Our Mountain Ridge graduates move on to a variety of exciting career paths—from EMS to Grand Canyon Tours, Offshore Oil to Law Enforcement. We want to make your education worth it! On average, two out of three Mountain Ridge graduates find a job immediately after completing the program. According to 2016 statistics, 98% of our CFII graduates find employment within the first six months. We do everything we can: resume writing, utilizing existing contacts, job shadowing, and more. Meet some of our graduates and learn about their pathways to success.

Meet Some of Our Mountain Ridge Graduates

Cayl Gardner

EMS Pilot

​Training at Mountain Ridge has given me valuable experience! Being in the mountains provided me with the knowledge of high altitude operations and safe decision making. The school is also located next to a busy airport where you can become confident talking with different types of towers. Most important is that I felt safe. The mechanics are detail oriented and the owners truly care about you and your safety.

I am currently an EMS pilot in California. On any given day we could be flying up the Sierra Nevada Range to the National Parks, or transporting someone through the busy airspaces of the Bay Area. Mountain Ridge will give you the tools necessary to accomplish your career goals.

Jonathan Child

EMS Pilot, Classic Air Medical

I began flying with Mountain Ridge Helicopters in April of 2009. This was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, and it completely changed my life. Not only did I absolutely love learning to fly, I had so many great instructors along the way that dedicated so much time and effort into my success. I received my CFII in February of 2010. A few months later, I was hired as a full-time instructor with Mountain Ridge, and I will always be grateful for such an amazing opportunity. I absolutely loved working at MRH. I had so many devoted students that truly made my job a pleasure. During my time at MRH, I made many life-long friends along the way.

So where am I now . . .

I attended Heli-Success in November of 2011, and I was fortunate enough to be hired by Papillon Helicopters. I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where I flew tours to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. I flew tours with Papillon for 1.5 years and Maverick Helicopters for an additional year. My time in Las Vegas was awesome! Flying tours in Las Vegas was an excellent way to build turbine time. I enjoyed all the people I worked with, and I loved flying the EC130 and AS350 helicopter.

I have now truly landed my ultimate dream job. I fly a Bell 407 for Classic Air Medical as a Helicopter Air Ambulance pilot. I am based out of Moab, Utah, which is such an amazing place to fly. My family and I decided to move to Moab, so that I can be home every day and would not have to commute. I have been with Classic for three years now, and I have enjoyed every bit of it. This is such a fun and exciting environment to fly in. It is very rewarding to be able to help someone on one of their worst days. Not only will I fly a patient from a small hospital or clinic to one with a higher level of care, I have also been a part of many scene and search and rescue calls. This amazing journey has not always been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.

Brian Balls

Lead Pilot, Ocoee Helicopter Tours

​After separating from the military, Mountain Ridge Helicopters gave me the skills and confidence I needed to continue my career in helicopter aviation. The office staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable and provided me with a clear picture of the program. My instructor tailored his teaching style to match my personality while customizing the lessons to match my personal needs and goals. My instructor was an expert at quickly identifying my strengths and weaknesses in order to maximize training value. The scenery in Logan is absolutely beautiful! The mountain environment and top notch program gives any student that attends Mountain Ridge Helicopters an automatic leg up on the competition! I highly recommend Mountain Ridge Helicopters to anyone who dreams of touching the clouds!

Christi Brown

CFI/Tour Pilot, New York City

I participated in the Professional Pilot Program at MRH – Private Pilot through CFII. My experience was overwhelmingly positive. I had engaged instructors who truly cared about my success as a pilot instead of focusing on the hours they needed for the next step in their career. The staff aided me with financing options and helped me keep on top of my budget. The helicopters were maintained by in-house mechanics. I could point out items on the preflight that were immediately addressed by the nearest A&P. My success as CFI/tour pilot in New York City speaks to the professionalism and dedication of Mountain Ridge Helicopters. Highly recommended!

Nate Gnehm

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Mountain Ridge Helicopters

I always dreamed of flying helicopters and finally did an Introductory Flight. I started training at Mountain Ridge Helicopters shortly after.

Now, I am the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at Mountain Ridge. I enjoy seeing my students’ faces when they are discussing the helicopters and when they are around them . . . besides, you would be hard pressed to have a bad day while flying a helicopter.

Andy Hatch

Electronic News Gathering

As I look back to my training at Mountain Ridge, I am grateful for instructors who pushed me to step outside my comfort zone, so that I would push myself to succeed. Learning in the mountain environment, power limited, prepared me for just about any flying situation I could get myself into.

