Kathryn Purwin is the chief executive of Helinet Aviation. The company was founded in 1998 when Alan Purwin bought Helinet and merged it with his own company, West Coast Helicopters. The company has 17 helicopters, 14 drones and 32 out of the 83 employees are pilots. They assist in news coverage, organ transplant transportation and aerial shots for films.
Kathryn was studying History and Political Science at UCLA when she discovered her love for flying. By 1985, she has flown her first solo flight in a Cessna 172. She then married stunt pilot Alan Purwin in 1994 and gave up flying to raise her two children while Alan ran the business. Unfortunately, Alan was in a fatal plane crash in 2015. Since then, Kathryn has had to step in the run the company.
She has commented that the aviation industry still has a predominantly “men’s club” atmosphere to it, but that things are slowly changing. She had to win over her employees and even had doubt come from the company’s bankers. But she has set in order and routine to the company. Kathryn works with Whirly-Girls, trying to help build female involvement in the industry and has kept free 24/7 emergency medical transport for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles alive, reports LA Times.
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