When I started working for John about 5 years ago, I convinced him to let me take over the website and update it. You know, bring it into the current decade. It was looking pretty 1999, and although he is not much for technology (or advertising, for that matter) I made a good case and he agreed that a change was necessary. Shortly after, we got him a computer that had neither a combo 3.5” floppy/zip drive nor a screen that was as fat as it was wide. I encouraged him to transition from a Palm Pilot and old school cell phone to a Smart Phone, and with Duffy’s help we got him all online, up to date, live and in color. He eventually got over the loss of his stylus. Now he has a phone that is smart but still too tough for him to break, he uses an electronic flight log, a wireless hotspot, a touchscreen GPS, and we watch the aircraft’s flight path on the office computer every few minutes with the use of a SPOT tracker. We are SO tech friendly around here these days. So what’s next, you ask? A blog! Of course. J
Zephyr Helicopter does such an interesting variety of business, and we are often asked exactly what is it that we do for work. I decided to start a blog so our customers and others curious about the helicopter business could get a better look at what this amazing aircraft can (and sometimes can’t) do. There are only a handful of Part 135 Helicopter Charter Operators in the State of Colorado, and we each fill a little different niche in our corner of the State. Every day at Zephyr is different. We provide a diverse range of helicopter support services in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and beyond. So I thought I’d provide a recap of some of the more interesting jobs we did over the winter, and now that our season is fully ramping up, give you an ongoing look into the world of Zephyr Helicopter Company from our little airport here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Of course, we do our share of scenic helicopter tours. What better way to see the area than from up there? This is generally for out of town guests who are here on vacation, but from time to time locals also take us up on the service. After all, most people have never seen their town from that point of view.
Other than that, over the winter we helped a couple different local ranchers get eyes on their wandering cattle before the deep of winter set in, flew power line patrols for a local utility provider, did a missing persons search, and took people into property that could not be accessed by vehicle. John has given turbine transition training in our Bell 206L-3 and high altitude helicopter training for experienced pilots. We did some regular-maintenance-type buried gas line surveys for a large gas company. We helped an engineering company survey a buried gas pipeline that was not accessible by road, where we stopped on the pipe in 18 locations along the way for him to get out and get a visual. He did think it was a pretty good day at the office.
We took a technician up to a high altitude radio tower site in Summit County, and took another technician up to a high altitude site in Pitkin County to restore television to many in the area. There was a fair amount of snow up there early in the season. Good thing we have the high skid gear!
We’ve also been doing helicopter transport work for a Government Agency that maintains communications at our local airports. We are particularly fond of this photo, which you probably already saw on the home page.
Our favorite job this winter was flying the GoPro Bomb Squad to parachute into the finish line of the Cowboy Downhill. I know, I know…you are saying, “You did whaaat? With a helicopter?” But really, look at these guys. How could you not take them seriously?
They executed a couple of perfect jumps, and the crowd absolutely loved it. The Cowboy Downhill was a huge success, probably the best ever with the addition of the new attraction. The GoPro Bomb Squad were outright professionals and they did what they do best: making a scene. We also did what we do best: completing a job safely and efficiently, no matter the mission.
Our winter seasonal helicopter work would not be complete without a mention of the Steamboat Christian Center Easter Egg Drop. This year was a little tougher with the venue change. They usually host it at the Meadows Parking Lot at the Steamboat Ski Area but Easter fell too early on the calendar for that to happen, as the lot was still in use for skiers, so they had to do it at the Middle School instead. There were more eggs than usual which it made it challenging for us to get them all out in such a short space. Once the peewees go running, we get the heck outta there and no more eggs are dropped. Sorry kiddos! We’ll get you more loot next year. Promise.
But when it goes right, it really goes off! Check out the scramble on these little Easter Egg Hunters from last year.
For the record...they chose the music. Works for us!
Well, that’s it for the recap. I’ll do my best to keep up on blog postings throughout spring, summer, and fall. As always, if you have questions or need to book us for any upcoming helicopter work, give me a call at the office 970.879.0494 or send an email through the website here. Until next time…blue skies.