Since Mountain Ridge I have been to Minnesota as a flight instructor, and now I am in Dallas flying ENG (Electronic News Gathering) in the R44 for the last two years. It’s amazing to see where this career can take you, but never forget where you came from. Thank you Mountain Ridge for the great training and experiences that I gained.

Chelsi Nelson

Grand Canyon Tours, Papillon

I began training at Mountain Ridge Helicopters in 2013 after obtaining my private pilot certificate and instrument rating at a different school. The school where I was training lacked focus on proper maintenance and safety, both of which were very important to me. I had heard positive things about Mountain Ridge from others in the industry. After visiting the school and speaking with some of the staff I decided to make a change and start training at Mountain Ridge Helicopters. It was the best decision I made in the course of my training! I always felt that the entire staff was focused on safety and instilling that in their students. The instructors are passionate about flying and truly care about providing their students with the highest quality
instruction possible. The mechanics are highly knowledgeable and always willing to share that knowledge with the instructors and students.

Less than two months after completing my training at MRH I was hired by a flight school in Northern Arizona where I spent two years as an instructor before moving to my current job at Papillon Helicopters at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Here I have had the opportunity to fly the Bell 206 and EC130. Eventually my goal is to work in the utility sector of the helicopter industry.

I would highly recommend Mountain Ridge Helicopters to anyone who is serious about a career as a helicopter pilot!

Garrett Ownbey

AS350 Alaska Glacier Tours

I started flight training at Mountain Ridge Helicopters in May of 2013. I chose Mountain Ridge based on their safety record, location in the mountains, and the family experience with all of the employees and students. I completed private, commercial, and flight instructor certifications during my time there. The instructors are very focused on developing the skills that create a successful and safe pilot in the commercial environment. I moved to Oregon where I completed my instrument and instrument flight instructor at Precision Aviation and was hired as a flight instructor. We flew the Schweitzer 300 and the Cabri G2. I was based in Kalamath Falls as a new Cabri instructor. The mountain flying training
I received helped me maintain a higher situational awareness while instructing in the Oregon mountain ranges. I then moved to Dallas, Texas and was hired by SKY Helicopters as a Electronic News Gathering pilot, when I wasn’t flying for the news I had photo, tours, and flight instruction to keep busy. In 2017 I moved to Skagway, Alaska and have been flying glacier tours in the AS350. All along my career I have found that the quality of initial training a pilot receives will be the fundamentals you fall back on when you start a new job.

Ryan Flukinger

Heli-Saw Operator

Mountain Ridge Helicopters (MRH) is, in my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of my career as a helicopter pilot. Of course, I may have a bit of a biased opinion, but who doesn’t?

I think that the level of instruction at MRH is above and beyond what the minimum requirements are. MRH instructors have basic expectations for their students that are steps above what might be found acceptable at other schools. This leads to a higher level of study and commitment to the helicopter industry. The instruction that I received at MRH really prepared me for the future roles in my career. Learning good study habits and thoroughness has given me an advantage during each step of my career.

The people and relationships I developed at MRH have also been a massive part of my career. One of the main things that you will always hear about the helicopter industry is: it’s a small one! That is so true, I have yet to go someplace in the industry where I did not see someone who I know, or knows someone I know, or some other combination of MRH “brotherhood,” which has always been a positive thing.

Starting out on the right track is so important in this industry, because it will shape the type of pilot that you will be for the remainder of your career. I am confident that MRH set me on a good track, and I have been able to rely on the training I received there. So glad I chose them.

Cameron Harris

Pathfinder Aviation, Alaska

As an adventurous kid, I always wanted an exciting career that also pushed my limits. I chose flying helicopters because it does both. There is always something new to learn and experience in the helicopter industry. I chose to come to Mountain Ridge Helicopters because of the high-altitude training and friendly staff. They had the knowledge and expertise to answer any question and held me to a high-performance standard.

After graduating from the Professional Pilot program, Mountain Ridge hired me as a Flight Instructor. I really enjoyed my time teaching students and helping them progress through the program. After that I was hired on with Papillon Helicopters flying Grand Canyon tours. This turbine experience helped me get to where I am now.

Today I fly with Pathfinder Aviation in Alaska. I provide support to Oil and Gas companies, and I absolutely love it! The schedule does get a little long as I am gone for three weeks at a time, but it helps to have a loving, supportive family. My wife shares my passion for helicopters and currently works as the School Director at Mountain Ridge. I’m thankful for the training experience and lifelong friendships I developed at Mountain Ridge. I credit their great Flight Instructors and staff for helping me get to where I am today.