Markus Stamm can be added to our growing rank of new private pilots. Markus and his wife Laura came to us seeking ground and flight instruction with the goal of becoming helicopter pilots. They started their instruction with our own Laura and were soon on their way. Markus quickly progressed, finishing his written test and breezing through his solo time. With Laura off to a new job Chris and Markus polished up his maneuvers in preparation for the check ride. After a thorough oral and flight exam he became the proud carrier of a newly minted private certificate. Since then he has already completed high altitude training in Arizona, begun training for his instrument and transitioned to some left seat flying. He is truly a hard working and driven learner. Congratulations from the team at NAFA.
Congratulations to Joe Migliore on his hard earned first solo. Joe, a former Huey crew chief, has returned to helicopters but is now at the controls. Just days after his retirement the weather was perfect for solo. After a few laps around the pattern with his instructor, Joe returned to the ramp where his instructor exited and off he went.
Nice job Joe. We all appreciate your enthusiasm and hard work. Now it’s on to more solo and cross country flying. Congratulations from all of us here at NAFA!
Jeff came to us in January bound and determined to become a professional helicopter pilot. He was working as an engineer at the time, and his plan was to continue to work while flying in the mornings or when he could take time off. But after a few weeks of doubling up, he decided it was just too painful to transition from the helicopter into a cubicle every day, and he left his job to train with us full time. He threw all his energy into studying and training, and his hard work paid off. He was in here every day, studying when the weather was bad, and when the skies were clear he was flying – sometimes twice a day.
The weather was beautiful, with winds light enough that we could depart in multiple directions. We each chose a heading and set off, R22s to the north, south, east, and west, and the R44 out to Boston and a tour around the seacoast.
All of the flight instructors crammed just as much learning as we could into each half-hour flight, showing our students power requirements and aerodynamic effects in low hovers, high hovers, autorotations and everything in between. But the biggest excitement, as always, was when the students got to take the controls and fly for themselves.
It was a fantastic day for all of us. It was great to see the smiles on the faces of our guests (some of whom were here to visit on GE’s last flight day with us), and it was great to see everyone here working hard and doing such a great job, from our awesome ground crew (Alex, Jeff, and John), to Steven getting everyone ’schooled’ on the ground, and of course Anthony, Mike, Chris, Matt, and Laura in the helicopters. Events like this really help define us as a team and make me, for one, proud to be part of such a professional and positive group. Thanks GE for coming out to see us (stop by any time!) and thanks to all the guys here for your hard work and great attitudes!
Jeff Kimball came to us for his first discovery flight back in December of 2011. After one flight Jeff was hooked on helicopters and is aspiring to become a Certified Flight Instructor in the near future. Every Sunday, wind, rain, or snow Jeff makes the trek from his home in Keene, New Hampshire, a two and a half hour drive to North Andover Flight Academy. After a lot of hard work, dedication and putting up with his flight instructor squawking in his ear, Jeff went for his first solo flight on April 1 2011.
That Sunday was a really calm and mild day – a perfect day for your first solo. Jeff and his flight instructor, Mike, hit the books at 9 am to review his pre-solo and SFAR 73 test. After the review and a few laughs, endorsements taken care of and preflight finished the only thing left was to go flying.
The two of them went up to warm up with a few normal approaches and autos, and decided the spring weather was cooperating. Not surprisingly, a lot of other local pilots were enjoying the weather too, and Lawrence airport was hopping as everyone came out to take advantage of the beautiful spring day. It was busy at the airport and Mike asked Jeff if he wanted to wait for the airport to calm down. “Nope, let’s get this over with,” was his response.
Jeff handled his first solo like a champ, on a really busy day and ended it with a perfect set down and a smile from ear to ear. Well done! Now it’s time to work on some cross country flights and in a short time Jeff will have his pilot’s license.
Here at North Andover Flight Academy we will give you the training you need to handle your solo with confidence and pass your checkride like a pro. We have locations at both towered and non-towered airports, and in your training you will fly everywhere from the mountains of New Hampshire to the city of Boston. But the biggest thrill will probably be those first few laps around the pattern when you are alone and in command of the helicopter. Well done Jeff, you have more fun and accomplishments to come!
Time for an update and some overdue kudos to students who are making great accomplishments in their helicopter training.
Ali came to us from Turkey last fall to get his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) helicopter rating. After flying for years with the Turkish military he had the hours he needed, and was looking to get the FAA rating to help him get a job flying helicopters overseas. He came ready to work, having already passed his ATP written. It wasn’t quite as simple as we expected, what with the new aircraft, the new airspace, and a new language, but he finished up in just over 10 hours and walked out the door ready to work! All of us here were impressed with his drive and hard work, and wish him the best in his new adventures.
We’ve had a couple of new solos too. Mike Williams is a graduate of our previous ground school, and has been coming in on the weekends to fly when his busy work schedule permits. He’s out of town a lot, but he’s a natural with controlling the helicopter and gets right back in the swing of things when he does stop by to fly. On a clear day last winter he came in and flew a few trips around the pattern with his instructor Chris, who then stepped out of the helicopter and after a few last minute words of encouragement sent Mike off on his own. Mike did a great job and had a fantastic time.
