Alan Purwin co-founded West Coast Helicopters in July 1987. In 1992 and 1993 respectively, West Coast Helicopters was retained for vital organ transport programs for Cedars-Sinai and UCLA Medical Center, providing transportation for their medical teams.
Alan later merged West Coast Helicopters with Helinet Aviation, which he purchased in 1998. In 1999, Helinet became the primary helicopter provider for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ patient transport program.
Today, Helinet Aviation continues to serve diverse markets that began with West Coast. Clients now include Fortune 500 executives, celebrities, news stations, and hospitals throughout California. Our business continues to grow because we offer what few aviation companies can: a consistent philosophy of exceeding our customers’ expectations—safely and reliably.
Helinet provides premium helicopter services for multiple markets, with uncompromising dedication and professionalism. Our success is a direct result of our commitment to meeting all of our customers’ needs, no matter how large or small.
With almost 30 years of service, we have acquired the experience, know-how, and industry partners to enable us to provide the best solutions at competitive prices without compromising on customer service.
Kathryn serves as Helinet’s CEO, providing leadership and direction for the company by working with the Board of Directors and President to establish long-range strategic goals. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and Political Science from UCLA. Kathryn has been a pilot since 1987 and worked as a commercial pilot flying private jets. She is also rated to fly helicopters.
Kathryn is on the Board of Trustees for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Since 1999, Helinet and the Purwin family have supported CHLA with the donation of two medical transport helicopters, pilots staffed 24-7-365, and all associated fuel, insurance, and maintenance at no cost to the hospital.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Jim brings over 28 years of aviation experience to the firm. Prior to joining Helinet, he held various management and leadership positions for FLIR’s government and commercial focused segments. Jim’s previous experience includes developing and managing the fleet and special mission aircraft market at Pilatus Business Aircraft, and leading aviation system engineering and field service operations at Envirovac Inc. Prior to that, Jim performed in aircraft engineering and FAA Repair Station roles at Alaska Airlines and McDonnell Douglas, respectively. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aviation from San Jose State University and is also a certificated FAA A&P mechanic.
Vice President of Advanced Solutions
Ric leads Helinet’s Advanced Solutions group overseeing the development and marketing of emerging technologies, sUAS/drone operations, applications engineering, field service, and training. He brings his extensive experience working with critical communications, encrypted networks, information distribution, and interoperability to the firm.
Beginning his career in 1985, producing documentaries and training films for the state and federal government, Ric joined the state of California working ten years as a Director of Television Production then as a Telecommunications Engineer working with streaming video. Ric also served as the official videographer for George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Brown Jr., utilizing his diverse background in emerging technologies. In an ongoing California National Guard role, Ric provides communications services to multiple agencies during domestic emergencies. He holds a double major and Master’s degree in Motion Picture Film Production and Communications from CSU Sacramento.
Director of Finance
Katie joined Helinet in February of 2016 and is responsible for tracking and reporting of all company financial activities, as well as insurance, taxes, and audits. Katie has over 25 years of experience in accounting and finance within multiple industries. Prior to joining Helinet, she worked in the healthcare and communications segments while also being involved in a variety of small businesses.
KEVIN LAROSA II
Vice President of Aerial Film Production
From Iron Man to The Avengers and Transformers 5, Kevin has piloted on an extraordinary list of credits. He started logging flight time at the early age of 14. Kevin accumulated his ratings as quickly as he could and by the time he was 18, Kevin was a commercially rated helicopter and multi-engine fixed wing pilot logging time in everything from King Airs to Hueys. He has been working heavily in the film industry coordinating and directing multitudes of aerial film sequences in the air and on the ground and is a member of SAG and the Motion Picture Pilots Association.
Vice President of Marketing
Allison joined Helinet’s marketing team in 2014 and became Vice President of Marketing in August of 2016. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing and managing the company’s overall marketing efforts to ensure continued market growth. Allison also leads marketing for Helinet’s subsidiary company, SHOTOVER Camera Systems. Allison previously worked at the PR firms SSA Public Relations and Carl Samrock Public Relations. Allison holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from California Lutheran University.
Director of Operations
Al joined Helinet Aviation in 2004. As Director of Operations, he is responsible for flight operations safety and compliance with all FAA regulations and company policies, and communicating with the FAA and TSA. Al has extensive experience as an ENG (electronic news gathering), charter, and medical transport pilot. Prior to this position, he was the Operations Manager from 2008 until July, 2015. His ratings include Commercial Pilot Helicopter, Instrument Helicopter, CFI Helicopter and CFI Instrument Helicopter.
Sales Manager, Charter Group
Brady joined Helinet in 2014 as an ENG pilot and became Sales Manager of Helinet’s Charter Group in 2016. In this role, Brady is responsible for providing Charter clientele with unparalleled customer service to ensure that no want or need goes unfulfilled. Brady has over 10 years of helicopter aviation experience and prior to joining Helinet, he was previously a lead pilot for Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters in Las Vegas. He completed his flight training here in Los Angeles and is well versed on the finer points of aviation in the area.
Director of Maintenance
Dave joined Helinet Aviation’s in-house maintenance team in August, 2005 as a Maintenance Supervisor and became Director of Maintenance in October, 2008. In this capacity, Dave is responsible for the oversight, maintenance, and field support of Helinet Aviation’s fleet. Dave has over 20 years of experience in the helicopter maintenance field, both as a supervisor and mechanic. Prior to joining Helinet, he worked for the City of Los Angeles as a Helicopter Maintenance Mechanic for over eight years. He is factory-trained on a variety of helicopter models.
Garret joined Helinet Aviation as Chief Pilot in July, 2015. In this role, he is responsible for training and managing pilots in electronic news gathering (ENG), executive charter, and EMS. Having previously worked for Helinet as an ENG and charter pilot, Garret has extensive experience in many different flying roles including VIP Transport, Organ Transplant Flights, ENG, Production, Tours, International Ferry flights, and training. His ratings include Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor. Garret has factory training in AS350, AS355 and Agusta 109E and has attended many approved training courses including Flight Safety International S76 IFR Simulator Training and CAESimuFlite.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Thomas Norton’s distinguished federal government career included developing agency-wide standard operating procedures for aviation security. Norton spent a decade as director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Marine Center. He has extensive aviation training and more than 2,000 tactical flight hours on high-risk military missions.
Arnold Kleiner led KABC-TV, the first network in Southern California to embrace high definition television through helicopter cinematography. Under Kleiner, the studio also became the first local news studio to use HD cameras in-house and in the field. As president and general manager, he saw the future in innovation and technology.
Jim Adams more than quadrupled the markets held by a now nationally-recognized regional provider of air and ground ambulance services in his 11-year tenure as CEO of REACH Air Medical Services. He oversaw a team of 800 at St. Joseph Health, helped establish Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as a Level-II trauma center and served as chairman of the board for both hospitals in Northern California.
Prior to becoming a member of Helinet’s Board of Directors, William “Dean” Lee served as commander of the Atlantic Area for the U.S. Coast Guard. In this role, he was responsible for commanding missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard districts and 40 states. Concurrently, Dean served as Commander of the Defense Force East and provided Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.