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Limited time is remaining but a recent opportunity came to light from our friends at the AOPA (Airplane Pilots and Owners Association). Thanks to the AOPA’s Flight Training team and the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial, two $5,000 scholarships have been setup for student pilots assist their training regardless of whether they are pursuing training in fixed or rotor wing aircraft. Entries must be received by August 19th, 2011. To learn about further details and to enter, please visit http://flighttraining.aopa.org/ftscholarship
At Elite Helicopter Tours we would like to update our valued customers, friends and extended family regarding the Los Angeles 2011 Heroes Air Show. Elite Helicopter Tours of Los Angeles was originally scheduled to attend the Heroes Air on Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at the Hansen Dam Recreational Area but we just received word from the organizers of the event that it had been canceled. It is a disappointment for all the organizers, sponsors and valued visitors of this annual event but unfortunatly necessary. The air show has been canceled due to the major 405 freeway construction and the hardships attending the event may cause on visitors, participants and primarilly emergency services. Our local news media is definitely making a bigger deal out of the closure than it really is and local government agencies are urging people to stay at home. With the fears of the unknown problems that the freeway construction may cause and need for helicopter servelliance and emergency services to be on call, they will be unavailable to support the event.
We highly respect and appreciate Jim Paules and his associates efforts to coordinate the Heroes Air Show each year and know that a great amount of work is involved with arranging for various performances and static displays to be on hand. Much deliberation must have been involved with deciding whether or not to hold the air show this year and we must agree that it was a wise decision considering the gravity of potential hardship the event could incur not just on visitors and Photographers but especially the various helicopter emergency/law enforcement agencies. Given the pressure from media and local government agencies urging people to stay at home the weekend of July 16th and 17th, this is perhaps the best decision.
This year’s event will be missed and we know it is a major contributor to public involvement and outreach to show just how important GA (general aviation) benefits the local LA community. We encourage the local communities to check out and connect with GA Serves America online at http://www.gaservesamerica.com, AOPA at http://www.AOPA.org, or with the HAI at http://www.rotor.com to learn more about how GA is bennifical to local communities the world over. With the growing pressure and limitations on non-commercial aviation, Heroes is the last regular air show for the greater Los Angeles that provides valuable inspiration to the up and coming generations of pilots, fire fighters, police, military, emergency service providers and more. Heroes is the only helicopter air show of it’s kind and hence will be missed this year. In closing we thank Jim and his team at the Heroes Air Show organization for all their efforts and look forward opportunity we have to work together. If you would like to learn more about the cancelation, please visit the Heroes website at http://www.heroes-airshow.com/losangeles.
We’re ready to take romance to the skies at Elite Helicopter Tours as this sunrise at Van Nuys airport proves so. While we are already scheduled to fly many couple in love today for Valentine’s Day tours we still have a limited number of tours still available. Free Champaign is included with all tours on this Valentine’s day. Be sure to take advantage of our coupon codes found at http://www.EliteHelicopterTours.com/Valentines-Day-Tours to save on tours throughout the month of February.
So a lot of buzz is going on at Elite Helicopters here at the AOPA 2010 Summit here in Long Beach, CA. Elite has a booth located at #852 on the exhibit floor and we’ve shown our fellow airplane pilots how easily and affordably they can get their helicopter rating added to their existing fixed-wing pilots license for as little as $8,900 and as quickly as 30days or less. The AOPA is a great organization aimed at showing how important general aviation is for the local communities and at Elite Helicopters Tours we appreciate all that they do for the flying community. AOPA also helps lobby congress and outreaches to other communities to help ensure that general aviation is here to stay. If you’re an aviation enthusiast and not already an AOPA member, why not check out what they have to offer at http://www.aopa.rog. The AOPA Summit is a great event for fellow pilots to get together to see what’s new in the aviation community as well. So if you’re not doing anything Saturday November 13th, come on down to the AOPA Summit at the Long Beach convention center for the final day. Be sure to also check out the AOPA Aerofest at the Long Beach Airport where you’ll be able to see various airplane manufactures showing the latest aircraft available including the new Robinson R66 turbine helicopter.
Congratulations go out to Simon Davis, owner of Elite Helicopter Tours. On Monday, October, 25th 2010, Simon completed his first fixed wing solo while flying Elite’s Cirrus SR22 G2 during the process of adding a fixed wing rating to his existing helicopter pilots license. Flying solo is a term applied to a student pilot flying alone during their flying education. While most pilots add a rotor/helicopter rating to their fixed wing pilots license, Simon is adding his fixed wing rating. Simon’s solo accomplishment has been a long time coming since the addition of the Cirrus SR22 G2 to the Elite fleet this past summer. As is tradition in the flying community, Simon had his shirt tails cut after which the cut shirt hung from the Elite walls with his solo details written upon it.
