, I have convinced them of the need for a helicopter. Although a helicopter / aviation unit has been approved, their has been no monies allocated for it and no plans to allocate any in the near future. Desperate and nearing the point of giving up on my dream to fly, I came across this website and heard about Heli Success. My wife and I have been very skeptical of taking out more loans for me to get my CFI/CFII because of the ever draining pool of student pilots. However, going on the faith that a way will be provided, we took the plunge to apply for a student loan and attend Heli Success.


All we can say is WOW, what an amazing experience and a confirmation to us that we are doing the right thing. We met so many great people at Heli Success and to be awarded the scholarship, words just cannot describe our gratitude and love for this industry. The scholarship will go towards my upcoming check rides for my CFI / CFII. I will be going to Utah Helicopters (not the same flight school I started at) and hope to be finished up in the next four months. I know there are no guarantees in this life and in this industry, but we are hoping that there will be a need for a CFI/CFII once I finish up and that I will be able to live my dream of flying helicopters!


Thank you again to everyone who supported the scholarship fund and Lyn for "paying it forward". For a guy who thought his wings were about clipped, I am ready to fly high and fulfill my dream!


Paul Matheson

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Congratulations Paul! I am glad we got a chance to help you get closer to the dream. Please let us know a little about the flights you get to take with the scholarship so we can live vicariously! ;)



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