December 3rd, 2012
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)
June 19th, 2012
When General Electric in Lynn wanted to put together the most awesome corporate team building event ever they went with the logical choice — helicopter rides! Over 100 people, from engineers who design helicopter engines to the folks in marketing who sell them, came in to take a spin in our Robinsons. The day started with some ground school, so everyone could learn the particulars of lift and drag, and which hand (and foot!) was going to be doing what in the cockpit. Then it was outside and up for flight lessons.
Getting ready for a busy 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.
On your mark, get set...
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!
September 23rd, 2009
When students come to our school from overseas to train at our Boston helicopter school, their experience and training backgrounds vary greatly. Tijl came to us with a goal – to get his solo hours for his PPL add-on in the Robinson R-44 helicopter. Tijl had about 30 hours training in the R-44, and also had a few hundred hours in a Cirrus SR-22, representing a good background in aviation. He arrived and immediately immersed himself in the training regimen here at the school. The day began with the usual activities for a new student. Registration, TSA paperwork, logbook entries, SFAR endorsement, some ground instruction, and away we went. The best way for him to start would be to learn the area. It was off to Plum Island, then back across to Fitchburg, and off to Nashua for a good cross country experience in the 44. It was clearly evident that he had a great foundation and was picking up the navigation and the 44 Raven I nuances quickly.
The next day would be all maneuvers – pre solo maneuvers and emergency procedure training. Within 2 days, Tijl had soloed the R-44 and quickly began his cross country work.
After all his solo work was completed, we all agreed that it would be best for him to take his checkride while he was here – so after scheduling with the DPE, we began brushing up all maneuvers for his checkride. Not to forget the night experience requirements – we did the cross country around Boston (the Red Sox were in town), and down to Norwood for some pattern work. After completing the required night training in Norwood, we piloted the helicopter out to Fitchburg for more night patterns and a return to Lawrence. We did leave one night mission for the Boston routes. Tijl really wanted to navigate through downtown Boston at night, so we went into the city using Hamps and Quarry routes. He was amazed at the view – it’s absolutely beautiful even for someone that’s been in there hundreds of times. As part of the training, we navigated using the helicopter route charts and I was sure to fill him in on all the details of the city.
The next day brought the checkride – more maneuvers and up to Concord New Hampshire to take the checkride. The checkride went without a hitch and Tijl was able to leave early the next morning with a newly minted Private Pilot Helicopter ticket in his pocket. We’re all proud of you Tijl – you came here with a goal and exceeded it by a large margin. The fact that you traveled thousands of miles and attained that goal speaks volumes about your character.
We miss you already, and look forward to seeing you on your next trip to the states.
Another great student passed his checkride with assistance from the team here at North Andover Flight Academy.
If you are in the market for quality helicopter training, including Boston Class B training, please check out our helicopter flight school in the Boston area – http://www.northandoverflightacademy.com.