Universal Helicopters is managed by President & CEO Dr. Gordon Jiroux and his team of highly experienced Helicopter Flight Instructors and Managers.
Dr. 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 students 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.
UHI under President Jiroux has been a partner to Dodge City Community College in helicopter flight
training for more than five years. 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.
George McNeil. Chairman Originally
from Edinburgh, Scotland, he obtained his initial helicopter type ratings and Flight Instructor Helicopter in the UK (R22, R44, B47, B206, S269).
He completed his FAA helicopter CFI and CFII with UHI in 2000 and joined Gordon Jiroux as a partner.
Prior to joining UHI, George spent thirty years in the Information Technology industry at senior executive levels. He spent an extensive period of time flying
in Europe and the UK. George is also a commercial glider pilot, holds single engine land and sea ratings, multi engine land and instrument airplane. He
served as an Arizona FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) rep for 5 years. While remaining Chairman, he is now retired from active flying.
Danny 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 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
Matt 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 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 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 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.
Skyler Maxwell, Dodge City Assistant Chief Instructor, Director of Operations Dodge City. Skyler is a graduate of UHI's professional
pilot program, having joined the program in January 2009 and graduated as a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor for
Rotorcraft Helicopter and Instrument Helicopter. Skyler was the first student to complete the then new DC3 flight instructor program
in May 2010. He became a Part 141 check instructor in May 2012 and was appointed FAA Part 141 Assistant Chief Instructor and Assistant
Director at UHI Dodge City in November 2012.
Skyler has Associates Degree in Applied Science from Dodge City Community College became an Adjunct Professor teaching Certified
Flight Instructor and Flight Instructor Instrument courses from September 2010.
Skyler is also a Private Pilot Airplane Single Engine Land. An outdoor enthusiast he likes hiking in Colorado and the Rockies and
enjoys spending time with his son and girlfriend and biking around Dodge City.