In case you were wondering why a student’s shirt tails are cut, the tradition is one developed in the United States during the early years of aviation. The removal of a student’s shirt is evidence of his or her instructors confidence in the students flying abilities. During the early years of aviation when intercom communications and headset were not available, students flew in tandem aircraft in which the instructor would sit behind the student. To get the attention of a student during their initial flight training, the instructor would tug or pull on the students shirt in front of them in order to get their attention and then yell in the student’s ear instructions regarding the flight. Once the student was ready to solo, the instructor would send the student off to perform three takeoffs and landings to a full stop to test their flying abilities. Upon returning to the flight school, the instructor would cut the students shirt tails and pin the tail to the schools wall with the students name signifying the student no longer needs to be tugged at by their instructor while flying. With the advent of modern avionics, intercom and headsets, the need for tugging and yelling was no longer necessary but instructors still enjoy the tradition of cutting the shirt tails to signify the accomplishment of the student. While it is tradition, it is one that continues on strong in the flying community and shows the grass roots of aviation. In Canada and abroad the tradition is a bit different though.
Simon Davis, owner of Elite Helicopter Tours, had a great story about his very first solo in a helicopter while learning to fly in Canada. Flying a helicopter by yourself verses flying with an instructor is a completely different experience because the load changes quite a bit when your instructor is not present. As an oversight, Simon’s helicopter instructor neglected to mention the change in controls and need for less power when he would be flying by himself. Simon’s initial pickup was perhaps a bit more squirrely than he would like and added a bunch of stress to his flying as he initially struggled to adjust his flying style for flying alone. Confident in Simon’s flying skill, the instructor waived him on to perform his solo work which he was able to do flawlessly. Upon landing the helicopter Simon was already drenched in sweat from the hot Canadian summer day along with the stress of flying solo for the first time. In Canada, the tradition is to drench students on their return to the flight school after landing their aircraft. Simon thought he was going to be the one to get away without being drenched even though he wanted to be drenched since he was already hot and sweaty from the weather. While walking down an aisle of hangers he saw a few fellow students and instructors on the roof ready with buckets of water to drench him. He thought he had them dodged and could avoid their attack but all this proved to be a distraction as one of his instructors snuck up on him from behind to completely drown him. Ecstatic from his accomplishment and without a change of clothes, Simon spent the rest of the day drenched at his school while reflecting on his solo ready for the rest of his training to become a licensed helicopter pilot.
All of us at Elite are proud of Simon’s recent accomplishment of joining the airplane community by adding his fixed wing rating to his existing pilots license. We look forward to his future check-ride and additional ratings he plans to add while flying the Cirrus SR22 G2. Once Simon acquires his private pilots rating for fixed wing, he plans to also acquire certification for instrument and commercial flying as well. Keep checking Elite news to see the latest accomplishments at Elite Helicopters.
Some great news comes from the Robinson Helicopter camp this week. The FAA has just certified the Robinson R66 helicopter. The R66 is the first turbine powered helicopter to be commercially offered by Robinson and features a 5 seat cabin similar the 4 seat cabin of the R44. Powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft engine, the R66 was able to reduce engine compartment weight by 50% while increasing the payload of the aircraft at the same time. The R66 has been a long time coming and the FAA has really done their due-diligence to ensure the safety of the aircraft during its certification process. Already the Robinson Helicopter corporation has 100 orders for this fine aircraft and will be delivering 10 aircraft by the end of the year. The R66 will make a nice addition to the helicopter community while adding turbine time to any helicopter pilots logbook. Congratulations Robinson!
Well a huge congratulations to Kim Baldwin, another graduate here at Elite Helicopter Tours. Kim is one of our first female students to graduate to a full private pilot’s certificate. Kim learned about how important its is to get the right amount of attention and training by transferring to Elite. You see, she didn’t start her training at Elite Helicopter Tours but rather she started at another flight school nearly 35 miles away. Due to instructor incompatibility and other related problems she decided to find a new school and Chief CFI Michael Everhart at Elite Helicopter Tours was there to welcome her and make sure she became a proficient pilot before taking her check-ride. Its always amazing to see woman join the ranks of the Elite few to become a pilot, especially a helicopter pilot. While training to become a pilot, Kim had to balance the rest of her life which includes a full time job and raising her 16 month old son named Anders. We are very proud of her dedication and enthusiasm for flying. Kim is not planning on just stopping at a private rotor pilots rating but plans on immediately working on her IFR rating and continuing through commercial and CFII. Way to go Kim, congratulations once again.