The sounds of Christmas at your neighborhood lighting displays might include a distant “wop, wop, wop” mixed in with the gunning of engines from cars lined up and down the street.
Colorado Vertical, the helicopter tourist company based at Colorado Springs Airport, says the holiday lighting season is its busiest time of year.
But Will Sanders, who founded the company in 2006 with his wife, Kristen, promises not to disrupt neighborhoods with his flights.
“We try to be good neighbors,” Sanders said. “We’re not buzzing neighborhoods, that’s for sure.”
“Our helicopter is smaller and newer and not a noisy helicopter,” Sanders said. “And when we’re en route to our sights, we’re going 120 mph.
“So we’re not over any neighborhood very long.”
Those flights require hovering over a specific spot for a few minutes of prayer.
But then the bright blue metal bird is gone.
The rest of the time, Sanders’ helicopter is zipping to the Garden of the Gods, up Ute Pass to various sites on Pikes Peaks, down around Cheyenne Canon, The Broadmoor and other destinations.
In addition, the company does some freelance flying, for example, to take commercial photographers aloft.
Sanders said he also offers specialized mountain flying training for pilots. But he doesn’t have a full-fledge flight school.
I’ve had a few calls and e-mails about Colorado Vertical from people who didn’t know Colorado Springs had a tourist helicopter service. They were confused because they knew the police helicopters have been sold and they don’t live near a hospital with medical flights.