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Kaialiʻi Kahele is an accomplished military and civilian aviator and began his flying career at the Hilo International Airport.

In the Summer of 1992, Kaiʻs parents Gilbert & Linda Kahele, gave him six weeks of flying lessons as a High School graduation gift at Benchmark Flight Training Center in Hilo. Less than two years later Kai had attained his Private, Instrument and Commercial licenseʻs and began flying island tours for ʻIo Aviation at the Hilo Airport building his flight time.

In 1998, Kai applied to the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard and was selected from a competitive list of candidates to fly the F-15 Eagle. Kai earned his USAF pilot wings from Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi and flew the T-37 Tweet and the T-38 Talon jet aircraft.

Through his USAF flying career, Kai has flown the T-38C, F-15 Eagle, C-130 Hercules and the C-17 Globemaster III. Presently, Kai is a C-17 Instructor Pilot in the 204th Airlift Squadron, Hawaiʻi Air National Guard and has logged thousands of hours of military flight time all over the world.

In 2009, Kai was hired as a commercial airline pilot at Hawaiian Airlines and he flew the Boeing 717 on Hawaiianʻs Interisland routes. Kai would then transition to the Boeing 767 and eventually the Airbus 330 where he holds FAA Type Ratings in those aircraft.

Presently, Kai is an Airbus 330 First Officer with Hawaiian Airlines and enjoys flying international flights to Asia the South Pacific and Australia.




Lt Col John 'Zoomba' Traettino, over the Norht Shore of Ohau, 199 FS, HIANG

C-130 (2)

C-17 Globemaster, ramp shot at Hickam AFB, Dec 2006