Rotorcraft Update: New York mayor logs more helo stick time

 - May 15, 2008, 9:50 AM

No stranger to the skies, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s piloting skills are part of his well known resume. Along the road to building his billion-dollar business media empire and successfully running for the leadership of the world’s most exciting city, Bloomberg became a licensed aviator for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft (his current favorites for personal flight are said to be an Agusta A109 and Mooney piston single). His experience in matters aeronautical has brought relief to many trying to promote air commerce in and over one of the world’s most popular destinations who have long yearned for a mayor’s office with a better than average aeronautical sensibility. Opponents of helicopter operations over the city were recently chagrined to discover the mayor had spent part of a recent winter afternoon getting checked out on one of the New York Police Department’s Bell 412 helicopters, flying himself through a day’s schedule allegedly in preparation to evaluate the 412 as part of a planned six-helicopter buy. Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s favorable attitude toward rotorcraft would seem to ensure the survival of the controversial sites and an operational status quo in the skies over the city for at least another four years.