Orin Bakal-Molnar

Besides aviation my biggest passion is climbing. I love spending my free time on the side of something big! But I'm almost as happy doing anything outside in the wild. Travel, photography, and fly-fishing are a few of my other pursuits. And of course there's nothing like meeting new people and sharing good conversation.
Orin Bakal-Molnar has written 48 posts for Airworthy Endeavor: How to Become a Helicopter Pilot

Three Years

July 1st, 2017 It’s been exactly three years since I enrolled in the Professional Pilot Program at Mauna Loa Helicopters. It’s hard for me to believe that I’m here in Alaska, flying the AStar, actually living out the fantasy I’ve had since childhood. It has not been an easy journey, but it’s been worth every … Continue reading

Moving to Oahu

September and October of 2015 were tough months for me.  I had a full workload of students and taught a lot of ground but I felt like I was barely getting into the air.  There were maintenance issues with the IFR equipped R22 preventing me from flying with two of my students, both of whom … Continue reading

Hour Building

When I was researching the career change into aviation one of my biggest questions was, “How much will I fly as a CFI?”  This is a very difficult question for schools to answer and I never had one give me any kind of number, not even an estimate.  Now that I’ve had some first hand … Continue reading

Learning From the Left Seat: The First Hundred Hours

After my group was hired the chief pilot at Mauna Loa told us that we should strap ourselves in because we would be launching off into space.  He was talking about the steepness of the learning curve during the first hundred hours of instruction given and it was no overstatement.  Even though I believed what he … Continue reading

Update….and back to the CFI

It’s been quite a while since I last sat down to write. I had finished my training with Mauna Loa Helicopters in Kona and was hired to begin work as a CFI at the Kona base and my intention was to write about my experiences as a CFI much like I did during my training … Continue reading


Well, it’s been a lot longer than I had planned before getting out my first post as a working CFI, but I guess it’s better late than never! About a month after finishing up the professional pilot training program at Mauna Loa Helicopters I was hired on with a group of three other new instructors. I … Continue reading


April 11th, 2015 Total Hours: 185.2 This is it; I am now an official graduate of Mauna Loa Helicopters’ Professional Pilot Program. It’s been a wild ride and my head is still spinning from everything that’s passed over the last 9 months. Many have asked how it feels to finish and all I can really … Continue reading

Instrument Cross-Country

April 1st, 2015 Total Hours: 174.5 I just can’t seem to keep up with the blog these days. Granted a lot has been happening since I started my instrument training, but it wasn’t exactly mellow before and somehow I can’t seem to make enough time for the studying, flying, and writing anymore. My checkrides for … Continue reading

Full Speed Ahead

March 22nd, 2015 Total Hours: 161.9 Despite the delay with Charlie Mike, whose name comes from its N number 405CM, this last week ended up being quite busy. I had several ground lessons, a simulator flight, two knowledge exams in Honolulu, and even three flights in Charlie Mike squeezed in right at the end. Whew! … Continue reading

Nervous Energy

March 15th, 2015 Total Hours: 158.6 This was my first week back after the small vacation that came along with my girlfriend’s visit. I wish I could say that I’ve been killing it back at school but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Despite having a lot of energy and wanting to simply crank out … Continue reading

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