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A Grandmother’s Guidance and Winds of Change Fulfill a Girl’s Dream of Helicopter Flight

In Maci Sammeli’s family, you don’t catch the flying bug, you inherit it. Both her aunt and grandfather
are EMS pilots at AirEvac in Texas and those flying genes got passed to Maci, now an Instructor Pilot at
Guidance Aviation of Prescott, Arizona.

Similar to many, Maci’s path to her dream of flight had some turbulence. Born in Kingman, Arizona, her family moved to Wimberley, Texas where she stayed and graduated high school. At the age of 18, the winds of change blew Maci back to Kingman into the arms of her Grandmother, Sharlene.

“Well if you want to be a helicopter pilot, then let’s do it,” my grandmother told me.

“My grandmother did the research and found Guidance Aviation online at the end of 2008 and by May 2009 I was enrolling in training at Guidance,” stated Sammeli.

“I still remember my first few conversations with the people like Amanda in Student Services at Guidance. Everyone was easy to talk to and knowledgeable. The atmosphere as a whole just felt right. As I entered flight training, I realized in greater detail that Guidance was the right decision. The high altitude flight training was a huge plus and the safety culture here provided me a great deal of confidence and comfort. I still remember flying at sea level for the first time after training at high altitude. The air at sea level was like syrup, so much easier. The high altitude training really has provided me the confidence to fly anywhere the job takes me”, added Sammeli.

Becoming an Instructor Pilot at Guidance Aviation is the start of my career. I would love to become an EMS helicopter pilot, of course, like my Grandfather and Aunt”, said Sammeli.

Congratulations, Maci Sammeli! You have the right genes! Perhaps with the winds on your side, you’ll be blown right into the pilot seat of an EMS helicopter!

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