And Ed Bond, a fixed wing pilot who flies up from Beverly for his training had his first helicopter solo just this last week. After a few minutes warming up in the air with his instructor, Ed did a picture perfect pickup from the ramp and off he went. After a good time playing around in the pattern he was back, all smiles. Even though he had already had a ‘first solo’ in an airplane, this one was just as exciting. “They’re all firsts” he said, and it was good to see he was just as thrilled with his second ‘first solo.’
We are proud of all of our students, from students who are just learning to hover, to those honing their advanced skills for that next move in their helicopter careers. We believe every lesson should be both productive and fun, and our smiles are as big as our students’ when they meet their goals. Whether you’re already a helicopter pilot, a curious fixed wing pilot, or starting from scratch, we are your best choice for that next step in your helicopter flight training.
Congratulations to our newest Private Pilot, McLovin! (Michael du Breuil). With hard work and his commitment to flight training, Mike has proven that the FAA 40 hr minimum is still an attainable goal! Mike studied hard throughout our Helicopter Private Pilot ground course which runs 12 weeks, flew through his solo requirements, and shortly after, greeted his examiner with full confidence as he became a licensed pilot! His training was based at our Marlboro (9b1) location, with training flights conducted at nearby airports such as Minute Man, Hanscom (Bedford), Worcester Regional, Mansfield, Norwood, Lawrence, Fitchburg, and Plymouth. Michael even had time to get some extra Class Bravo training/experience as he navigated around the Boston skycrapers, Fenway Park, and the Charles River! McLovin is now preparing for Part 141 instrument training beginning early in 2012. Chicka Chicka YEAH!!!!!
At North Andover Flight Academy, we have the facilities and instructors to get your rating done for you as efficiently as possible. Show up ready to work and we will get you flying! Our next ground school starts at our North Andover location on January 21st – you are welcome to come and check it out, whether you’re an old student returning for a refresher or someone who’s just interested in helicopters and curious about training. Come and see what makes North Andover Flight Academy Boston and New England’s top choice for helicopter flight training!
At NAFA we are committed to our students’ success, from the private through the CFI and CFII ratings. We are fortunate to have a great group of students at the school and would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Steven and others like him whose positive attitudes and hard work make our jobs that much more rewarding and fun. We couldn’t keep Steven away from the mountains for Christmas – he’s back in the west breathing some of that good high altitude air for now – but we look forward to seeing him again in the coming year and watching his helicopter career take off.
Pedro’s been working on this day for a long time. He started training with us over a year ago, but he had a lot going on. He was working six days a week, and coming in to fly on his day off, bringing his family in with him so they could maximize their time together on their weekly family day. And just when he was close to that first solo, the only thing that could possibly be as exciting interrupted his lessons as he welcomed a new baby girl into his family. After a couple of weeks off, Pedro was back in the cockpit running through emergency procedures and polishing off his technique.
We can’t say it was the only high point of his year, but his solo did put a big smile on his face!
Here at NAFA we work with students of all kinds, from foreign students who come over for the sole purpose of learning to fly, to students who are fitting their flying in around work and family commitments. We work with your schedule to give you the best, individualized helicopter training possible.
Great job Pedro! We can’t wait to post details about your successful checkride!
In previous posts, I’ve covered flying in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the Summer and Fall. Now it’s winter, and here are some shots of snow covered peaks around Lafayette, Franconia, the Western Presidentials, and Whitefield New Hampshire. This flight was not a training flight, we had business to attend north of the Presidential range, and coming from Lawrence, Mass we would try a direct flight. This would take us well West of Nashua, New Hampshire and over Moultonboro with the intended flight path directly over Mt Hancock, Mt Liberty, and the Mt Garfield Range. That is if the weather cooperated. Once up near the Range, low (relative), clouds forced us East through the Franconia Notch with beautiful views of Cannon and Lafayette.
North of the Notch was beautiful with the only rough weather well to the Northwest in the form of a rather large, organized band of snowshowers. The 396 indicated they were dissapating as they moved to the East, so we had plenty of time to do what we came to accomplish. After our meeting, we stopped in to Twin Mountain Airport to talk with the owner, Evan, about our arrangements. Evan was accomodating and welcomed us back anytime. Twin Mountain has a wonderful setup – a nice little terminal building and great owners.
After leaving the airport, we made our way South, to see if we could go between Mt Garfield and South Twin and on East of Lincoln and Liberty to follow the Kancamagus to the East then proceed South.
The weather looked agreeable as we made our way up the Range, and was clear as we summited and flew onto the valley near the Kancamagus.
I’ve driven the Kancamagus many times, but never viewed it much from above. Here are a few shots of the highway.
After following the Kancamagus Highway, we turned South toward Squam Lake around Mt Kancamagus.
A quick stop for dinner at Johnson’s and back to Lawrence, Massachusetts. A great flight through the White Mountains and the country North of Franconia. Here’s our Route South.
Next trip up into the White Mountains I’ll talk about survival equipment and some good tips to use when flying over inhospitable terrain.