Most people would be satisfied spending their free time surfing, diving, hiking and mountain biking. But for Lars Helgeson, owner of an internet marketing software business called GreenRope, the stress and pressure of his job isn’t so easily remedied. Helgeson loves all those activities but when he really needs to get away from it all he does it in his single-engine Cirrus SR22 aircraft, thousands of feet above the hustle and bustle of city life.
Helgeson, 42, was born and raised in San Deigo and served in the Air Force for a number of years. Afterwards he and a friend decided to study to get their private pilot licenses and Helgeson has been flying solo for over nine years.
Helgeson takes every opportunity to fly his plane, whether it’s for business or pleasure. Wherever he needs to be across California and even Mexico, he’ll fly himself there. Every pilot needs a good copilot, so Helgeson usually brings his four-year-old Boston Terrier on every flight.
Flying his own private airplane isn’t just about having an escape from life for Helgeson, it’s also a symbol of his success. “For me it represented an enormous amount of work and effort, both to start my business up so I could afford it and then also the time I spent in order to learn to fly,” he said. “I think that everyone has their own dreams and their own passion and as long as they focus on getting to that and achieving something really special to them, no one can ever take that away from you.”