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Our Pilots

Evan Van Gilson as a young boy has always been fascinated by fast and loud vehicles.  His first experience with helicopters was around the age of six Evan-Van-Gilson-Bio-Pictureyears old when the New Jersey State Police landed in the parking lot of his mothers work for a community event.  He remembers saying “This thing is awesome!”  In high school he began searching eBay for experimental helicopters joking about how one day he was going to buy one, with the money he didn’t have, and learn how to fly it.  As many young adults, when Evan graduated High School he went straight into the work force which instead of flying, he went into the law enforcement industry.  About 6 years later, Evan got his second experience with the N.J. State Police helicopter, but this time he actually got to fly in it.  Evan stared out of the window and pointed out all of the areas he recognized!  He felt like he was in a different world and he LOVED IT!  Evan told everyone about it and finally started taking lessons in helicopters.  It was a tough career move to make, but in his mind he kept saying “It’s now or never.”  He decided to follow his dream and fulfill his love for flying which has since lead Evan to great places, people and experiences.  And now it has lead Evan to you, the person reading this!  Evan has worked for 8 different helicopter companies in which 3 he is still working for.  Evan currently flies aircrafts that have just 2 seats to some that seat 10 in both Helicopters and Airplanes.  Evan has held positions for 135 Charter Captain and Company Check Airman, as well as Captain Positions for Privately owned aircrafts that he is part of managing.


Yogev Sery has always been fascinated by the wonder of helicopters flying over the people on the ground. “My first interaction with helicopters was when I received a little remote controlled helicopter as a gift from my dad.  I remember myself sitting for hours waiting for its batteries to charge, eager to fly it.  Even though I was flying it every single day, it was exciting every single time.”  Since a very young age, he spent most of his free time flying multiple RC helicopters and getting to know the aviation world. After graduating high school, he joined the Israeli Air Force where he first experienced flying an aircraft.  “From the first moment the aircraft took off the ground I knew – this is it.”  After the army service, he was certain helicopter pilot career is the way to go.  Following his passion, he moved to the USA with only one dream; to become a professional helicopter pilot.  After completing his Private, Commercial, Instrument and CFI at Hillsboro Aero Academy, he joined Platinum Helicopters team. “Flying helicopters is an epic experience. For me, dreams do come true!”

 


Gabriel Hernandez has been captivated by aviation for as long as he can remember.  Even as he pursued a long career in photography, he harbored a boyhood dream of one day becoming an aviator himself, driven by memories of crop dusting planes over fields near his family’s Texas home, of hot-air balloons drifting across evening skies, of the wonders NASA spaceflights.  In late 2014, he took a demo flight in a Robinson R22 helicopter — and was immediately hooked.  His subsequent commitment to long-term flight training earned him a helicopter private pilot license, and he went on to gain a license for fixed-wing aircraft, receiving a tail-wheel endorsement from Damian DelGaizo for the Piper J3 Cub.  Over the past five years, Gabriel has become part of the Platinum family, continuing to advance his helicopter ratings and earning instrument, commercial and flight instructor certificates.  His fascination with all things airborne is neatly captured in the immortal lyrics of the late Jimi Hendrix, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”


Gurvinder Kochhar still remembers the first time he got the helicopter bug.  He was around 7 years old and his dad got him and his brother a spontaneous helicopter ride while on a visit to Atlantic City, New Jersey.  He didn’t know it then, but Gurvinder was hooked!  All through middle and high school, he would look up at the sky in wonder, watching MASH and Blackhawk Down helped.  He found out about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University his senior year.  Something clicked in his head that his dream job of being a helicopter pilot was attainable so Gurvinder took a shot.  He flew for the first time in August of 2017 in Prescott, Arizona and he still remembers the flight and initial take-off vividly.  Gurvinder graduated from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, AZ campus where he was surrounded by like-minded people who knew they belonged in the air and learned aviators in the industry only deepened his passion for aviation.  Nearly four years after his first flight, Gurvinder got his CFI from Platinum Helicopters and has been flying around my home State.  Every time he takes off in a helicopter, Gurvinder smiles ear to ear, it never gets old.”