To all at Independent Helicopters, especially Ms. Howley.
My son and I visited The Simsbury Fly In show this past weekend. It was our first ride on a helicopter,.
We strapped ourselves in, put our headphones on, I looked up and exclaimed, “Oh, AND we have a female pilot!” I was so impressed I had to find your website once we returned home. Amazing!! I grew up wanting to learn to fly, commercial airlines specifically, but life lead me down another path. Now, Sam has the fly bug.
I’m reaching out to all of you to say thank you for such an extraordinary experience, for making a huge impression on my son. I realize you meet many people all day long at these shows.
Thank you for your time and for what you all do.
“Just wanted you to know what an awesome time my daughter had during that helicopter flight! She was overwhelmed with excitement and eager to return to school to share this experience with her friends. Matt was so sensitive and courteous to her which totally wiped out any nervousness she might have had. I am truly thinking about her doing this again.”
We met you a year ago at the air show at the Dutchess County airport, and you were the coolest person my cousin and I had met— you were a girl and so badass for being such a great pilot.
This flight for us had more meaning than anyone could know- my son had gotten airlifted at 1 1/2 months old to save his life, and I had PROMISED him that one day we would have a “fun” helicopter ride.
Enter June 2015, we have the opportunity to take a helicopter ride and we jumped on it, to fulfill that promise. Myself, my son, and my cousin get in the helicopter with you and the rest is history. We had the most amazing time of our lives for so many reasons! Myself and my cousin admired you cause you are a badass who’s doing AMAZING things, and most importantly, my 3 year old TO THIS DAY remembers the “cool lady pilot who gave us a fun ride and showed us the river and train tracks”… That ride meant more than you’ll ever know to us… And now that we’re even another year out from all that makes it that much better… We can’t wait. And the best part is, my son knows there’s an awesome lady pilot who is going to give us an amazing ride. Looking forward to this more than you could imagine ❤️❤️❤️
I recall being 5 or so and having my Dad’s eyes light up when he saw that little helicopter land in the field offering rides. Despite my mom’s objections we just had to go for a ride. In fact we went for two rides, during the second the pilot and my dad decided to do some stunts to scare Mom on the ground. We had a blast, she was a wreck.
Growing up, my dad would run outside to see a chopper fly overhead and always made mention of looking for helicopter rides, or getting the opportunity to “grab a hold and see what I can do.” He even told me “when I die, just have them fly me around one more time.” That broke my heart, and I knew I had to find him some kind of helicopter lesson somewhere.
With his 50th birthday coming up I went scouring for the coolest surprise present like he always did for me. When I typed in “helicopter flights” on my computer, Independent Helicopters was the first link. I browsed the ride options, but then I saw the Discovery Flight gift certificate, something I had never seen offered anywhere else, where the student gets to “grab a hold and see what they can do” (under the watchful supervision of highly skilled and very patient instructors).
Heather was super helpful in keeping the gift a secret until I revealed it at my Dad’s party. I’ll never forget the look on his face as we attempted to fly the certificate in on a toy R/C helicopter (the dog didn’t take too kindly to it). He was that little boy all over again!
With book in hand he took to reading every night. Our living room notoriously hosted “library night” as he would read the Helicopter Flying Handbook and I would study for school.
With his first flight (and each one thereafter) I would ride along and videotape his lesson and views from the sky. By the time we’d get home he’d already want to see the tape, and show it to everyone who came by.
Thanks to Independent Helicopters my dad is the happiest I’ve ever seen him, and I never struggle to find him a great present.
When I was a young boy my grandfather took me for my first helicopter ride at a fireman’s picnic. From that ride on, I was hooked! Every chance I got I would go for a ride. When my daughter was 5 or 6 years old I took her for a ride and told her that someday I wanted to actually fly one for myself.
Years went by and my dream finally came true. For my 50th birthday my daughter bought me the Discovery Flight lesson from Independent Helicopters where I could control the helicopter myself (with the patient instructor by my side of course). My daughter also bought me a few books on basic helicopter instruction (although not required) so I could be well prepared. I read the Helicopter Flying Handbook at least twice and then called to schedule my flight!
Heather and the other pilots were very accommodating to my schedule, highly professional, friendly and eager to get me started. I have since received more flight hours for Christmas and birthday presents, and can’t wait to take to the skies again!
Thanks to my Daughter and Independent Helicopters my life’s dream has become a reality.
My experience with Independent helicopters strays from their ‘normal’ day to day functions including aerial inspections of pipelines, overhead shots of properties, training future pilots, and of course tours of the Capitol District and Saratoga. In fact, you could say all I really required from them was a ride, and by default, a grand entrance for a very important day of my life; proposing to the love of my life Cody. I can’t quite recall how or why a ‘helicopter’ became a major roll in my very elaborate engagement plan, but once it did Heather, owner of Independent helicopters, was 100% on board to be a part of my big day. She immediately set us up with Matt Taggard who would be our pilot and his genuine enthusiasm for what we were doing was incredible, especially considering this did not fall under the “usual daily operations.” Due to the secretive conditions of facilitating an elaborate plan involving sending my now fiancé to various locations and businesses in the Capitol District dressed in signs, banners, clues to send her to the next, and many people playing rolls in making it all happen, I personally didn’t actually meet the man who would be flying me to and from until the day of. From the moment I shook Matt’s hand he put me at ease. This was pretty important considering that I was not only fighting the nerves of proposing, but I had also never been on a helicopter before. We utilized the time up at Saratoga County airport taking photos and videos, and all the while Matt kept me grounded as my anxiety was apparent. Once we loaded up to take off, I was calm as could be. I may have never been on a helicopter before, but I certainly know what a smooth ride is. We had a crystal clear, picture perfect beautiful day and if there were stop lights in the sky, we would have had green lights all the way down to our landing spot. As anyone could imagine, Cody was not expecting me to arrive at the final location she was sent to in a helicopter. She also probably did not expect that not only would she be able to say she got engaged that day, but also that she too logged her first helicopter ride. After pictures, hugs, kisses, and champaign, we took the beautiful ride back up to Saratoga County Airport where we hung out with Matt for a bit chatting, and took some more pictures before he had to fly out to his next location and we saw him off with a wave as he flew away. My experience with Independent helicopters is unforgettable. They are a major part of the story of the day I proposed to my wife. I could not have asked for a better experience and I look forward to flying with them again, whether that be a tour, or perhaps a grand entrance for our wedding day.