Chris likes to tell people that he started flying the central coast of California at age 6, but that he started flying helicopters in 1992. After 8 years of commercial flying and working across the country he became interested in the airshow industry where he received a Level 1 - Unrestricted Formation Aerobatic Competency Card and flew five years for the popular helicopter acrobatic team "Showcopters". He also managed their airshow and sponsor relations, and was the youngest helicopter performer/ member of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS). Chris founded Specialized Helicopters at the Watsonville, CA airport in July of 2005 with 1 R22 helicopter.
He began teaching helicopter students in 1997 and remains an active flight instructor today. Over the years, Chris has spear headed all of the innovation at Specialized Helicopters. From the R22-GT glass cockpit trainer to the aerial "cloud" display system. He also offers his clients a strong background in both aviation business and helicopter operations, consulting and business development with innovation and expertise.
Jon has been a local California pilot for 30 years and has a blend of experience in business aviation and has earned his CFI, MEI and ATP. Jon also earned the FAA "Gold Seal" flight instructor rating by more than 80% of his students passing the check ride on their first try. Jon has trained many pilots all the way from light sport to the highest level of ATP Multi Engine and takes pride in safe, though and professional instruction.
He is not only an airplane CFII but also has his commercial Helicopter Ratings. His friendly and professional manner make him the perfect educator and an all around enjoyable person to learn to fly with.
Tom has over 30,000 hours of aviation experience. Most of that time was accumulated with United Airlines where he ended his career flying the Boeing 777 as a check airman.
His extensive aviation background offers students world class training from a very broad view. Tom has flown many aircraft in his career and obtained his helicopter ratings over 10 years ago. He now plays an active flight instructor roll with Specialized Helicopters and is available for flight training in both airplanes and helicopters.
Paul Henrichsen is our senior Helicopter Instructor here at Specialized with over 6,000 hours logged. He has trained numerous cadet pilots for the Santa Cruz Police, Sheriff and California Highway Patrol departments who are currently keeping our communities safe from the skies. When he isn’t training student pilots, law enforcement officers or flying tours, he spends time with his wife creating beautiful art and riding massive waves surfing off the beaches of Monterey Bay. He is currently training a new group of San Jose County Police Officers cadets to be pilots. He’s a native to the Monterey area and ask him to be your tour pilot. His knowledge will blow your mind away on the local hidden facts about movie stars and movies filmed in the area.
Brian Stroh was in our Specialized Part 141 “Zero to Hero” helicopter career program and completed the two-year program in just about a year! With all his hard work, studying and training he is our primary flight instructor and recently became our charter pilot in record timing. When Brian isn’t training helicopter student pilots, flying tours, flying charter flights, he spends time with his wife and two dogs.
Anthony Amador is a Navy veteran who proudly served our country as radio operator for nuclear submarines. He received his A.S. in Computer Science from Manchester Community College and he is in our Part 141 “Zero to Hero” flight training program working towards his B.S. in Aeronautical Science in Rotary Wing. When he is not here, Flying or handling our flight operations , he is learning Pilipino and how to ski at near by Lake Tahoe. He is currently working toward his career goal of becoming an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) helicopter pilot.
Clark joined our team in 2017 and brings with him almost a decade of experience in aviation maintenance. His love for machines and focus on completing his work at the highest level is apparent in all of his assignments.