Javier Diaz has aviation in his blood. His father was an amateur pilot. His uncle owned and flew airplanes and helicopters. So it's no surprise that Diaz himself caught the bug. He just never expected to make a living doing it.
Colombia-born Diaz kept his feet on the ground when it came to business—becoming an investment banker with Deutsche Bank. But almost as soon as he could afford it, he bought an airplane and later, a helicopter that he piloted for fun and rented out for lessons on the side.
After 12 years behind a desk, he flew from the firm and went full throttle into Wings Air Helicopters, the company he founded in 2002. He had some turbulent years, but he said the company is now flying high with charters, tours, movies and more. And according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for helicopter pilots is expected to increase 11 percent through 2020.
Read more on Javier Diaz's high-flying career-change below, part of CNBC's series "Escaping The Cube."