Company’s helicopter tugs are designed for ease of use, maneuverability.

Rosemount, Minnesota–based Chopper Spotter manufactures and sells a range of helicopter tugs designed to suit a variety of users, from private owners with a single, light helicopter to organizations with a fleet of heavy aircraft. Since 1989, the company has sold its products in more than 40 countries to customers including hospitals, police departments, military organizations, commercial operators, and private owners.

Tug Models and Features
Chopper Spotter offers three main models of tugs:

  • Model E, which lifts up to 4,500 lb.
  • Model MS, which lifts up to 9,000 lb.
  • Model 4, the heavy lifter, capable of lifting up to 11,900 lb.

Designed for ease of use, the patented tugs attach to the helicopter from the rear, securing to the ground-handling wheel-attachment points on the skids. With a wireless handheld controller that permits both forward and backward motion, the operator holds the tail of the helicopter while activating the tug to raise the aircraft. The tug pivots, allowing the operator to steer the aircraft by moving the aircraft’s tail. When the helicopter is in place, the operator pushes down on the controller to detach and remove the tug.

The tugs are engineered for ease of aircraft ground movement in rain, snow, and ice in addition to clear weather. They operate only on pavement, hard-packed gravel, and other hard surfaces, however, and are not designed for use on grass or loose gravel.

An auxiliary power unit is available on all models, and the tugs feature up to 8 hours of battery life during continuous use. Each tug allows for pivoting up to 360 degrees to maneuver in tight spaces, and each provides enough torque to ascend ramps and the braking capability to descend ramps safely. The products’ small footprint allows them to be stored directly under the aircraft.

Customer Services
In addition to providing full customer services, from helping customers identify the ideal product for their needs to supporting the tugs in the field, Chopper Spotter can modify its tugs to meet users’ individual specifications. The company also manufactures and supplies replacement parts for, and provides a one-year warranty on, all its tugs.

Author

  • Jen Boyer

    Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.