Greg Hein, CEO
Over his lengthy career, Greg Hein has flown nearly 200 different makes and models of aircraft, sold aircraft ranging from antiques to modern business jets, and been engaged in almost every facet of general aviation. As a pilot, he has flown captains of industry, major political figures, Royalty, and celebrities. He was recently presented the FAA’s prestigious honor for pilots, The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, honoring 50 years of accident- and incident-free flying.
Greg was born and raised on a small ranch in what was then rural Orange County, California. Fascinated with machinery and travel, he began flight training while still in his late teens – obtaining his private license and a commercial rating before he was even eligible to vote.
During commercial pilot training, Greg worked in non-flying positions for his flight training provider, pumping gas, washing aircraft, and assisting customers. He was hired as a pilot the day of his commercial check ride and flew his first revenue flight three days later. Soon after, Greg obtained his flight instructor rating and began instructing students, including many classmates at Mount San Antonio College. He continued as a flight instructor and charter pilot while completing his Associate of Science Degree. These activities continued for several years, and additional education in Aviation and Aerospace Science was pursued at Denver’s Metropolitan State University.
In the early 1970’s, Greg joined the Newport Beach Police Department and became an early pioneer in airborne law enforcement. His position included crime suppression, search and rescue, support for the city’s fire department and lifeguards, and medical evacuation. In addition to his regular flying duties, Greg acted as a test pilot for the development and certification of a low-light viewing device and was the designated speaker for the department’s helicopter division. During this period, Greg continued fixed-wing flight instruction on a part-time basis. Additionally, he served as a principal in a company specializing in sales of vintage aircraft, parts, and memorabilia.
In the mid 1970’s Greg opened an aircraft brokerage in Huntington Beach – specializing in light personal aircraft with an emphasis on collectable airplanes. The company sold 40-50 aircraft annually – ranging from J-3 Cubs to Aero Commander and Beechcraft Business Twins. During this period, Greg also performed appraisals for major banks and insurance companies, developing a broad understanding not only operational aspects of the general aviation fleet but of aircraft value as well.
In 1979, Greg was recruited to become vice president of marketing and facility manager for a large Southern California Piper dealer. This company had three bases of operation, maintenance, a flight school, charter department, and an active sales department for both new and used aircraft. In addition to sales responsibilities, day-to-day management of the Carlsbad Palomar Airport location (and its pilots and personnel) was part of the position.
In 1981, Greg joined with a partner to open a full-service FBO at Palomar Airport. As President and CEO, he oversaw management of many aviation services, including sales, charter, training, maintenance, storage, fuel, and aircraft management. During this period, he continued to appraise aircraft and began litigation support consulting on a part-time basis. Greg also served on the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee, acted as the aviation advisor to Congressional transportation committee member Ron Packard, and served as designated speaker for San Diego County airports.
The FBO was sold in the mid 1980’s, with Greg concentrating on sales, corporate aircraft flying, and some consulting as Aviation Resource Group. During this time he acquired additional qualifications and Jet type ratings, flying sophisticated corporate jets both domestically and internationally. Greg’s marketing activities evolved primarily into corporate-class turbine equipment – and this remains his primary sales focus today.
The consulting business grew dramatically over the years and Greg remains heavily involved in this activity – while also following new developments in the operational and regulatory aspects of the industry. Today, Greg enjoys a cherished balance of working with established and new clients, travel, golf, deep-sea fishing, and family.