HeliFlite’s service—made famous by ‘Succession’—means short travel will never be the same.
By Simon Murray
The beauty of living in the tri-state region is also its curse. Ask the lifers, or the middle management warriors shaken violently by a grating alarm who commute bleary eyed by rail or auto into a Midtown Manhattan office building every morning. Caffeine and cholesterol, acetaminophen and stress, we kill ourselves by degrees for access to the greatest city on the planet. No one’s impervious to the feeling. Even city dwellers can speak to the pain, packing the family into a car to escape dripping New York City summers for East Hampton or a bustling beach along the Jersey Shore.
At one point or another, we’ve all been in bumper-to-bumper traffic, tilting our head back abject and defeated to gaze at the sky and think there must be a better way. Sometimes, if you look to the sky for supplication, the clouds will roll back to reveal an answer. And sometimes that answer is a 14,000-pound blacked-out chopper made famous by the worst family in TV history.
Every time the media titan Logan Roy and his squabbling brood of nepo-babies on the epically great show Succession needed to be somewhere fast, they piled into a twin engine, dual-piloted, executive cabin helicopter operated by HeliFlite. Which means you’re looking at one of the most expensive extras money can rent.
As you might expect, a who’s who of celebrities, A-listers, C-suite executives and royalty also use these blisteringly fast helicopters, but I’m not at liberty to reveal their names thanks to the company’s airtight discretionary services. HeliFlite operates the largest selection of twin engine, dual pilot helicopters on the East Coast that fly exclusively within a 250-mile radius of NYC, which includes private luxury service to the Hudson Valley, Nantucket, the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons. And airstrips litter the area, so even if you don’t have one on your estate, you won’t have to look far for your traffic cheat code.
“In the Hudson Valley, with its rugged terrain and diverse destinations, our helicopters, pilots and team hold the key to unlocking the region’s beauty and opportunities to travel seamlessly,” Kurt Carlson, CEO of HeliFlite tells me. “Whether you use our service for business or pleasure, we aim to provide an unforgettable and safe and secure experience.”
If you’re like me, the thought of commuting via helicopter isn’t even in the stratosphere of possibilities. In fact, I always imagined that taking a private helicopter was reserved exclusively for actors like Brian Cox or a lucky tow-headed husband-seeker spouting romantic clichés on The Bachelor. But whether it’s an extra special date for a significant other or fun-packed family outing, HeliFlite might just be in the realm of the possible. That’s all thanks to models such as the AW139 that can accommodate at least nine people, and the company adding services to New York City’s unofficial sixth borough, Miami, with easy trips to the Bahamas.
Those thoughts were echoed by an anonymous HeliFlite client who regularly uses the service to travel from his home near Hillsdale to Gotham. “The ease of traveling from the city for work and avoiding traffic has afforded me so much more family time. We’ve also flown with the kids and been able to explore the area and enjoy the amazing views—especially in autumn.”
Brian Cox doesn’t get to have all the fun.