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About Us

Independent Helicopters is a Certified Woman Owned Business (WBE)operating from Stewart International Airport and Saratoga Airport in New York.

Our services aim to encompass the needs of the community.  Whether it involves flying charters, training new helicopter pilots, fundraising events, utility patrols or servicing helicopters, we have a passion for sharing aviation.  That passion produces the highest quality, safest and most enjoyable experience – in the sky and on the ground.

Independent Helicopters employs experienced pilots and mechanics who share our passion for aviation and we strive to lead with integrity, honesty and a commitment to deliver results.


Matthew Taggard

  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
  • Certified Helicopter Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII)
  • Many hours of dedicated, professional flight instruction teaching many students of all ages and experience levels
  • Proficient in Aerial photography and tours in NYC
  • Operations Director

Heather Howley

Chief Pilot & CEO of Independent Helicopters, LLC

In 2008, owner and Chief Pilot Heather Howley started Independent Helicopters with just $25. Now in business for over 10 years at both Stewart Airport and Saratoga County Airport. Heather is a Certified Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII) and Airline Transport Pilot flying both helicopters and airplanes with over 6000 hours of flight time. Heather is constantly giving back to her community with interests in supporting the next generation of aviation, Veterans and Cancer organizations. Heather is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business graduate, 40 under 40 recipient in Albany and Westchester county, an Orange County Rising Star, and a Hudson Valley Woman of Achievement among other accolades.


There are very few women in aviation and even fewer flying helicopters. I am proud to call myself a Helicopter pilot.

  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
  • Certified Helicopter Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII)
  • Commercial Pilot
  • ATP Certificate
  • Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)
  • Utility Inspection, Geoscience, Aerial Mapping, Geological Survey, Remote Forestry Inspection
  • Many hours of dedicated, professional flight instruction
  • Has taught many students of all ages and experience levels
  • Charter pilot, special events, aerial photography and tours in NYC

Our Fleet

Robinson R-22 Beta II

Robinson introduced the most cost-effective, reliable and performance-oriented piston helicopter available in the world today. This helicopter is fast, fuel efficient, and fun to fly.

"If you can fly the R-22 you can fly anything!"

Robinson R-44 Raven II

For those who expect excellence and appreciate value, there's the R44 Raven II. The R44 delivers the performance of an expensive turbine helicopter at an affordable piston price. Its sleek design, impressive speed, and unparalleled reliability give it the competitive edge in today's fast-paced, changing environment.

Already have a great career? Looking for something new to enjoy, share with family and friends?

Our flight training programs are geared around the working adult and designed to take a student from zero helicopter time to an employable Professional Certified Flight Instructor in as little as 10-18 months. We are able to provide the training you need to safely enjoy the freedom of flight.

If you would like to register for upcoming events, they can all be found here.


The Bell LongRanger seats a maximum of six passengers, and one pilot in a comfortable leather interior. This aircraft offers a stretched cabin with private club seating for charters, tours or survey flights.


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