Claude Leruitte operated a ground tour company and wanted to expand to air tours. He purchased a de Havilland Heron DH-114 (16 seat). The previous owner was having difficulty obtaining a Part 135 certification. The FAA directed Claude to me for assistance. I was able to secure the Part 135 certification in a manner of weeks. The FAA granted a waiver to allow me to hold the position of Director of Maintenance for both Seagull Air Hawaii as well as Rainbow Islands Cargo.
Seagull Air Hawaii provided great tours of Hawaii and within a few months looked to increase the fleet by adding an additional Heron. I researched availability and went to the mainland to secure another aircraft. Shortly after the arrival of the second Heron I moved on to South Pacific Island Airways.
When Seagull Air Hawaii first started and for some months, the maintenance was performed by Hawaiian Air Tour Service (HATS) but in time was performed by the staff of Rainbow Islands Cargo. RIC sublet property from Doris Tom of Scenic Air and installed a modular facility with various containers to have an office, shops and storeroom for parts. The containers were positioned on the old foundation from the early days when the Honolulu International Airport was on Lagoon Drive. Being a sub tenant and using containers, we assembled the facility over the weekend. We maintained a DC-3, Beech 18 and the de Havilland Heron from this little gem of a facility. A little noisy at end of the field at that time (Aloha Airlines 737-200 & Hawaiian DC-9 and other heavies right over head) but it had many pluses.
Hawaiian Air Tour Service
You could not expect to maintain a De Havilland Heron without having a relationship with Hawaiian Air Tour Service (HATS) and its owner Hans Mueller. HATS operated both de Havilland Doves and Herons.