Once the chopper lifts off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport and rises above New York Harbor, the Big Apple's sprawling metropolis fills passengers' sightlines. Rotors spinning, the copter flies past the Statue of Liberty and toward the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and other looming examples of urban architecture. During these tours, sightseers sit comfortably within one of the company's fleet of Bell 407 helicopters, which boast giant windows and enough legroom to roundhouse kick roving bands of skydivers looking to freeload their way onto the aircraft. They also have a newly purchased EC130 Airbus Helicopter. The helicopter pilots also charter their aircraft on trips to cities including Boston and Atlantic City.
The product of a childhood dream, HeliFlights first took to the skies in 2010. Equipped with a fleet of high-quality birds, the company makes its home in Linden, NJ. Here photographers, videographers, and the general public are provided with a unique view of New York City from NYC Photo Flights, a subsidiary of Heli Flights. Photo flight packages can suit each individual's needs, from basic introductory flights that venture out into the harbor all the way to customized flights to help capture the picture and video memories of a lifetime.
Garden State Helicopters teaches pilots of all levels how to get airborne with classes taught by certified instructors. Together, student and certified flight instructor will climb into the cockpit of a Robinson R22 Beta II. Prized as a preeminent trainer, the R22 will help new and advanced pilots develop all the skills they need to be good safe aviators.
Wings Air Helicopters' band of experienced pilots advocate the beauty of airborne travel through charter services, flight lessons, and an aerial film-production studio. Luxury jets, decked out with sectional couches, meeting tables, and bars, grant passengers and their mobile studio audiences safe travels with charter and cargo services. Within helicopter cockpits, Bose noise-canceling headsets block out the hum of spinning propellers to ensure clear communication during charters and tours. Wings Air Films offers a wide range of aerial production services, supplying movie helicopters and camera platforms to capture bird's-eye shots of famous landmarks or Waldo sightings for motion-picture and television industries.
With more than 8 million people in New York City—and probably close to that many famous landmarks—the best way to see everything is from the sky. Liberty Helicopter Tours invites you to do just that as it soar over the Hudson River and right past the Statue of Liberty (as long as she isn't on her lunch break). Those sights are incredible, but they're just two of many available from Liberty's helicopters. Here are some key things to know about the company:
Background: Liberty actually took flight as a charter business in 1986, transporting professionals to and from New York. In 1990, it added its sightseeing division.
Fleet: The company's fleet currently includes 15 state-of-the-art Airbus Helicopters, which are renowned for their large cabins and reliability. Liberty's helicopters are serviced on a daily basis at their 24/7 maintenance facility.
Pilots: There are more than 25 factory-trained pilots at Liberty with an average of 10 years of experience each. Plus, many of them are former US Military or police officers.
Awards: Liberty boasts an award-winning staff, and it's a regular recipient of the Annual Safety Award from the Helicopter Association International. The company has also earned the Five Star Diamond award multiple times.
Press: Featured on season 11 of The Bachelorette.
Manhattan Helicopters' flight crew zips passengers past the Big Apple's most iconic attractions while narrating trips in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, or Chinese. Each one of their pilots must log thousands of training hours before steering whirlybirds past landmarks such as the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, and Madison Square Garden. Voice-activated Bose headsets provide crystal-clear communications between pilots and riders, and large windows deliver unobstructed views of Governors Island and the distant Palisades. Plush leather seats equipped with cup holders equally absorb chair-gripping excitement and reveries more peaceful than a nap in a stork's bindle.