It took the commercial pilot Bruno Domingues Nocera to go to another country, to discover that his place is in Brazil and professional fulfillment within Helisul. For just over two years, the Curitiba native has been the company’s flight operations coordinator, which happened after an enriching experience – and some perrengues – in the United States.
Bruno was never a very quiet boy. Before that, when I was a teenager, around the age of 18, the opportunity arose to spend time in Japan, with an uncle who worked there. His mother didn’t think twice about encouraging the trip, since the “accelerated” Bruno was doing a lot of “art” around here at that stage. It took three months of hard work building asphalt on the other side of the world.
“I came to Brazil and stayed a while longer. Then I went abroad again, to the United States, where I stayed for almost eight years”, says Bruno. As it could not be otherwise, life in the foreign country was quite busy. The Brazilian took advantage of his experience in civil construction and erected buildings and hotels, but he also cleaned the house, bathed dogs, delivered pizzas, worked at a gas station, was a waiter and even a cook.
“It was where I learned a good part of cooking. My parents have event space and work in the kitchen. We do weddings. I cook for everyone. I’ve been doing this for over seven years at my father’s farm”, reveals “chef” Bruno. But he still has several other abilities.
“All the things they have on the farm, I make them. Maintenance, painting, I do everything. In addition to the labor being expensive and difficult, we no longer find people. I built a chapel that we needed and I learned all this in the USA. There was a great school,” he says. Can you call him “Bruno Hilbert” now?
Life goes, life comes, between one delivery and another of pizza with his car, Bruno always heard an advertisement on the radio that turned on a light and changed the whole course.
“I was going to deliver pizza and there was a guy who advertised for a company that was recruiting people to be pilots, with all costs paid, then they would become flight instructors and, in the future, would give them a job in one of their areas in the company. It’s like a Helisul there, with more than 250 helicopters”, she says.
Bruno worked a lot, he had almost no days off. Listening to the advertisement every day, he decided to check it out, since he had nothing to lose. And he was right. “I went. The moment I entered the hangar and saw that bunch of helicopters, I said: ‘I found what I want to do with my life!’. It was from then on that I started saving money and falling in love with aviation. My dream was to be a helicopter pilot.”
To make his new dream come true, Bruno had to give up life in the United States, which was not so simple, and return to Brazil. Only in his country could he study, since training in North American land depended on bureaucracies that could not be attended to. “It was a unique moment. He was lost in life, he was very young. And at the time there was nothing,” he recalls.
On his return to Curitiba, Bruno ended up graduating as an airplane pilot and not a helicopter pilot, believing that there would be more chances of getting a job. “Summary: today I’m at a helicopter company, wanting to become a helicopter pilot, because there are more helicopters than planes. I am aiming, and have a lot of support, to get my license.”
But not everything was flowers on this return to Brazil and the realization of the dream of being an aviator. To begin with, Bruno had the difficult decision to leave his son in the United States. Lucas, the ‘American boy’, as his father calls him, is 14 years old, lives with his mother and has also learned to communicate in Portuguese.
“It makes me very sad not to have followed his growth. I left my son very early. It was a very difficult decision. My son is very good. Despite the distance, we have a lot of contact.”
Around here, Bruno has Davi, 11 years old, and his wife, Isabela.
Rescue and Rebirth
Bruno has always had a lot of affinity with the administrative area. Still at the aviation school, he got an internship in the department of Rio Linhas Aéreas, a cargo company in São José dos Pinhais. It was his first experience in the aviation field.
He graduated as a commercial pilot in 2011. Then came the opportunity to join Helisul’s work team. Bruno started out as an operations analyst. The administrative role was shared with that of private pilot.
The professional ended up choosing to dedicate himself to flying. He left Helisul and went to work as a pilot and copilot for a company in Belo Horizonte. Then he returned to Curitiba and went through the worst moment: eight long months of unemployment.
In September 2019, Bruno was invited to be a Helisul attendant at Afonso Pena International Airport. About four months later, he was “subpoenaed” to work in the flight operations sector at Bacacheri, where he now coordinates a team of 12 employees. The return to Helisul marked Bruno’s life as a “rebirth”, according to him.
“There is one person I like to highlight a lot, José Secchi. He was the one who brought me back. The hardest time since I was born was when I was unemployed. He was in limbo, it seems all the friends were gone, the opportunities were gone and I didn’t know what else to do. I thought about going back to live abroad again. I even tried Canada, but the visa was denied. And he called me. That’s when I went back to work at Helisul. I was reborn”, he celebrates.
Bruno says that it has been a great experience to work with flights in practice and in the administration of operations. Being at Helisul today, as he says, is like attending a postgraduate course.
“I love flying, it’s my passion. After I started accumulating these two functions, doing this mix, it’s been really good. In a way, I ended up getting to know the company and understanding the process as a whole: how bureaucratic it is to work with Anac, how difficult it is to certify, authorize an operation, especially an air taxi. It involves a lot of work, several people, you have to read a lot of legislation.”