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Kalynn Hargis RPMN: What is your current position?


I’m currently flying for Miami-Dade Air Rescue. We are a specialty unit within the county fire department. We fly the Bell 412 and our operations include firefighting, HEMS, and SAR for the South Florida area. I have an all-civilian background in aviation.


RPMN: Tell me about your first flight.


The first flight that I remember was in a small plane with my dad when I was little. I loved it! I quickly knew I wanted to be a pilot but remember thinking that there was no way I’d ever be able to communicate over the radio. The first time I was given the controls of a helicopter during my first training flight, I was positive we were going to die. It turns out, I was comfortable with the helicopter long before I was comfortable talking on the radio.


RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters?


I began ground school just after my 19th birthday at a school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. By the end of that year, 2007, I had my private and was working on instrument/commercial. When that school filed for bankruptcy, I had a huge loan frozen on my credit while a lawsuit was in play. All training ceased until almost a year later when my dad offered to take out a private loan in his name as long as I paid it back monthly. The loan amount was a guess, of course, and then when I needed more, I maxed out whatever credit card I could get as well as paid out of pocket for whatever I could. So I worked my restaurant jobs at


night and trained during the day.


Finally I had my CFI/CFII and continued working in two restaurants until one was sufficient, then finally I was OK working full time as a pilot.


10 Sep/Oct 2017


RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly helicopters? Or did they choose you?


My dad heard about a new flight school that was opening up close to us and suggested that I go to the orientation. Half-heartedly listening, as I was preoccupied with


something at the


time, I agreed to go. Immediately after listening to the school’s presentation, I turned to my sister who joined me and said, “I’m doing this.” I walked right over to the sign-up table and filled out the paperwork.


RPMN: Where did you get your start flying commercially?


After my first school shut down, I browsed around other flight schools and then finally


decided on another school at the same airport so that I could continue living at home while I trained. I greatly appreciated it when that school asked me to teach for them once my training concluded. After a time I started doing ferry flights and ENG. Before I was hired by Miami-Dade, I had flown throughout Canada, the States, the Caribbean, and South America, much of which was either solo or accompanied by a beginning pilot or non-aviator altogether. Shortly after, I finished my ATP.


RPMN: If you were not in the helicopter industry, what else would you see yourself doing?


The truth is I wasn’t doing anything good before I started flying. If I wasn’t flying I’m sure I’d be doing something very boring.


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