Living up to their slogan "Excellence in Aviation," Rotor F/X runs the gamut of flight-related services by selling and repairing rotorcraft, in addition to offering flight training, transportation, and quick aerial tours of the Los Angeles area. As a prop company, Rotor F/X has a reputation of building believable cockpit mockups, aviation sets, and scale models of planes and helicopters. As a testament to their ability to enhance stunts, effects, and camera shots with their replicas, the crew of the History Channel's Modern Marvels asked them to construct a experimental helicopter that not only lifts up into the air, but travels back in time to prevent the original Star Trek from being canceled.
Infinite Horizons Professional Training Center's expert instructors teach computer and business skills that help their students stand out in the job market. Their hands-on classes teach skills such as time management and how to use computer software such as Microsoft Office. The instructors also help job seekers craft professional resumés and hone their interview skills.
The highly trained instructors at U.S. Aviators imbue students with the aviation know-how necessary to earn ratings from private and commercial pilot licenses to instrument ratings and instructor certification. To prepare pupils for their skyward excursions, the teaching team simulates flights with a touch-screen multi-aircraft flight simulator, which replicates real-life scenario-based training with wrap-around visuals and single- or multi-engine configurations. From there, students hone their aerial skills with U.S. Aviators' fleet of Cessnas, Pipers, and an American Champion Decathlon, named for the event it won by flying over its opponents. Along with hands-on experience, U.S. Aviators supplies budding pilots with necessary gear such as terminal charts, mechanic tools, and sunglasses at its fully stocked shop.
The Flight School at Van Nuys makes its home at Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley, where diverse airspaces present opportunities for training in a wide array of scenarios. Some 400,000 takeoffs and landings take place at VNY each year, so while it may not be LAX or Mission San Juan Capistrano, it certainly stays busy. Pilots-in-training must learn to navigate safely amid this flurry of aeronautical activity. Developing skills are put further to the test over the L.A. Basin just south of the airport, where complex airspace requires deft maneuvering and keen vigilance. For more room to roam, students can point the school's Piper and Cessna aircraft north of the airport and practice their navigation techniques in less cluttered airspace.
The Critter Squad solves the one problem that a majority of kid's parties face: a lack of chinchillas. The expert handlers roll up to celebrations with reptiles, bugs, cute mammals, or an eclectic mix?their menagerie includes almost 30 species, and runs the gamut from Cochita, a Brazilian short-tail opossum, to Long John, a Burmese python. Thanks to daily handling and etiquette lessons from Emily Post's pets, the animals are all very tame, so kids can pet their new friends fearlessly under the handler's supervision.