Despite overcast conditions, people of all ages who have always wanted to experience a helicopter ride were able to do so over the weekend as part of Bon Soo Winter Carnival activities.
Pilots Niels Bugge and Jeffrey Mark took children and parents aboard a Taiga Air Services Bell 206 longranger helicopter for an airborne look at the river and familiar Sault landmarks on shore, taking off and landing near The Machine Shop.
The Bell 206 long range helicopter can accommodate six passengers (five in the back, one in the front beside the pilot).
Taiga Air Services has offices in Sudbury and Winnipeg.
“I got my helicopter pilot licence 16 years ago and this is the second time I’ve done helicopter rides at Bon Soo,” said Jeffrey Mark, a Sault native and Taiga’s chief helicopter pilot.
“Being a helicopter pilot is so versatile (as compared to flying a plane). You can land on a beach, a road, on top of a building, wherever you want,” Mark said, adding one of Taiga Air Services main areas of focus is firefighting duties.
“This is the first time here for Taiga,” Mark said, the weekend marking the first time helicopter rides have been included as a Bon Soo activity in several years.
Rides were $60 plus tax, with a portion of the fee going to Pauline’s Place, and ran from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Mark adding the company may stay for an extra day of public flights Monday.