So a lot of people ask how did you become a pilot and how did you get to this point? Well it wasn’t easy! One of Platinum Helicopters LLC owners, Evan, used to be a Corrections Officer. One day on the job something happened inside the facility with an inmate and Evan got to go for his first Helicopter ride with the NJSP Medevac unit. Instantly he was hooked! When he got home that night he was telling his girlfriend (now his wife and co-owner of Platinum Helicopters) how much he enjoyed the flight. At this time, Alicia was studying abroad in Australia. A couple weeks later Evan hopped on a plane to visit her and while visiting the sunny Gold Coast, they took their first Helicopter Tour which they were both absolutely amazed by. Shortly after Evan arrived home back in the States, Alicia bought him his first helicopter flight lesson.
After getting his private pilot license Evan decided to leave Corrections and pursue this awesome, new adventure towards his dream career. He packed up and left Alicia, Clutch (our dog) and his family to head to Florida to complete the rest of his flight licenses with full focus and no distractions. In a quick four months he was back teaching flight instruction at a local flight school here in New Jersey. After about 9 months, Evan and another business partner decided to open their own flight school. For the past 5 years Evan has managed a full-time flight training company along with flying part-time for a few other companies in the NY/NJ area.
One morning Evan woke up and said to his wife, “We need to start fresh. We need to build our own company, we need something exciting where people want to have fun and enjoy what we enjoy with us!” Alicia was hesitant of the financial risk at first, but realized life is too short, let’s do this! By the time that courageous thought crossed Alicia’s mind, Evan had already done a lot of brainstorming and planning. A short while later Evan and Alicia launched their new business Platinum Helicopters LLC.
It’s been a long road and not always a nice VFR day. We have met some great people through this journey and we have lost some great people as well. One thing we can say is, it’s been a crazy ride so far and we’re ready to take it to the next level. We hope you tag along for the ride!
We couldn’t have started this new business venture without the support of our family, friends and most importantly without the support of you guys. Keep believing, keep flying.
Platinum Helicopters LLC,
Evan & Alicia Van Gilson