G’Day, This Is Your Captain Speaking
Helicopter flights are insanely fun – and, especially for novices, a little bit terrifying. After all, you are getting into a comparatively small aircraft to brave the elements and the manoeuvrability of a chopper means there is potential for nail-biting moments.
When you charter a helicopter for a joy flight or a day trip, your rapport with the pilot is key to making your flying experience the best it can be.
So, to put you at ease for your impeding Pterodactyl Helicopters excursion, we thought you might like to get to know our pilot extraordinaire in advance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Mick White.
Pilot Mick has kindly taken some time out from his crazy schedule of cruising above Sydney Harbour with his delighted passengers, to answer a couple of questions about his love of flying, the joy of helicoptering and his experiences as Pterodactyl Helicopters’ commander in chief.
So, Mick, how long have you been flying?
I have been flying since November 2008. My wife got me a TIF (Trial Introductory Flight) voucher for my birthday. Admittedly, it was for my birthday in 2007 – I nearly let it expire, but then I decided I’d better have a go. To my own surprise, I was hooked instantly.
Was that the motivation to start up Pterodactyl Helicopters Sydney?
It was. Once you find something you truly enjoy, the more you can do it the better. Being a commercial operator means I get to fly most days – so my passion has literally become my living, which is wonderful.
What is the best part of being a helicopter pilot?
As a person who works in the Sydney Basin, which is notorious for its infuriating traffic, one of the big perks is definitely that there are no traffic jams. Plus, of course, you experience a definite sense of freedom every time you fly.
Do you have a favourite route?
The route we take for our 60 minutes Sydney Harbour Scenic Flight has to be the one. Even though I’ve done it countless times, it never gets old. There’s a special magic about the harbour and the stretch of coast from Manly up to Long Reef.
What is the best time of day to cruise above Sydney?
Admittedly, I’m an early bird by nature, but the harbour early in the morning is amazing…it’s worth it even if you’re normally one to sleep in.
What is the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you in the air?
I was flying a Bell 47 from Mackay in North Queensland down to Sydney and left Mackay punching into a 30 knot southerly – which is pretty full-on. Normally, the Bell 47 has a cruise speed of about 60 knots, but when I looked down at the freeway below me, there were trucks going faster than me. That’s something you don’t experience very often as a pilot.
What would be your ideal aviation location?
I’ve always really enjoyed the aerial photography and filming side of the job, because you get around and meet some interesting people.
The dream would be to work filming in the Australian Outback, which is visually mind-blowing from above; ideally flying a fancy twin turbine Bell 429 for an employer with unlimited budget and no deadline. That would be incredible.
Have you go any grand plans for Pterodactyl Helicopters in the near future?
We will be introducing more flight options in 2019, which is very exciting. We’ve already put together a lunch and wine tour package to Bendooley Estate in the Southern Highlands – an excellent day out if you love aviation and fine food – and we are currently scouting wineries in the Hunter Valley to add to our menu, so to speak.
Thank you, Mick!
So, with this experienced and charming gentlemen to ferry you safely through the sky, you can lean back, relax and enjoy your helicopter experience.
If you would like to hang out with Mick above Sydney Harbour soon, contact Pterodactyl Helicopters and ask us about our next available joy flight.