If you ask Matt Jensen what he does for a living, he’ll more than likely respond by simply saying “I’m a pilot.” He sees his job as nothing out of the ordinary. But not everyone has what it takes to do what he does.
Matt and his wife, Amie, live with their four children in Santaquin, where they hope to stay for a while. Gaining experience and work as a pilot often requires you to pick up your life and move to different areas, as the family has experienced firsthand.
The Jensen family has moved seven times in 11 years, and Matt explained, “that’s not a lot compared to some people. You’ve got to move where the job is and building up flight time is how you get the job.”
To build up flight time, Matt moved as far away as Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. He flew EMS there, then returned to Vegas and did tours in the Grand Canyon for a couple of years before flying EMS again. He currently flies EMS for Nephi.
Matt works for a company called Metro Aviation. One of the company’s customers is the University of Utah. Metro Aviation provides the helicopters, pilots, and mechanics, while the University of Utah provides the medical side (including a nurse and a medic for each flight). It’s a combined effort that helps save lives.
Matt explained that his helicopter doesn’t have hoisting capabilities, so if anyone needs to be hoisted off the side of a mountain, it’s Life Flight or Highway Patrol that gets called in.
But for situations that don’t require hoisting, Matt is frequently called to fly medics into the area. He also regularly works with Search and Rescue teams to shuttle people back and forth to base camps and rescue sites as needed.
Matt has always loved aviation. His entire family is into aviation and his dad is a private pilot. In his younger years, Matt used to go flying with his dad all the time and he loved it.
However, he didn’t think he could become a pilot himself until he became roommates with a guy who was a helicopter flight instructor.
He inspired Matt to go through flight school. Matt graduated in 2006 and is an accomplished helicopter pilot today.
Matt’s favorite thing about the job is getting to help people. He explained, “It’s the success stories, you know? Like when you see somebody that was very, very hurt and you were thinking they might not make it, and then you find out they made it and fully recovered. So that’s pretty cool.”
Matt takes his job seriously and is a respected pilot. He has received Pilot of the Year awards in different programs and is the lead pilot at the base in Nephi. (Peterson is a Serve Daily contributor.)