New York City Helicopter Pilot on the Job, A Career to Love
NEW YORK, NY – Captain Andrew Woods at Manhattan Helicopters is one of the most highly reviewed and requested tour pilots in New York City. Check any tourism review site, Trip Advisor, Viator, or the like, and you are bound to see his name next to multiple stars. Mashable producer Evan Engel recently interviewed Woods at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport to find out why.
With a cheery attitude and an Irish accent, Captain Woods spoke of and demonstrated a day in the life of a New York City helicopter tour pilot. He took Engel up with a front-seat HD camera view, to take in all Manhattan’s skyline has to offer. “Are you ready for the best view of your life? There are two Americas. There’s the rest of the United States, and there’s New York City,” he explained. “Everything can and does take place in New York on a daily basis. You just need to be up and ready and fast to catch it.”
Averaging over 1,000 passengers a day through the front doors, Woods expressed that the heliport is often busy. “It’s a very, very busy place. Right now you can see behind me the Downtown Manhattan Heliport is having one of its busiest days of the year. We’re flying people from all over the world today, and right behind me you’re seeing about 16 helicopters operating in and out of the heliport which takes some coordination,” Woods said.
He took Engel on a helicopter tour of Manhattan, flying by Lady Liberty first. “Let’s start with Lady Liberty herself which is the symbol of America. It’s the symbol of hope. It’s the symbol of freedom,” Woods said while turning around the statue.
“I turn north after visiting the Lady, and I get the new World Trade Center,” Woods exclaimed while the Freedom Tower passed on his right.
He joked with Engel, “I’m lucky. I got to do in life what I set out to do. To fly past the Empire State Building or the new World Trade Center- that gets me every time. So I should actually be paying for the tour as well, but I don’t.”
Woods also talked about the importance of his interaction with air traffic controllers. “We get to deal with the controllers out of Newark and also out of LaGuardia, and their situational awareness is absolutely incredible. They know what I am going to do before I get to do it, which at the start is maybe a little bit scary, but then we just have fun because it’s like they’re reading my mind. When I make the call, they almost know always what I’m going to say or ask for. They’re on the ground, I’m in the sky, and together we keep the whole lot safe,” he clarified.
Captain Andrew summed up the flight and interview by telling Engel, “to fly in what is the world’s busiest airspace actually is an adrenaline rush. I get to do what I like to do, have fun doing it, and I share the enthusiasm with people who are seeing the New York skyline for the very first time.”
To tour with Captain Woods and Manhattan Helicopters, please call (888) 690-8513 or visit http://www.manhattanhelicopters.com. Engel posted the full interview here: http://mashable.com/2014/05/13/new-york-helicopter-pilot/