A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
Central Copters is one of Montana’s original helicopter companies. The business, located at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN), began in 1963 with a single Bell 47G-3B-1, one of the first helicopters used in aerial firefighting. Since its humble start, the company has expanded to operate a busy fleet of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty turbine-powered helicopters throughout the state, including the Airbus AS350 B3e, Bell 214B-1, Kaman K-Max, and Robinson R66.
Charter and External-Load Services
Central Copters holds both Part 135 charter and Part 133 external-load certificates to perform operations including private charters, construction work, scenic tours, and aerial surveys, in addition to aerial firefighting. Proud of its deep Montana roots and dedication to supporting the state’s natural resources, wildlife, and recreational industries, the company has partnered with the Gallatin County Search and Rescue team for many years to support its lifesaving efforts.
Central Copters has been instrumental in helping meet the region’s many construction needs, from lifting HVAC units to urban rooftops to supporting construction and equipment-relocation jobs at remote towers and ski lifts to assisting with oil-and-gas exploration and extraction. The operator also supports several state and federal agencies and private landowners in surveying animal populations, natural resources, and real estate; patrolling power lines; and performing aerial photography.
Firefighting and Backcountry Operations
Central Copters has close to six decades of wildland firefighting experience, and its pilots, mechanics, aircraft, and fuel-service vehicles are carded or inspected annually by the US Forest Service and the US Department of the Interior.
Central Copters also holds a special recreation permit, allowing the company to help enthusiasts access landlocked Bureau of Land Management areas for hunting, fishing, and other backcountry recreational opportunities. The Central Copters team, intimately familiar with the local terrain, helps customers design and plan their backcountry adventures in addition to providing helicopter travel.