by Frank Chrupcala
For 15 years, Bird's Eye Views private helicopter tours of coastal Rhode Island have provided passengers with truly unique perspectives of the Ocean State.
Those fortunate enough to soar over miles of the most beautiful coastline in the country with pilot Jeff Codman enjoy panoramic views of historic towns and cities, pristine land, massive mansions, landmark lighthouses and, of course, the beautiful waters that make a summer in Rhode Island unlike any other time or place in the world.
With just under 8,000 flight hours under his belt – including a recent cross-country, 35-hour trek flying his new state-of- the-art helicopter home from California – Codman offers a safe and smooth yet thrilling ride high above the Ocean State.
Codman flies a viper red Robinson R44 Raven, a helicopter with unmatched reliability, speed and exceptional visibility from all seats. He flies out of Newport State Airport.
Even on windy days, the flight is incredibly smooth – much smoother than a small airplane, for example. The helicopter's rotor blades act like a gyroscope, stabilizing the aircraft and smoothing out any turbulence. Along the way, t he personable pilot is both informative and entertaining as he shows his passengers Rhode Island like they have never seen it before.
“This is a great opportunity for both locals and tourists,” Codman said. “It's a chance to see many parts of the state you would never normally see – parts of the state you never knew existed!”
Codman shared that his favorite part of Rhode Island is Beavertail State Park on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay. From the green fields to the waves crashing on rocky bluffs near Beavertail Lighthouse, the area offers an unparalleled microcosm of the Ocean State.
Codman was 8 when he first flew in a helicopter with his father at the Big E in Springfield, Mass. By the age of 14, he was flying regularly with his dad, quickly developing what would become a lifelong love of flight.
The young pilot received his private airplane license at age 17 and took his first helicopter lesson in 1987. He earned his commercial helicopter license in 1988 and later launched a successful aerial photography business.
To book a private tour of scenic coastal Rhode Island, call Bird's Eye View at 401-843- 8687. Tours start at $75 per person – prices vary based on the route selected. During the busy summer months, advance reservations are recommended.
Newport State Airport can be accessed, fittingly, by taking Airport Access Road off Forest Avenue in Middletown. For more information, visit BirdsEyeViewHelicopters.com or like Bird's Eye View Helicopters on Facebook.