Special Report: Flying High Part 1
Inside Lake Superior Helicopters
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The aviation industry in the Twin Ports is growing and growing fast.
Lake Superior Helicopters is expanding and has even developed a program with Lake Superior College to train students to get their pilots license in two years.
“Aviation is cool, it’s exciting,” said Eric Monson, President of Lake Superior Helicopters.
Some might even say a dream job.
“It’s pretty cool to say that this is my office,” said Andrew Striker, Flight Instructor for Lake Superior Helicopters.
With the sky as his office building, Andrew Striker helps students make their dreams come true.
Striker works with Lake Superior College Students one-on-one with ground instruction, but that’s not the fun stuff students are eager for.
“Everyone loves the aircraft and they love to be out and on the controls doing different inputs,” said Striker.
After getting a career in helicopters off the ground, you could be at those controls everyday.
“Essentially whatever a helicopter can do you could have that job,” said Striker.
Most pilots start off with flight instruction and crop dusting, but quickly move up to air medical, fighting forest fires, news gathering and much more.
It’s a job that takes many all over the United States.
“I get a little jealous sometimes that I’m still sitting here doing this type of operation,” said Monson.
Lake Superior Helicopters was started in 2009 by a group of guys who just love to fly.
“We wanted to have a place in Duluth where we could essentially share our passion with other individuals,” explained Monson.
They share that passion in a couple ways through flight instruction and tours around Duluth.
“Everyday I get to go out and experience Duluth in a way that not very many people get to,” said Striker.
Monson tells us the industry is growing and isn’t slowing down.
“This time last year we had 3 or 4 employees, right now we have 11 employees and we’re looking to hire another 2,” continued Monson.
Monson says there’s just one simple explanation for why that growth is happening, “I think it’s because aviation is awesome.”
It’s that excitement keeping these pilots high in the sky.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of it. That it’s not really, you’re not really working, you’re just having fun,” said Monson.
If you’re interested in pilot training, Lake Superior Helicopters offers instruction for commercial and pilot licenses.
They also give tours around the Northland.
For information on both, head to the Lake Superior Helicopters website.