Stationed in Germany with their families, they were two military brats who met and became highschool sweethearts. The young man went off to college. The girl followed him. "In those days (1963) you had to be married in order to leave Germany together. We felt two could live cheaper than one," Anna confirmed with a gleam in her eye, "so we eloped."
This was the romantic beginning for Ross and Anna Scott, the husband and wife team and owner/operators of Sunshine Helicopters. Both attended the University of Washington in Seattle. The year was 1965. Our country was at war in Vietnam but Ross took a sabbatical from college and was hired by Boeing as a design engineer to work on the development of their new 737 airplane. Shortly afterwards, Ross was drafted. Not wanting to be a foot soldier, Ross signed up for the Army Helicopter Flight Training Program. He quickly discovered his love for flying and became a gunship pilot. During his one year tour of duty, Ross saw a lot of action and was awarded the Purple Heart and two Distinguished Flying Crosses for his bravery in the field. At age 25, Ross was the senior pilot and platoon leader of his unit.
After Ross's tour of duty in Vietnam, the Scott's moved to Anchorage, Alaska. Anna worked in personnel at Carr's grocery chain and Ross managed a large aviation company with 50 airplanes and 30 helicopters. The family grew to include two sons, Ross and Jonathan.
During the next eleven years, Ross' job often took him away from his family. The family's needs as well as Alaska's economics were changing and they decided a lifestyle change was in order. Fate stepped in when Ross received a notice that the property they had invested in on Maui needed to have the weeds mowed. At the same time, Ross found a newspaper ad, "Own your own business in paradise. Sailboat charter business for sale."
"I hopped on a plane to Maui, cut the weeds, and bought the boat company", Ross explained. "We had thought about moving over to Maui for some time and had vacationed here often when Western Airlines offered the 'triangle ticket'. People dream about this. I wanted to do it!"
Ross and Anna thoroughly enjoyed their charter boat business, named Alihilani Yacht Charters, but something was calling Ross back to the blue skies. He wanted to fly helicopters again. Ross and Anna leased two ships from his former company in Alaska and Sunshine Helicopters was launched in 1985. Today, Sunshine Helicopters enjoys an excellent reputation and is a successful family operated business.
Ross and Anna love the islands and enjoy sharing it with others, whether on the ocean or in the air. "We came here on vacation many times...and even though we live here now, we're still on vacation." When asked about their success, Ross smiled warmly. "Anna is my business partner, she lets me think I am the ultimate decision maker and I get to write all the checks."