Meet our Chief Pilot: James Baker!


Last week we interviewed someone who flew a Discovery Flight for the first time, so this week we wanted to get the perspective of someone who’s been flying for a lot longer!

Meet James Baker… our Chief Pilot!

How long have you been a Pilot for, James?

I’ve been flying for 11 years and have been a rated pilot for 10.

What made you want to become a Pilot?

I was was struggling to find a career that kept me engaged and worth committing the rest of my life to. I sort of stumbled into aviation. After years of working in retail and then manufacturing, I decided to pursue a path in becoming a fitness instructor. It was while working as a personal trainer that I heard an ad on the radio for the demand and need of helicopter pilots. I’d never considered it before. I had always thought that most helicopter pilots were former military. Well, as soon as I heard the ad, I enrolled in flight training immediately and never looked back!

Is the job fun?

What do you think? Haha, just kidding. It’s soooo much fun! I still can’t believe I do this for a living! Though there is lots to be responsible for, it’s such a fun and rewarding career.

How often do you fly?

Almost daily. I fly on average 35-45 hours a month.

How long did it take for you to become a Pilot?

Everyone’s path is different. It took me just shy of 4 years… but, I also worked full time, sometimes 2-3 jobs (just so I could have more flexibility and control of my time). I flew on average 2 times a week. Others that have more time to commit are obviously able to finish much faster. My approach was… do it once, do it right!!!

What type of ship (helicopter) did you practice in?

The Robinson R22 and R44.

What are you certified with?

I first received my Private Pilot Certificate, then my Commercial and Instrument, followed by my Flight Instructor License.

What’s the best part about being a Pilot?

The obvious goes without saying… (flying), but I would probably say the best part of being a pilot is the people I have met and the strong friendships I have made along the way.

What’s the worst?

Hmmm….let me get back to you on that ;)

Interested in becoming a Pilot yourself? Book a 30 minute Discovery Flight with us today and see what it’s like to be a Pilot!