Ruben Campos’s social following grows non-stop. It makes sense when you see the Mexican-American pilot’s shots of Pittsburgh from the Channel 11 WPXI-TV (NBC affiliate) helicopter. The breathtaking bird’s eye view images from our region keep his fans excited to follow his work.

“Pittsburgh is a beautiful city and landscape, with its rivers and parks … I’m extremely blessed that my job allows me to view it all from above,” Ruben shared with excitement.

Ruben was born in San Diego, CA and raised in the Hispanic border town of San Ysidro, CA, immediately north to the U.S.-Mexico border. As a child, he was always fascinated with aviation, but never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be flying helicopters as a career.

Thinking back to his training, Ruben remembers how excited he was to go up for the first time in 1998 flying a small airplane, but getting nervous when he and the instructor began climbing in altitude. He felt scared at times during the flight. When they finally landed, he told his instructor he was not sure aviation was for him. The trainer encouraged him not to give up so quickly and convinced him to try again the next day. He hesitated but did it anyway. The second flight worked out much better. In time, he wondered how it would feel to hover midair in a helicopter. He loved it! Ruben knew he wanted to commit to doing this long-term!

Photo courtesy of Ruben Campos

Finding enough time outside of his full-time engineering job in San Diego to go to flight school was a challenge. He trained on weekends, and before and after work and saved as much as possible to pay for the more expensive helicopter flying classes. He never gave up. He kept going after his dream of flying, earning all his licenses and ratings. Eventually Pittsburgh became his new home in 2014, when he made the leap from Southern California to begin his flying career with WPXI-TV.

Ruben is proud of his family’s Hispanic roots. His parents are Mexican-American and he was raised by his mother in a Spanish-speaking household. He teaches his kids about their rich cultural heritage and the benefit of being bilingual. Ruben’s favorite local spots to eat are Emiliano’s and Los Chiludos Mexican Restaurants.

“Nothing compares to finding your passion and making a living from it. There are many days I still cannot believe I get to be up in the air, like at sunrise or sunset over the city and I get paid to do it!” he shared.

You make us proud Ruben! Thank you for allowing PRESENTE to celebrate you and your dedication to flying during Hispanic Heritage Month. Todo un orgullo para nuestra comunidad latina!

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