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Masa Hirvonen

Masa Hirvonen started flying gliders in his native Finland in 1987 and proceeded to motor gliders as soon as he met the age requirements. In addition to his European licenses (glider, motor glider and private pilot), he has had the opportunity to fly some unusual “contraptions” such as an experimental motor glider on skis while landing on frozen lakes in Finland and even a brief moment at the controls of an Antonov AN-2. He has flown basic aerobatics in both gliders and piston aircraft. During his mandatory military service in Finland, Masa went through aircraft mechanic training and officer training in the Finnish Air Force; serving as a line mechanic for jet trainers at the end of his service.

Masa received his FAA pilot licenses at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL while finishing up some extra studies in Avionics for a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology; completing commercial certification and multi-engine and instrument ratings. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI and Advanced Ground Instructor certificates.

In his day job, Masa “teaches the machines how to fly” (electronic flight control engineering) and has gotten the opportunity to fly significant number of hours in both Gulfstream and HondaJet simulators, including extensive testing of his designs for a single engine compensation and stall warning/protection (stick pusher) systems designs for the HondaJet. He is working as the Technical Director of Advanced Research for Honda Aircraft Company.

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