Multi-operations company uses Bell helicopters, sUAS services to provide utilities patrols, external-load support, aerial cinematography, and more.
Established in 1960, Maine Helicopters markets itself as one of the oldest continually operating helicopter companies in the United States. The FAA Parts 91, 133, 135, and 137 operator primarily performs utilities patrols, aerial photography, surveys, external-load operations (including US Department of Transportation authority to carry hazardous materials), charter flights, and aerial application operations.
The company, whose base is a private FAA-designated heliport (ME59) in North Whitefield, Maine, less than 10 miles from Augusta State Airport (KAUG), operates out of approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of office, hangar, and storage space in addition to the heliport. The operator maintains a fleet of six Bell helicopters: three 47G aircraft, one OH-58A+, and two Bell 206B JetRangers.
Beyond Helicopter Operations
In addition to its helicopter operations, Maine Helicopters offers a variety of small uncrewed aerial system (sUAS) services, allowing the company to support jobs traditional aircraft can’t. Its sUAS services include aerial mapping and surveying, aerial cinematography, and utility applications such as power-line, bridge, and wind-turbine inspections, all performed by FAA-certificated Part 107 pilots.
The operator also provides parts, inspections, and maintenance for Bell helicopters and Rolls-Royce M250 engines and keeps a large stock inventory to maintain both its own operational readiness and that of its customers.
When Maine Helicopters began, in 1960, it operated a Bell 47. By the 1970s, the company had expanded into aerial application work for Maine’s agricultural and forest products industries. In the 1980s, the operator grew yet again, this time to provide external-load and construction placement services.
As business grew, the company was able to move from Augusta State Airport to its current facility at ME59. During this period, the company added its first turbine helicopter, a Bell 206 JetRanger, which increased Maine Helicopter’s lift capabilities and enabled it to add charter operations and bring passengers on surveys.
Maine Helicopters continues to grow today. The company has been expanding its external-load services over the past couple of years, picking up several new customers that maintain various hiking trails in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.