Metro helicopter school taking students to new heights

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new helicopter school in the metro opened Friday.

With propellers spinning at Heartland Helicopters, the new school is taking off at the Clay County Airport.

Owner and CEO Tommy Files said they just achieved a 141 rating. Which basically means they offer a higher level of education.

“And not everybody can do it. You have to pass the medical and be able to physically do it,” Files said. “We’re the only 141 helicopters program in the state of Missouri. Right here in Clay County.”

Files said people form around the world will flock here to get that level of training.

“They’re actually working to a higher level of education to where they can put that to work,” Files said. “And it benefits their family. It brings in income and it allows them job opportunities down the road.”

Cory Harris wants to make the move to Kauai, where he hopes to fly for one the of the tour companies there.

“Just looking for a transition in my life and wanted a job that pretty much go anywhere you want and be able to work,” Harris said.

Once they’ve passed the tests in the classroom, they take what they’ve learned to sky. 1,000 feet in the air.

Tanner Barnhill is going through the program.

“The helicopter`s a lot of fun,” Barnhill said. “Very different from the fixed wing side of aviation. Seems to be a lot more challenging.”

FOX4 asked Barnhill after his third solo flight, asking what he was thinking while up in the air solo.

“That I hope I get back down safely,” he said.

Files compares flying to a magic carpet ride.

It’s just kind of a cool experience to just rise above, just kind of get away from all the traffic and and all the congestion. And you’re just closer to God. You’re up here by yourself and it`s kind of cool.”

Files said his students have gone on to fly fighter jets in the military, airliners across the continent and even just planes at their local airports.

If you’d like to sign up for their zero to hero course CLICK HERE.



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