When Mark Frey was a boy, he dreamed of being an astronaut or a fighter pilot and that fascination with flying eventually led to the formation of MF Helicopters LLC. Today Mark oversees a trio of Robinson R44's named Tweety, Smurfette, and Kermit. Crop dusting copters by trade, these vehicles also take to the skies to take guests, wedding parties, and photographers on picturesque flights over the fields of Wisconsin. These nimble crafts are able to zoom quickly through the air or hover over one location so passengers can trade insults with scarecrows while staying a safe distance away from hurl-able corncobs.
Having honed his aviation skills in helicopter cockpits for 45+ years, the head pilot at Midwestern Helicopter leads a team of FAA–certified pilots in performing helicopter tours, charters, and pilot instruction. They steer a fleet of three Robinson R-44s and two R-22s over cityscapes and country vistas with photographers, pollinators, surveyors, or sightseers onboard, continuing a crash- and speeding-ticket-free record begun with the company's inception four years ago. The flight team acquaints new flyers with immediate actual flight experience during introductory flights and helps students to achieve private, commercial, and flight-instructor certification during FAA courses. As authorized merchants of Robinson aircraft, they can also hawk helicopters or perform maintenance on various models inside heated hangars without having to first notify the aircraft's next of kin.
The pilots at Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. have been training pupils in the autogiro arts and transporting clients through the skies since 1991. Inside their base at Lansing Municipal Airport, aviators maintain a 12,000-square-foot hangar area and 3,000 square feet of training offices and high-speed computerized flight-planning facilities. Expert pilots impart their knowledge to up-and-coming FBI agents, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and leisure pilots during one-on-one training sessions in Robinson and Bell copters. Pilots also give landlubbers a skyscraper's view of Chicago's landmarks, such as US Cellular Field, the John Hancock building, and the Sears/Willis Tower. When they aren't transporting rally drivers, golfers, and famous wiffle ball players with private charter services, Sun Aero serves national media companies with aerial photography and land surveys.