Why Fly With Us?
A thousand moments in a single flight, above America’s greatest wine region
It is said that there are few occasions in life so sublime that you would go through all of your troubles over again just to get to that one point in space and time…
Helicopter flight is one of those occasions. There is nothing quite like it – the ability to hover steadily in the wind over incredible vistas, the unique panoramic views out of a bubble cockpit, the chance to land just about anywhere off the beaten path.
What We Do
At Finger Lakes HeliTours, we combine the ease of getting an expert-led private tour, with the inspiration and thrill of flying in a helicopter. And we do it all above the Finger Lakes – recently voted America’s greatest wine country and home to lush gorges, amazing waterfalls, beautiful valleys and the academic heart-center of upstate New York.
What You Get
- Visceral, awe-inspiring sights only visible from a helicopter including waterfalls, gorges, vineyards, hills and valleys, not to mention breathtaking views of the Finger Lakes
- Safe, reliable aircraft with premium leather seating, luxurious aviation headsets, air conditioning and lots of comfort features!
- A variety of tour options, flexible and individualized to maximize your fun!
- Conveniently central to the region’s cultural and academic hubs, Ithaca, Syracuse, Corning and more!
- Educational content on every flight
- Dedicated to the regional community with scholarships, donations and local outreach programs
- Commitment to doing good using vertical lift technology
A Culture of Safety
We are focused 100% on safety. Our Chief Pilot and Owner is a USAF Search and Rescue pilot, with flight training in complex wartime and disaster scenarios. Our discipline, experience, attention to detail and dedication to the highest standards allow you to relax and enjoy a delightful ride through the sky!
Typical amount of downtime due to maintenance work
Total flight hours flown by the type of aircraft we use - one of the most proven and popular helicopters around!
Violations or safety incidents
HELICOPTER SAFETY FACTS:
– In the event of an engine failure, helicopters can safely “autorotate” or glide to the ground just like an airplane does by using the wind to drive the rotor blades.
– Helicopters can land just about anywhere whereas fixed-wing airplanes need airports with a suitable runway.
– Helicopters have more flexibility during encounters with degraded weather since we are capable of flying low and slow and can hover in place or land as needed.
– Because of our ability to get in and out of rugged terrain and perform in mountainous environments, helicopters are the preferred tool for search and rescue responders and law enforcement. They are a trusted technology that in many ways can surpass the capabilities of fixed-wing airplanes.
We use only Robinson-certified service centers on our R44 aircraft. We also subscribe to the reliability-centered maintenance philosophy that the airlines have adopted. This means we go through great effort to prioritize maintenance and often exceed the standards prescribed by the FAA. You can rest assured that our staff take exceptional pride and care in keeping our flying machines in tip top shape! Our aircraft also features upgraded fuel bladders for fire safety, IFR panel for safety in the weather and bubble windows for high observability during flight. We also fly state of the art flight software Foreflight with backup AHRS technology similar to what the airliners use.
Passenger comfort is one of our highest priorities. For that reason, our beautiful R44 Raven II helicopter features premium leather seating, high quality aviation headsets, air conditioning and heating. Plus our bubble windows will provide an exceptional view of the scenery permitting great photography. We also have the option of flying doors-off for the adventurous flyers!
Strong Core Values
Safety is always #1. Our entire business model is devoted to it, and everything we do is built around it. That means we are detail oriented, we check ourselves and we check eachother (no harm, no foul). This also means we look after ourselves and our teammates. We care about mental health, physical health and spiritual health. We care about our community and the environment.
We are hungry to learn and when we know something, we teach it to others. Our team is nerdy and proud of it. We love technical skills like excel wizardry and website-building/blogging. We love editing photos/videos but most of all we love flying. So we teach flying. Everyday you’ll learn about helicopters, aviation and more. We teach our customers about aviation and the region and when they leave they feel like they can take something away. We also educate our community by building partnerships, providing scholarships, giving back and evangelizing #FLHT.
What makes a great pilot is not hand skills (even a monkey can learn to fly) but the ability to adapt, react, make sound decisions and deal with last minute changes to plan. Our team is chill – we can handle the hard stuff even if it’s stressful. We like working through challenges in real time and are proud of our ability to be limber (semper gumby!) We don’t get angry at eachother, we challenge eachother and humbly admit it when we are wrong.