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 Jesiel DeOliveira, who recently obtained his private pilot certificate. Jesiel began his training with Laura and completed his written test before ever stepping foot in the helicopter. With that out of the way, Jesiel fast tracked his training. He was a constant fixture at the school flying nearly every day while still juggling his business and family. With Laura off to a new job, Jesiel finished up his training with Steven. With his newly minted certificate he soon took his wife and brother out for a joyride. I think they were pleased to see what he had been spending all his time on over the last few months. Now he is on to instrument and commercial training.
Jake started flying with North Andover Flight Academy back in October of 2011. He could only fly every other week but he was a natural right from the start. Video games are good for something after all.
Jake had to take a break from training for a while but when he came back it was as if he never stopped flying at all. Our first flight back we did an off airport landing at his house in Plaistow. Friends and family were over and everyone was excited to see the helicopter in the yard.
A couple months later and after his flight instructor hounded him to get his medical, study and take a few tests, he was ready. Seventeen year olds do not like to be told what to do especially when it requires them to open a book! After a check out with one of the other instructors it was time for him to solo the following week. Jake was excited to solo and wanted to have everyone there he has ever met. I explained that he would be a little nervous and it would be better that his mom and dad only be there with a few close friends.
The poor kid had to wait almost a month for good weather. In perfect fashion, Jake soloed like a champ. He was having so much fun he lost count. “Ask Him”
This is Jakes idea of a small group of friends.
Jake is the youngest student that has soloed a helicopter at North Andover Flight Academy. Way to go buddy!!
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!
That’s right, ANOTHER student flies solo out of the nations best kept secret for helicopter training, Marlboro Airport! Congratulations Ralph LaVoie on your initial solo. Not only did he make it back safely after flying in the pattern for about 20 minutes by himself, he made it look easy! East coast helicopter flying at its best! He and his CFI Steven Reel polished up on the maneuvers during his time off from work and before you knew it, Ralph had the controls all to himself with no one by his side. Ralph is scheduled to take the FAA written exam next week and his Private pilot checkride will be soon to follow. In the mean time, if you want to watch a solid, student pilot fly, make your way down to the friendly little field in Central Mass and watch him go! Ralph manages a commercial real estate company in New England, however is looking for a career change into aviation and is well on his way! Nice work Mr. LaVoie!
(The official North Andover Flight Academy “job-well-done handshake” – Ralph left, Steven right)
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!
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.