We have been busy at NAFA over the last couple months. We would like to congratulate Fred Bedard who is another one of our newly rated private helicopter pilots. Fred is already a rated airplane pilot and came to us seeking to add a helicopter rating to his license. He has worked hard over the last few years and we all admire his dedication. Above he is pictured with his primary instructor Anthony at our Marlboro Airport location. Congratulations Fred!
Chris Andrade recently completed his instrument instructor check ride. Chris has been working hard with us over the last few years in his quest to become a professional helicopter pilot. This is his fifth and final checkride so now he can breathe! He has spent the last few months diving back into instrument flying and teaching his instructor everything there is to know about VOR’s, NDB’s and the GPS. After a few more SFAR sign offs he will be on to the fun part, teaching others how to fly. Congratulations Chris from all of us 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!
Mark your calendars and book your tickets! NAFA is presenting an exclusive, one night only screening of The Art of Flight in 3D. Come out and catch this film on the big screen before it’s too late! We are working with the team at Red Bull to pack the Methuen AMC 20 Theater with helicopter pilots and snowboarding enthusiasts! The movie-night takes place on Monday, January 14th, @ 7:30 PM! Bring a date, bring a friend, or bring the whole family, all are welcome and seats will sell out! North Andover Flight Academy will be hosting a free raffle of 2 Helicopter Introduction Flights in the Robinson R-22 (or the equivalent in flight time to current students).
Chris Andrade, former archaeologist, has now become NAFA’s 5th Helicopter Certified Flight Instructor to earn his license through our training program. Chris is a Massachusetts native, grew up on Cape Cod, graduate of UMASS Amherst, current resident of West Newbury and is familiar with most of New England. Chris is now focusing his attention towards his CFII rating. He has flown with multiple flight instructors throughout his training and is now able to pass that valuable knowledge and experience on to future helicopter pilots.
During his preparation, Chris was here every day, and even when he didn’t have anything scheduled, there were always flight instructors and fellow students ready to help him hone his skills. He practiced again and again, and by the time his checkride rolled around he was teaching like a pro. Our top priority here at NAFA is making your big day as smooth and easy as possible, and by the time we send you off for your test you will be prepared and confident. Feel free to stop in and ask Chris personally about his path to success; with less than 170 hrs in the Robinson R-22, he is proud to share his story with others, and so are we!
Congratulations to another one of our hard working students. Mike Williams recently passed his private pilot check-ride. Mike has trained with us over the last year working towards his goal of flying helicopters. Mike is a busy guy and is proof that with our flexible training schedule we can work with you to complete your goals. On top of planning his wedding and traveling for work Mike was still able to complete his training.
- Mike practicing confined area operations to one of our local helipads.
- Mike Williams flashes that post check-ride smile with Instructor’s Mike Holland and Chris McDonald.
Since completing his private license Mike has enjoyed renting our helicopters and sharing his passion for flying with his friends and family. Congratulations Mike, now it’s time to hit the books for your Instrument and Commercial.
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.
Congratulations to Chris Caswell for passing his commercial check ride. Chris has been with us from early on and has been dedicated to making his dreams of flight a reality. His hard work and preparation made our jobs easy. We all look forward to flying with him in the future. Nice job Chris.
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!