All Posts by Holley Gardel unless otherwise noted

Shot of the day

Wish I had more photos to share with you from our day with the GoPro Bomb Squad, but here is a good one! Photo Credit: GoPro Bomb Squad
Wish I had more photos to share with you from our day with the GoPro Bomb Squad, but here is a good one! Photo Credit: GoPro Bomb Squad

Gotta Keep the Lights on

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A Bird's EYE View

aerial land survey, helicopter real estate viewing, colorado aerial photography, video
Have fuel will travel.
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Here comes the sun!

Finally! We had a week of glorious sunshine followed by, well...more rain. But hey, we got A TON of work done in that one sun-filled week and got caught up on most of the jobs that were pending fair weather. We were able to get technicians up to several high altitude sites to do long awaited repairs. Some of them took just a couple of hours, and some of them took the whole day. But the end result was that all equipment is now in good working order, and all the technicians were safely transported to and from their field sites. It's always interesting to see how different the sites are during different times of year. They all have their challenges -- in the winter you might have weather to schedule around, snowpack or blowing snow to deal with in the LZ, and limited places to land; in the summer you'll have warmer temperatures, higher humidity, and afternoon thunderstorms to have to navigate around. Spring and fall? Who knows what you'll get around here, it could be all of the above. I have flown as a crew member with a lot of helicopter pilots, and I have to say that it is always impressive to watch John Witte perform his job. He is absolutely one of the best, and if you are looking for a pilot in the Mountainous Western Region, he is the one you want to fly your job. (Don't tell him I've just publicly complimented him...pretty sure he doesn't keep up on my blog and I don't want it to go to his head. Ha!) 

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Rain, rain, go away...

Matt Helm finds the beauty after the storm
Matt Helm finds the beauty after the storm
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Power line Patrols

Annual power line patrols in Routt and Moffat counties.
Annual power line patrols in Routt and Moffat counties.
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A Day in the Life

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.

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