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.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
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.
Strapped under 30-foot wings, students at Windsports Soaring Center work with instructors to fly as far as 100 yards on their first day. Windsports Soaring Center also offers comprehensive hang-gliding instruction along the shores of Dockweiler Beach, allowing students to test their solo skills for flights of up to 100 yards—approximately 25 times longer than the Wright brothers' first pet boa constrictor. In addition to helping students trespass on bird territory, Windsports Soaring Center also sells flying equipment and coordinates flight trips for experienced gliders.
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.
To put Aquanautics Dive?s status as a PADI 5-star dive center and instructor training facility in perspective, it helps to remember that there are more than 6,000 PADI facilities across the world. Each one would love to have the organization?s prized 5-star rating for just its dive center or instructor training facility; Aquanautics Dive boasts both. Add in the center?s designation as a DAN Training Center, and you begin to understand the scope of experience and training possessed by PADI Course Director Jeff Mills and his staff. On the facility?s extensive class schedule, aspiring open-water divers, rescue divers, and divemasters alike can find a class that suits their needs. In addition to teaching students how to dive safely, Aquanautics Dive?s staff helps further their progress by renting out equipment and organizing charter boat trips to dive sites such as old shipwrecks.