Our Pilots

Eli Hobbs

Eli has always had a passion for aviation but it wasn’t until he was working as a Wildland Firefighter that he realized he was destined to fly helicopters. He attended flight school in Idaho and later worked as a flight instructor gaining experience and insight. He was then offered an opportunity to fly tours on Kaua’i and made the move. He later traveled and worked in other parts of Hawaii, to help support his wife in flight school. Eventually, him and his wife, Stephanie, were able to move back to the Garden Island and once again call Kaua’i home. Eli is always looking for the next adventure, whether it is hiking with his dog, horseback riding, or traveling. He is an avid outdoorsman and is proud to share the beauty of his home with others.

Stephanie Hobbs

Stephanie grew up in Palmer, Alaska and has always had a love for aviation and the outdoors. She loved watching the jets and helicopters from the Air Force base practicing maneuvers over her home growing up and knew that she would fly one day. She began working towards the goal of flying  as a lineman, fueling and servicing airplanes. She gained experience working in many aspects of the helicopter industry while she trained to be a pilot on Oahu and the Big Island. Working in Kona as a flight instructor, she made her way into the tour industry and moved to Kaua’i with her husband (Eli), their dog, and two horses. Stephanie loves spending her free time fishing, horseback riding, and hiking.

Chris “Kalena” Kim

Kelena is a Kauai native, born and raised here on island. When not working, you can find him in the lineup at many of the local surf spots as he is an avid surfer. He started his helicopter journey training with Mauna Loa Helicopters on the Big Island. In 2008, he traveled to Juneau, Alaska to join NorthStar Trekking. He flew tours in the Juneau ice fields for three years. In the summer of 2012, he moved to Denali National Park where he was a Search and Rescue pilot and assisted in fire management. He then returned home to Kauai to work for Kauai Utility and the Kauai Fire Department. In 2016, he was drawn back to Alaska. He flew all over the Aleutians Islands doing mineral exploration, drill support, and even an otter survey. We are lucky that Kalena was once again called back home to Kauai, with not only great experiences under his belt but also over 6000 flight hours. 

Max Smith

Max was born and raised just outside of Chicago. While lifeguarding at a local pool one day, Max decided he wanted to learn how to fly helicopters. After some research, Max picked a flight school on the Big Island in Hawaii to learn how to fly.

After completing flight school, Max worked as a flight instructor and safety advisor on the Big Island. He eventually transferred over to Kauai for an opportunity to fly scenic tours.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he briefly worked in New Mexico, filming news footage from the air, before returning back to Kauai.

Of all the islands in Hawaii, Kauai is Max’s favorite. When he’s not flying, he enjoys hiking, hunting, and backpacking all over the island.

Arthur Griffin-Noyes

Arthur was born and raised here on Kauai, and while he has lived all over the country since, Kauai has always been home. Arthur grew up exploring the island every way he could from riding dirt bikes, off-roading, to hiking and diving. So much of the island is inaccessible that the only option for getting further was learning to fly!

While living in Portland, OR, Arthur decided it was time to take the leap from his first career as a tattoo artist into the world of aviation. He enrolled at Hillsboro Aero Academy where he earned his commercial license and flight instructor certificate. He then accepted a position outside of Raleigh, NC as a flight instructor and operational pilot doing a variety of jobs. He flew scenic tours, real estate photography, survey work, and construction support. His sights were set on getting home to Kauai, and after building time and experience he was afforded the opportunity to move home. 

Arthur has been back on Kauai flying since September of 2021, continuing to explore the island and sharing his knowledge of his home with his passengers. In his time off, you can find Arthur hiking with his son as well as volunteering with various community service organizations.

Preston Rivera

Preston was born and raised in Texas but spent nearly 10 years traveling around the country in the military. After years of being a helicopter passenger, he decided to become a pilot himself! Preston conducted flight training in Fort Worth, TX and Cedar City, UT. He then accepted a flight instructor position where he gained experience flying various missions for the sheriff’s department. He conducted night vision google flights, mountain operations, and fly overs for collegiate sporting events.

Preston and his wife have had a lifelong dream of living on Kauai. Once he received an opportunity to fly tours on the Garden Island, he immediately accepted and relocated in less than two weeks. Preston is loving the island life and watching his family grow here. During his time off, Preston enjoys camping, paddleboarding, and BBQing!