An FAA-approved helicopter-flight tour operator, North Andover Flight Academy employs five licensed instructors with combined flight and teaching experience that numbers in the thousands of hours. Fledgling aviators can begin their aeronautical journeys at Lawrence and Marlboro Airports, which serve as home bases for services that range from tours and photography flights to full pilot-certification courses and agricultural applications. The team commands a fleet of six Robinson helicopters, including one R44 and five R22s, and keeps Robinson factory-trained mechanics on staff to ensure their safe operation and to ice down their blades after particularly vigorous training flights.
Shadows of helicopter blades flutter over the New England countryside. The pilot peers out over rolling hills, jagged mountains, and winding coastline, where sailboats ply the choppy waters. C-R Helicopters helps students and passengers discover these heady views during private FAA flight lessons, scenic tours, and aerial photography flights. Pilots train protégés for private, instrument, and commercial pilots' licenses, as well as Certified Flight Instructor levels I and II and Airline Transport Pilot certificates. They begin each program with a one-on-one ground school in classrooms and a heated hanger before putting students behind the controls of two-seat Robinson R22 Beta II helicopters. When not helming flights, C-R Helicopters' staffers are authorized to deal, safety check, maintain, and secretly whisper to those same Robinson helicopters.
From their nests at Plymouth Municipal Airport and Norwood Municipal Airport, New England Helicopter Academy’s Schweizer Model 300 helicopters lift fledgling aviators into the skies for flights ranging from introductory runs to intensive training courses. Combining the choppers’ precise handling with academy president Rick Smith’s rigorous training regimen, pilots-to-be learn to expertly handle real-life flying situations such as landing at uncontrolled airports, flying in inclement weather, and airlifting bananas to King Kong. In addition to serving as mid-air classrooms, choppers also treat students to sky-high sightseeing, with training flights often motoring over New England landmarks including the Cape Cod coastline and cities such as Boston and Providence.