The tour guides at H&L Enterprises of WNY LLC love showing people around town. But instead of introducing them to sights from a bus, boat, or Segway, they give tour-goers a spectacular bird's-eye view of western New York, the Southern Tier, northwestern Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio through the windows of a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter.
In addition to soaring over sparkling lakes and rolling meadows to wow visitors and help them capture stunning aerial-photography shots, helicopter flights also serve the more pragmatic purpose of patrolling pipelines or surveying the land. This allows farmers to count their livestock and entrepreneurs to scope out land they plan to purchase.
The chopper controllers at Western New York Helicopters steer flight instruction that ranges from one-time introductory experiences to complete pilot certification. The resident fleet of R44s and S-300Cs gamely trucks the earthbound on any aeronautic needs, from local tours to power line patrols to diplomatic negotiations with the owl kingdom. Launching from Hamburg Airport just 15 miles south of Buffalo, the happy hoverers direct air traffic from both Canadian and stateside pilots-to-be.
Since hatching their first helicopter in 1985, National Helicopters Inc. has become one of Canada's biggest chopper flight and maintenance organizations. Boasting more than 45,000 hours of incident-free flying, National Helicopters' pilots ensure safe passage to wherever passengers desire, and their photo and aerial tours and helicopter golf trips go off without a hitch due to the pilots' countless hours of practice. For those interested in taking the handles, the company teaches commercial pilot instruction, along with survival training and ground school.