Are you wondering how your career as a pilot will affect your family life? A rotorcraft career requires the dedication of both the pilot and their family. This is no nine-to-five job. This unconventional career requires focus, passion, and commitment. Pilots typically move up a steady ladder of higher paying jobs, which may lead to frequent moves and lifestyle changes. Meet the families of some of our instructors and graduates to hear their perspective.

Family Perspectives

Emily Russell


Pilot’s Wife

One of the biggest things I’ve learned as a pilot’s wife is that this career choice is a lifestyle and something you both must be committed to. I thoroughly enjoy supporting my husband in his dream and wouldn’t change our lives, but there are definite challenges as with anything in life. I have learned to live in the moment and not plan too far ahead, as things in this industry change a lot. It keeps us all on our toes and excited for what is next in life.

Emily Wilson

Administration, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Pilot’s Wife

I love seeing my husband working in a career that he loves. Jace is a natural when it comes to anything motorized so being a helicopter pilot is a perfect fit for him. He was able to find something that brings him joy while also supporting our family and the perks of being a helicopter pilots wife aren’t bad either. However, I definitely worry about him. Being a small aircraft pilot isn’t one of the safest jobs that you can have. Accidents can happen but I just have to trust Jace that he will be as safe as he possibly can.

Megan Harris

School Director, Mountain Ridge Helicopters

Pilot’s Wife

Being the wife of a pilot is not your normal stereotypical relationship. It definitely has its ups and downs. My husband works in Alaska flying to and from oil rigs. He is gone for three weeks and then home for three weeks. The schedule is hard at times, but it is so fun to have him home for a solid three weeks! It has made it nice for planning vacations and holidays (even if it’s not on the exact day). The one thing I have learned is it’s good to stay busy while he is gone. Three weeks may seem like a long time, but it can go by quick! Being the wife of a pilot not only opens your eyes to what the aviation industry is, but it also has a way of making it your passion too! I love when he calls me and tells me about the cool new maneuver he learned or that he was able to fly the oil rig workers their groceries and they gave him fresh doughnuts! Bottom line is that I am so grateful that he is happy with what he does every day, and it makes the other sacrifices worthwhile.

Alyshia Smith

Daycare Director

Pilot’s Wife

Having a pilot in the family is not your normal everyday 9-5 schedule. From the time that Matt first discussed being a pilot with me I knew that our lives would have many adventures. These adventures have taken us to places we never imagined. It is a job that involves the whole family. We’ve had five wonderful boys along the way, and they love telling their friends that their dad is a helicopter pilot.

Matt is the Chief Flight Instructor at Mountain Ridge Helicopters, and I love seeing my husband in a career he enjoys. It’s fun to hear his stories about students as they pass off certifications, graduate from flight school, and begin exciting careers. We enjoy the lifelong friendships that we have gained over the years and look forward to the new adventures to come.