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Mark Schlaefli


In his own words: My adventure began in January of 2007 after a nationwide search for a flight school ended with the selection of Civic Helicopters in Carlsbad California. Visits were made to flight schools as far away as Florida & Louisiana, but Civic Helicopters stood out for several reasons.   One of the first things on my list was maintenance, and Civic stood far above any of the places I had visited. I also wanted to be sure that I was being taught by real experience, and Chin Tu filled that requirement. Quality maintenance, a track record of creating professional pilots and the flying environment in Southern California provided me with an easy decision.

I worked full time and trained full time, and was able to earn the ratings necessary to begin a career flying helicopters in just under 14 months. As soon as my CFII rating was complete, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as a flight instructor with Civic Helicopters, where I instructed part time for about 6 months and full time for 18 months.

After building the necessary experience, I was offered a position in July of 2010 with Papillon Airways flying out of Boulder City, Nevada flying EC-130 Ecostar and AS-350B2 Astar aircraft in and around the Grand Canyon. Papillon is the worlds largest air tour operator, with fleets of both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft providing tour Mark_3experiences in and around the Grand Canyon. After a short 9 months, I was promoted to one of the lead pilot positions, which added flight training and maintenance test flights to the list of daily responsibilities. The tips and tricks of the trade that I learned while flying with Chin and the other great instructors at Civic are put to use everyday in the high density altitudes that we operate in.

In February of 2011 I returned to Civic Helicopters to complete my ATP(H) rating.

Overall, the interaction at Civic between Instructors, Chin, and even our Pilots in Training provided me with the tools necessary to become and successfully operate as a professional. I would highly recommend Civic Helicopters to anyone contemplating a career flying helicopters.


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