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Robinson Helicopters

Robinson R44 flying renderRobinson R44 Raven 2 Helicopter

 

 

 

 

 

The Robinson R44 Raven 2 is a great helicopter. It is said to be the most popular helicopter in the world! It has a great safety rating and can give nearly any other helicopter a run for it’s money as far as speed is concerned. It is also a comfortable helicopter, most modern versions are outfitted with leather seats and bubble windows so every occupant has a great view. The Robinson R44 is the primary helicopter used by all helicopter tour companies in the Los Angeles area.  In 2002, the Raven II, an R44 with a fuel injected engine was introduced and the R44 quickly became the company’s best-selling helicopter. By the end of 2010, more than 5000 R44 helicopters had been delivered worldwide.

Robinson has had different versions of both the R22 and R44 helicopters on the market for quite some time. Robinson recently introduced the R66 a larger helicopter with a turbine engine. The first R66 turbine helicopter was delivered in November 2010.

Frank Robinson started the Robinson Helicopter Company in Torrance, Ca at the Zamperini Field airport just south of Los Angeles in 1973. Frank had worked for both Bell Helicopter and the Hughes Helicopter Company. Robinson delivered their first helicopter in 1979.

View More at the Robinson Helicopter Company website

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Helicopter Tour vs. Helicopter Charter

A common misconception is that any flight in a helicopter or airplane is called a charter. The fact is there are a few key differences especially as far as the FAA is concerned. The Federal Aviation Regulations (CFR 14 parts 91,119,121,135,etc) clearly define the differences between Air Carriers, Part 91 Tour operations, single seat Scheduled Flights, etc. Whether the flight takes place in a helicopter or airplane the rules apply the same for the most part.

Simply put a charter is the rental of an entire aircraft (helicopter, airplane, etc) typically going from point A to point B. Where as a tour under part 91 must land at the same place it took off from and not exceed a boundary of 25 statute miles from the point of departure (For this reason helicopter tours of Los Angeles are optimal from the Van Nuys airport) And scheduled service is when you buy a ticket on an airline.

The FAA requires certain maintenance, pilot experience, weather minimums, altitude minimums, and other safety measures to ensure the safety of all of these different types of flights. For example our helicopters go through frequent scheduled inspections. The helicopter inspections include a thorough examination of every single system on board. Our helicopter tour pilots must meet certification and helicopter flight experience as well as be enrolled in drug and alcohol testing program. The FAA does a great job in making sure that helicopter tours as well as every other type of flight are safe.

There is more information  on the FAA Website

Holiday Helicopter Flights

Panorama Helicopter Charter downtown LA

Give them a gift they will never forget

The holiday season is upon us! If you are looking for a really cool gift for that special someone, consider giving them a Helicopter tour of Los Angeles! A helicopter flight over LA is a safe yet thrilling adventure that everyone should experience. Our helicopter rides are private and narrated by our knowledgeable helicopter pilots. You will get to see all of the famous landmarks in the LA area and learn about their history. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Ask about our holiday specials. (877)-335-7038

Brain Farm Digital Cinema- taking it to the next level!

Brain Farm Digital Cinema is the production company behind the ground breaking snowboards films The Art of Flight and That’s it That’s All. Brain Farm has joined forces with Red Bull and Quicksilver to bring together the likes of Travis Rice, John Jackson, and more regarded as the most talented snowboarders in the world. Together they have ventured to some of the most remote places on the planet documenting the adventure. The films are action packed showcases of breath taking scenery, cutting edge snowboarding, and revolutionary cinematography. The films are also filled with Helicopters!!! Some of the movies soundtrack was composed by Curt Morgan of Brain Farm, he is a very talented dude!  One does not need to know a lot about snowboarding to enjoy these movies…. trust me, they are worth checking out! The Art of Flight is available on iTunes

The Art of Flight Trailer

NASA using super computer to make helicopters faster, stronger and SHHhhhh! quieter

nasa helicopter rotor vortex cross section

NASA helicopter rotor vortex cross section

Story below and image from:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2108.html

“Helicopters and rotorcraft provide many useful civil and military functions without the need for airports and runways. However, accurately predicting vehicle performance and noise production is very challenging and requires a more accurate technical approach to understand the interaction between rotor blades and the rotor blade vortices. Scientists supporting NASA’s Subsonic Rotary Wing Project are developing state-of-the-art simulation tools to more accurately predict these flowfields. Use of these tools provide new insight into the rotor wakes, and will help improve rotorcraft performance. This snapshot of a V-22 rotorcraft in hover shows a cross-section of the blade vortices and turbulent flow, where magenta is high vorticity (spin) and blue is low. The Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility has allowed scientists to greatly improve the prediction accuracy of rotor blade aerodynamics. These tools will allow engineers to develop faster and quieter rotorcraft with larger lifting capability.”
Image Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Neal Chaderjian and Tim Sandstrom

