Jeff Codman – Pilot / Owner
I took my first helicopter flight with my father at the age of 8 at the BIG E Fair, Springfield MA in a Bell – 47 (The “MASH” helicopter). I began flying regularly at the age of 14, with my Dad, and developed a tremendous love of flight. I received my private airplane license at age 17. My first helicopter lesson was in 1987. I immediately became obsessed with helicopter flight and all the exciting aspects of it; the unlimited freedoms of movement, exceptional visibility, slow and low flight all were intoxicating to me. I earned my commercial helicopter license in 1988 and began to develop my aerial photography business photographing real estate, construction progress, and boats. In 1994 I earned my Flight Instructors license and began teaching 3 to 4 students a year with a leased Robinson R-22 Helicopter. My favorite photo mission is capturing boats and regattas. The key to photographing a sail boat race is to get as close as possible so that you can get the right angle but to stay far enough away so as not to disturb the air going into the sails. Most of the time on these shoots we are flying only 100 feet over the water.
Our helicopter of choice is a Robinson R-44 Raven I. Its unmatched reliability, speed, and exceptional visibility from all seats made purchasing the R-44 the clear choice. We have added several options to ensure the highest level of safety. The aircraft has a bright viper red paint scheme for exceptional visibility to other aircraft. A bright pulsating LED landing light system was also added. We use Traffic Information System (TIS) equipment, a system that displays air traffic on a moving GPS map to the pilot, just like an air traffic control radar display. The helicopter is also equipped with pop-out emergency floats for over water flights. These floats can be activated in the unlikely event of an emergency water landing. They are designed to keep helicopter upright and the occupants safe.
In 2000, Codman bought an existing helicopter business based in Westport, MA with several contracts including “Deer Count” flights and many helicopter ride venues, air shows, festivals and fairs. Over the next several years we have continued to grow Newport helicopter tours showing both tourist and locals alike, the beautiful shorelines, the mansions of Newport and much more. The other core part of our business is aerial photography. In addition to doing our own photography, we regularly fly other professionals and amateurs alike, covering everything from Breaking News to boat races and real estate activity. In December of 2014, we purchased a brand new Robinson R 44 – 4 place helicopter, which is what we use today. We are currently in our 15th season doing our scenic tours and have over 25 years specializing in aerial photography.