Wickenburg-based Flying M Air, a helicopter tour and charter company, is featured in the May 2009 issue of Arizona Highways magazine. The 10-page article, “A Better View,” was written by Keridwen Cornelius and features amazing aerial photography by Adriel Heisey.
Flying M Air has been based at Wickenburg airport since the company started business in 2001, when it began offering helicopter rides and tours in a two-seat Robinson R22 helicopter. In those days, most business was local, for aerial photography and survey work. The little helicopter also appeared at several outdoor events to offer inexpensive, short helicopter rides.
In 2005, the company took delivery of a four-seat Robinson R44 Raven II. Fresh from the Torrance, CA factory, the helicopter was outfitted to Flying M Air’s specifications and includes many features specifically for sightseeing and air charter work, such as “bubble” observation windows, GPS navigation, traffic information system, and voice-activated stereo intercom system. In February 2005, Flying M Air received a FAA Part 135 certificate, which enables the company to provide air taxi and charter services.
Flying M Air began offering multi-day excursions by helicopter in 2007. Its Southwest Circle Helicopter Adventure, which is featured in the Arizona Highways article, is a six-day, five-night trip with overnight stops and tours at Sedona, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, and Flagstaff. The company offers these excursions in the Spring and Autumn months only. Most flights are booked several months in advance.
The vast majority of Flying M Air’s business is in the Phoenix area. The company has relationships with several resorts in Phoenix and Scottsdale which promote the company’s tours and day trips.
Flying M Air also does a lot of aerial photography and aerial survey work for fine art photographers, videographers, engineers, Realtors, and other professionals who need an eye in the sky. The company has provided helicopter services during week-long photo excursions in the Lake Powell, Monument Valley, and Shiprock areas of the southwest. It has also worked at several boat and off-road race events with still and video photographers on board.
This isn’t the first time Flying M Air has been recognized in print. The company was also featured as one of about 15 Robinson helicopter operators worldwide in the Jon Davison coffee table book, Robbie: The Robinson Helicopter Experience. Published in December 2008, this book is available online and in pilot shops across the country.
Flying M Air flies out of Wickenburg from September through May. Summer months are spent on agricultural “cherry drying” contracts in Washington State.
You can learn more about Flying M Air on its Web site, www.FlyingMAir.com. The company does not maintain an office at Wickenburg airport, but can meet prospective clients and passengers there. Call for an appointment or to book a flight: 928/231-0196.