Last Updated 8/21/18

Universal Helicopters is managed by President & CEO Dr. Gordon Jiroux and his team of highly experienced Helicopter Flight Instructors and Managers.

Gordon JirouxDr. Gordon Jiroux. President & CEO, Chief Flight Instructor, Gordon is widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable and skilled professionals within the helicopter industry. He completed his helicopter private, commercial and CFI ratings at Pacific Wing & Rotor (PWR) of Long Beach California in 1981. It was at PWR, the first flight school in the world to receive a Robinson R22 for training purposes that Gordon began his career as a certified flight instructor. He purchased R22 serial number #4 and opened a flight school in Scottsdale Arizona, and by 1983 at the age of 25, the FAA designated Gordon the position of pilot examiner in the Robinson R22. This helped him set the standard for helicopter flight training in his designated area of operation. Gordon's dedication to quality and safety made him the obvious choice in 1983, when the Robinson Helicopter Company issued him the Dealership/Service Center of Arizona. By 1990 his company was the largest helicopter flight school in the world utilizing 18 Robinson R22's.

Today after 30 years of flying the Robinson helicopters, Gordon is known nationwide as well as abroad, as one of the most professional, knowledgeable and conscientious helicopter flight instructors. He has the reputation for providing the most comprehensive, thorough and organized flight training available, with a special emphasis placed on the student’s individualized goals. Jiroux, a Designated Pilot Examiner for Private, Commercial and Flight Instructor on the R22 and R44, continually passes his helicopter knowledge and expertise on to flight instructors as well as UHI personnel to ensure that the organization's quality of instruction remains at the highest level. He also remains in direct and constant communication with the Robinson Helicopter Company for the sole purpose of helping to provide awareness of industry concerns to the manufacturer. Gordon received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Aviation Science with all of the Rights, Honors, Privileges and Responsibilities from Dodge City Community College on May 4, 2013. This recognition was awarded to Jiroux in appreciation of his outstanding contributions to Dodge City Community College, his vast aviation knowledge and his commitment and dedication to the global aviation industry.

Danny MacKenzieDanny MacKenzie, General Manager Operations, Chief Pilot He is located at the Embry riddle flight line at UHI’s Prescott AZ campus. He holds an ATP and Gold seal Flight instructor certificates. He is an appointed designated Pilot examiner for the FAA for Private certificates through ATP. He started his helicopter career at the Scottsdale AZ location and after several years he became the director of operation at UHI’s Provo Utah location. A couple of years later he relocated back to the Scottsdale location where he became the chief pilot for UHI and traveled to UHI’s various locations throughout the southwest. While he attended the Long Beach CA. location he also was employed with the Robinson Helicopter Company “Factory Safety Course” as a factory safety pilot in Long Beach CA. Eight years later he relocated to UHI’s/Embry riddles Prescott AZ location as the Chief 141 flight instructor and director of operations. Danny’s leadership, energy and enthusiasm and his emphasis on professionalism and safety have been the key feature in the successful growth for Universal Helicopters. He is a dedicated family man with a passion for the outdoors.

Eric HernandezEric Hernandez – Prescott Assistant Chief Instructor, Director, Student Advocate Eric is a graduate of UHI’s Professional Pilot program, having started his training in Long Beach in January 2007. He completed his Flight Instructor Instrument training at Scottsdale in August of that year and immediately started work for UHI as a flight instructor. In May 2009 he moved to the Prescott school location becoming a Part 141 instructor and then a Check Pilot by the end of 2010. His focus in 2011 was providing instruction to students in the initial helicopter Flight Instructor program. In 2011 was selected as Safety Officer for the Prescott school location and was appointed Prescott Assistant Chief Instructor at the beginning of 2012. Eric is also Universal Helicopter's "Student Advocate" to be the focal point for students already enrolled with UHI at Prescott. Prescott students looking for help or assistance or with questions about their training should in the first case contact him at 909 261 8224. Outside of work, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, watching movies, the great outdoors, and mountain biking.

Matt HewlettMatt Hewlett, Director of Operations, Provo Matt is UHI’s Part 141 Chief Instructor and the company’s Veteran Administration (VA) Liaison Specialist. Matt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management and is a graduate of UHI's professional pilot program, joining the program shortly after UHI opened its Provo Flight School in 2003. Matt's strong firm leadership has resulted in the success of our Provo business, while reinforcing and enhancing safety and performance standards. Matt prides himself in having the highest levels of professionalism and standards of performance, and this is reflected by the fact that a considerable number of our Provo students come from training programs in other flight schools. Matt holds an ATP Helicopter Certificate, is a Gold Seal Instructor, and is approved to operate as a Part 135 Pilot. He has been appointed by the FAA as a Designated Pilot Examiner for Private, Commercial, Instrument, Flight Instructor and Flight Instructor Instrument Certificates and Ratings in the Robinson R22 and R44.

Dustin SuchorDustin Suchor, Director of Operations, Scottsdale. Dustin is a graduate of UHI's professional pilot program, having joined the program in July 2003 and graduated as a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor for Rotorcraft Helicopter and Instrument Helicopter in July 2004. Dustin came to Universal with a fixed wing private certificate. He has an Associates in Science degree from Scottsdale Community College in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Business with emphasis on Leadership and Management from Arizona State University. He was previously Universal's Operations Director for Dodge City, Kansas and managed the start up of the Flight Instructor Program with Dodge City Community College. Dustin enjoys camping, scuba diving, fishing and hiking and has a passion for playing drums.

John LewisJohn Lewis - Director and General Manager, UHI John started his training in 2004 at UHI’s Provo, Utah location and graduated from Universal's professional pilot program in Scottsdale in 2005. Since then he has provided flight instruction in our Scottsdale and Prescott locations, taking over and managing the Flight Instructor program firstly at UHI’s Scottsdale Flight School and then in Prescott from the middle of 2009. It was in Prescott that UHI set up a Flight Instructor “Center of Excellence” under John’s superior leadership. Shortly after he was appointed to be Assistant Chief Instructor under Part141. In February 2012, John was appointed to be Director of Operations at UHI's newest Salina Kansas flight school location. John’s external passion is spending time with his wife and family of five, in addition to his love of the outdoors and music.