Business is buzzing for chopper squad

The beach helicopter team from Fly Blackpool.

The beach helicopter team from Fly Blackpool.

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A Blackpool business saw its latest venture take-off as sunshine brought thousands of holidaymakers to the beach on the bank holiday.

Fly Blackpool has got permission to host helicopter pleasure flights from the beach near The Sandcastle.

The chopper, a four seater Robinson 44, takes passengers on a spin around Blackpool Tower for £35 each offering superb views of the coast and Golden Mile.

The new venture is quite a risk for the company which offers the full range of aviation and training services from Blackpool Airport.

Paul Wane, who works in air operations, said: “We had this licence from the council last summer but the weather was so poor we didn’t put the flights on.

“Aviation fuel is obviously expensive and a helicopter like this can get through 60 litres and hour so we need the tides and weather on our side.

“We are all fully trained with Blackpool Airport’s fire service for ground operations and we have strict safety precautions in place. We are governed by the tides and as soon as its on its way out we are in our waders and wellies and putting out the safety barriers ready for the customers.

“Demand has been phenomenal on. Over the Bank Holiday we managed to carry out over 40 flights and nearly flew enough passengers to fill a Boeing 737.

“We were flying until 7.30pm and at one point we had to turn people away because the tide was coming in.

“It was a great success was a great success for Fly Blackpool and Robert Murgatroyd the company’s CEO.

“Everyone worked hard with a constant stream of people wanting go sight seeing in a Helicopter and a number of people opted to have proper trial lessons in our other R22 training Helicopter.”

He added that the company was busy with pleasure flights from its base at the airport including flights to the Lake District where they can stop off for a spot of lunch at a hotel.

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