Wed, Jan 09, 2008
Brantlys Over The Bay... Has A Nice Ring To It...
Citing a looming shortage of
well-trained professional helicopter pilots, two Tampa, FL-area
businessmen recently announced the opening of SunHelo Aviation, and
commenced training operations from Albert Whitted Airport in
downtown St. Petersburg, FL.
Mark Ebenhoch and Paul Buckley, both of PaulMark Inc., launched
the company, which will fly Brantly helicopters.
"According to industry sources, 25 percent of professional
helicopter pilots will be retiring in the next few years," said
Buckley. "These are mostly Vietnam veteran pilots. As a result, job
availability and salaries have been climbing steeply for three or
four years now. It's a great time to consider a career as a
SunHelo Aviation presently offers training toward the private,
commercial and instructor licenses. Buckley says the company will
add instrument ratings and Airline Transport License to its
The company also offers Brantly helicopter sales and service,
and is negotiating with the factory in order to sell and service
"We chose the Brantly B2B helicopter partly because of its low
acquisition and operating costs compared to other helicopters in
its class but also because of its superior safety record and
certain unique features that make it an excellent trainer as well
as an attractive personal helicopter," according to Ebenhoch. "The
Brantly has a unique double-articulated main rotor system that
provides a smoother ride with virtually no 'shudder' when
accelerating from a hover through translational lift. Its
oleo-strut equipped skids smooth out clumsy landings and virtually
eliminates the danger of 'ground resonance'."
SunHelo Aviation has plans to apply for FAA certification of its
flight school soon in order to make it available to veterans and
foreign students. A turbine helicopter operation based in Puerto
Rico is also under consideration.
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