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. 

Steven Welter

Steven was born and raised in upstate New York with a love for all things adventurous. From snowboarding to mountain biking, to racing motorcycles and back country snowmobiling. Steven has always loved being outdoors and engaging in thrilling activities. In his mid-20s Steven went for a ride in a helicopter and knew immediately that he wanted to become a pilot. He spent the next 5 years working 60 hours a week as a heavy equipment mechanic so he could pay for flight school on the weekends. Steven’s career has taken him from flying in NYC and California to working with the film crew on the TV show Magnum P.I. In his free time Steven loves to hike, camp, and explore the island. He has recently picked up surfing and scuba diving.

Aric Bergendorf

Aric was born and raised in Idaho where he enjoyed a range of outdoor activities. He spent his winters snowboarding and his summers biking, rafting, fishing, hiking, and rock climbing. Aric has always enjoyed traveling and exploring new places. He spends his free time playing the guitar, relaxing at the beach, hiking, surfing, and even diving. He began flight training in 2010 in Idaho and graduated shortly after. Aric started his career as a flight instructor and several years later moved to Oahu where he flew scenic tours. The next adventure of flying was in NYC where he flew celebrities and other VIPs around the Manhattan area as well as scenic tours of the city. After some time in New York, Aric realized he missed the island life and decided to move back to Hawaii. We were fortunate that he decided to come to Kauai and fly for us here at Jack Harter Helicopters.  

Geoff Brown

Geoff was born and raised in sunny southern California, and after being exposed to the aerospace industry there, he knew aviation would be a part of his lifelong journey of discovery. After graduation from the world-famous Helicopters Adventures in Northern California and working in the USA helicopter industry, it was time for Geoff to travel the globe and work in exotic locations such as Cambodia and Dubai. From VIP Royal flights to aerial photography over the skies of the Gulf of Aqaba and to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Geoff has pretty much dont it all over his 22 years in helicopter aviation. Geoff really enjoys meeting people of diverse cultures and backgrounds and to see them smile from ear to ear after one of his helicopter adventures. He would like to say a big “Mahalo!” to everyone that has enjoyed a flight with him here on the Garden Island of Kauai.

Rebekah Hunter

Rebekah, aka Bekki, was born on a military base in Stuttgart, Germany. She came stateside at the age of 3 and has lived all of the country. When Bekki was in high school, she wanted to be a flight attendant but they told her she was too short, so she became a pilot instead! She later attended flight school in Idaho. Her career as a pilot began with flight instructing in Northern California before heading to Texas where she was an instructor and also conducted aerial hog depredation flights. She has also been a tour and charter pilot in Southern California, flying many VIPs around the area. Bekki then became a tour pilot in the Grand Canyon where she had the opportunity to fly tours all around Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, and Monument Valley. During the pandemic, she pivoted and flew Medivac flights in Central Illinois. In her free time, Bekki is a competitive gymnast, loves to hike, kayak, swing trapeze, and rock climb. She has two fur babies (cats) named Maddie and Abu.