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Los Angeles Airways Helicopter Service- A blast from the past

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-55

Helicopter over Los Angeles in the 1950's

Los Angeles Airways was a helicopter airline offering several services around LA from the 1950′-60’s. The Picture above is a Sikorsky S-55 in flight over downtown Los Angeles. I love this photo! I love it for many reasons, first of all is because I am fascinated by anything and everything to do with Los Angeles history. Secondly, I think it is incredable that nearly 70 years ago there were helicopters flying the same path as we do today on our Los Angeles helicopter tours and other LA helicopter flights.

Los Angeles Airways helicopter tours

Los Angeles Airways Sikorsky S-61L (N300Y) lifting off from the Disneyland Hotel Heliport in 1963. (Photo by Robert J. Boser)

The Los Angeles Airways helicopter services were available from LAX to Disney Land and many other destinations around the city. Disney Land originally had a helicopter heliport located inside the park near Tomorrowland. It was later moved to the Disneyland hotel. I wish I could go back in time and go for a LA Airways flight!!

View Article

Some of LA’s newest residents take a Los Angeles helicopter tour to get the lay of the land

newcomers los angeles helicopter tour

LA newcomers Andy and Kate take a helicopter tour to get the lay of the land

Some of LA’s newest residents Andy and Kate just moved here from Pennsylvania. They came up with us on a LA helicopter tour today to get the lay the of the land in their new home. I think this was a great idea! They now have a pretty good idea of where everything is and how to get around Los Angeles. Best of luck to you guys! Enjoy the California sunshine!

 

 

New Helicopter Game Released

One of our students pointed this out to me… It looks like it could be pretty fun!

http://takeonthegame.com/about-the-game/helicopters/light/

Here is a trailer:

take on the game helicopter trailer

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Helicopter Noise in LA

There has been a lot of “buzz” lately (pun intended) about helicopter noise and it’s negative impact on Los Angeles residents. I would like to shed some light on the issue and give some insight from a tour operator/pilots perspective.

A few months back I read a great article on Vertical Reference written by an EMS pilot. His point was that people always see helicopters as an annoyance until they actually need them ie: their child is in need of immediate medical care. I think he had a valid point.

There is a new bill on the table introduced by Rep. Howard Berman to force the FAA to regulate altitudes and routes of helicopter flight in the Los Angeles area. This was a result of a high concentration of helicopters covering the “Carmagedon” closure of the 405 freeway earlier this year. View Article There is some opposition form both the LAPD and LAFD as there is not exceptions written in for their required operations. The authors of the bill have said that exceptions would be made for the government entities, but the Police and Fire departments are not convinced.

I would like to point out that the Police, Fire, and Medical helicopters are for the most part the only helicopters flying at the low altitudes. They also typically fly larger and louder helicopters. These invaluable services save lives and protect people!!! I am in no way criticizing the way that they fly, but I think they are responible for a large portion of the noise. I think that tour operators would be hurt the most by such a bill.

As a tour operator in LA, we have always had the policy of maintaining as much altitude as possible! We do this both for safety and in consideration of Los Angeles residents. There are of course a few “bad apples” out there that do not hold themselves to this standard. I firmly disagree with the way some of the tour operators conduct their flights.

Do I have any immediate solutions?… No, other than asking my fellow pilots out there to fly safely and considerately. I would just like to point out that there are helicopter operators out there that understand the issue and that we do our best to be neighborly!

Griffith Observatory form LA Helicopter Tour

Helicopter ride Griffith Observatory

View of the Griffith Observatory form a Los Angeles helicopter ride

Here is a nice example of the sites you will see on a Los Angeles helicoper ride. This picture was taken on one of our flights today. We also saw a crazy amount of dolphins along the coast! There were at least 10 pods wih 4 to 10 dolphins each.

Dolphins California Helicopter tour LA

Dolphins surfacing seen from LA helicopter tour

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Testimonials

I've been on helicopter tours before but your flight was special. You managed to give us the feeling of thrills, comfort and safety-- I didn't ever want to land.”

D. Alexander

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