Being able to fly an aircraft had been a childhood dream of mine. Although I pursued other interests in school and university programs, exposing young people to aviation simply did not exist in Hawaii during my childhood. So, learning to fly remained a fascination of mine. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa I majored in physics, first intending to study astronomy in graduate school and becoming an astronomer. But my plans changed and after undergraduate school I turned my other hobby, software development, into a career. I took a job as a software developer in a local engineering firm, TRI-L Data Systems Inc., a company with whom I have remained for the last 18 years. About 12 years ago, I decided to actually learn to fly as a hobby, attended AirVenture Oshkosh to learn more, and earned my private pilot certificate later that year from a local flight school, Big Kahuna Aviation, at Honolulu International Airport . Not long after that, I bought a used Cessna 172, the aircraft I still own and fly now. In 2008 I trained for and earned my instrument rating, also at HNL, from another local flight school, Noah Flying. I enjoyed carrying passengers, but without a large social circle, there was little occasion for that. This was a major reason Angel Flight West was attractive to me. It gave me a reason to fly, provided passengers who were truly helped, and was something I would feel good about doing. So I joined AFW a few years after I earned my instrument rating and acquired the needed qualifications. I have enjoyed being an AFW member ever since! (In photo, Claudio is pictured on the right.)
Thank you Claudio, for giving back!!