Can your heli-pilot do this?
by Zoe Dickens
There’s nothing like exploring a new destination with a helicopter that can land right back on your superyacht but have you ever considered asking your heli-pilot to do something a little more adventurous?
Chuck Aaron is one of three heli-pilots in the world to hold an aerobatic helicopter license – and some seriously impressive flying skills. To get an idea of his breath-taking stunts imagine the precision of a Red Arrows flying team mixed with the daredevil bravery necessary for Evil Kenevil-style flips and tricks all, of course, in a somewhat unwieldy helicopter.
Aaron flies a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105, more commonly used for police and medical evacuations, and incredibly manages to make chit-chat during live performances. One of his favourite tricks is to ask the MC manning the PA to request a trick, which Aaron will then perform to prove he is speaking in real-time and not recorded. With nine years of helicopter aerobatics and 225 air shows behind him, Aaron is part of the elite Flying Bulls, sponsored by Red Bull Extreme Sports, alongside Siegfried Schwarz and Rainer Wilke. See him in action in the video below:
Of course, Aaron didn’t start out as an elite helicopter pilot. A keen flyer, he has been an aeroplane pilot for over 40 years, has logged more than 20,000 hours of flight time and even purchased a 1978 V35B BeechCraft Bonanza aircraft once owned by U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot Gary Powers. However, if you’re thinking of asking your own heli-pilot to retrain, be warned, this is not for the faint of heart.