Mark Kono Biography
Mark Kono is a renowned American pilot/reporter currently working in Sky5 on the KTLA Morning News. He is a professional helicopter pilot for more than 25 years, his operational background includes electronic newsgathering (ENG), aerial photography, executive charter, production, offshore, and lifesaving medical flights.
Kono started his flight training in a Robinson R22, learning to fly at Hiser Helicopters in 1988 in Corona, California. Hiser was an organization that was in its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. Essentially training local and overseas pilots that were sent to the United States to obtain initial ratings in the R22, and then based on the student, they would frequently finish a turbine transition course in either a Bell 206 or MD500 before going back to Asia.
Kono has traveled to different parts of the country and has flown for numerous major media outlets including KSAZ-TV in Phoenix and KGO-TV in San Francisco, KNBC-TV, KCBS-TV, KABC-TV, and KTTV-TV in Los Angeles. His work has lately been featured in several publications, such as Heliweb Magazine, Roadkill, and the Hot Rod Network.
Unfortunately, after obtaining his private helicopter rating, he ran out of money. He had to put his flying on hold and went back to non-flying roles to save some more money to complete his ratings. Kono’s return to flight training to finish his commercial, CFI, and instrument ratings came in 1992 when he was able to restart with a now-defunct company located out of Long Beach Airport called “Everything Flyable.” The company was started by a rich businessman who did his flight training at the same airport and saw some gaps in the training offered and once complete, he decided to open a company with the newest aircraft, incredible team of instructors, and the best facilities. According to Mark, this strategy was right on the money.
However, with a lot riding on the aircraft investments, payroll, facilities, and a slight falloff in student enrollment, the company came to closure after five years of operation.
However, by the time Everything Flyable came to closure, Kono had already acquired the remaining ratings he needed and was employed after graduating as a CFI. While obtaining more flight hours, Kono got an opportunity at Helinet Aviation in the early 90s for a “loader” position. The job required flights on bank runs that were performed by helicopter from airports and off-site locations in Van Nuys, John Wayne, Fullerton, El Monte among others. The helicopter would then circle back to Downtown LA, landing on the rooftops of banks delivering the days’ checks for processing. Mike’s job was to load the bags in and out of the helicopter at each location.
Before the current ownership of Helinet took over, Kono states that “all the loaders were pilots, and we were all working mainly in a ground crew role, but the benefit was, that you were getting turbine time.” At runs where the helicopter was empty, Kono and his colleagues were able to log turbine hours slowly, at times in increments as small as .2 or .3 at a go. This process was tedious, but finally, all added up, and the pilots for the bank run duty became the next PIC candidates, selected from the pool of pilots based on their experience and skills.
Kono says at that time, it was a difficult time to secure full-time pilot jobs. Vietnam-era helicopter pilots still inhabited many flying positions. For instance, back then, pilots with 2000 Robinson hours had difficulties walking into a turbine position they would quite easily be able to acquire in today’s world in the Grand Canyon or Alaska where the employers put you through a turbine transition. Besides, Mark took his second hiatus from a flying role to pursue ground-based employment that paid more. After a while, Kono returned to flying full-time.
Moreover, his return to flying required a move to Louisiana, landing into oil and gas work, working for Tex-Air Helicopters. The company was owned by a family that serviced the oil and gas industry. Era bought Tex-Air and took over their fleet after Mike’s departure.
Similarly, during his time at the Gulf, he flew many different airframes that included: the AS30, EC120, AS355, v, and even the first Agusta Westland A119 in the Gulf of Mexico, whereby, Tex-Air was the first recipient. The company also ran the first generation of the EC225 for larger transports into the oil grounds. Mark worked in the Gulf for a year and a half, amassing a significant amount of hours and experience before returning to Los Angeles for good.
Mark Kono Age
How old is Mark Kono? Kono has managed to keep his personal life private. However, he celebrates her birthday on May 6 every year. He has not yet revealed the year and month he was born. We guarantee to keep you posted once the information is available in the limelight.
Mark Kono Family
Due to his secretive personal life, no information is available regarding his parents and siblings.
Mark Kono Wife
Kono married Ginger Chan, a fellow KTLA 5 Morning News anchor. The KTLA 5 couple celebrated their anniversary in July 2018. Their fellow KTLA 5 anchor/reporter Lynette Romero, shared a short clip of their celebration on Twitter and said that she loves the combo of the husband-and-wife power team of KTLA.
Kono and his wife have three children. Their elder son, Ryder Rono, was exulted the moment his twin siblings were born in May 2014. Devyn Doris Kono is the elder sister as she was born a minute earlier than Alyssa Rose Kono. Devyn Doris weighed 5 pounds 9 ounces whereas her younger sister, Alyssa Rose, weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces during birth.
The duo’s twins reached the age of three in May 2017. Their proud mother Ginger Chan, took to her Instagram page and wished her lovely daughters Happy Birthday. She also shared a throwback photo where the twins enjoyed the company of their elder brother Ryder.
Mark Kono’s Height
Kono has not yet revealed his exact height and weight. However, we will update this section as soon as the information surfaces.
Mark Kono Salary
Kono earns an estimated annual salary of between $40,000 – $110,500.
Mark Kono Net Worth
Kono has an estimated net worth ranging between $1 Million – $5 Million. His income is mainly attributed to his successful career as a journalist.