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Tue, Dec. 10

Havasu Helicopters gives Mohave County visitors a bird’s-eye view

Havasu Helicopters owner and operator Michael Cuylber flies over Lake Havasu City on Friday, Nov. 1. (Photo by Michael Zogg/Today’s News-Herald)

Havasu Helicopters owner and operator Michael Cuylber flies over Lake Havasu City on Friday, Nov. 1. (Photo by Michael Zogg/Today’s News-Herald)

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Havasu Helicopters owner and operator Michael Culver and manager Janielle Sedoris show off the helicopter at the Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport on Friday, Nov. 1. (Photo by Michael Zogg/Today’s News-Herald)

LAKE HAVASU CITY – Lake Havasu has long been explored by land and by sea, but visitors and citizens now have a chance to check it out from the air.

Havasu Helicopters officially opened for business on Friday at the Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport. Owner/Operator Michael Culver said the main focus of the business will be aerial tours around the lake, but it will also be available for almost any type of service a helicopter can provide. Culver said he has previously worked with photographers and videographers, he has the equipment to operate at a low level over water, and Havasu Helicopters are also available for special events, private functions, charter flights, air lifts to and/or from remote locations and more.

He said they are already planning on spending their weekends at The Desert Bar near Parker, where they will provide short flights to and from the Colorado River.

“I’m curious to see what needs we are going to meet,” said Havasu Helicopters Manager Janielle Sedoris. “I’m sure something is going to come up that we have never done before. We are coming to a new area that might have different demands.”

Culver said he lived in Glendale from 2006 to 2010 while he did his flight training, and is excited to be back in the state.

“It has been a while since I have been back. I’ve missed the desert,” Culver said. “It is one of those places that I think about when I am not here a lot. So it is nice to be back in a place that I am pretty familiar with, and have good memories of.”

For the last seven years Culver has been flying helicopters in Alaska and four years ago he opened Marathon Helicopters in Seward, Alaska. Culver said business is going strong up in Seward but Marathon Helicopters only operates from May through September, taking the Alaskan winters off. The plan is for Havasu Helicopters to run from November through April giving Culver a place to fly nearly year round.

Last April Sedoris, who grew up in Lake Havasu City, convinced Culver to come south to check out the area for a possible winter operation.

“When I came down here last winter I thought, ‘Wow, this place is awesome,’” Culver said. “There are beautiful mountains around here and we have beautiful mountains up north, so that is one of the things that is similar, in a way.”

Sedonis said she believes that helicopter tours are a niche that Lake Havasu City hasn’t even realized yet that it needs – yet.

“Since there is no other company like this, we kind of had to do our own market research to determine what it was going to be like when we did come down,” she said. “We talked to the mechanics and we did online research where we found out that the hot air balloon tour and Hang Over Havasu are really the only air tours around.”

Since the business will be offering a new service to the area, Culver said he expects business to start off slow.

He hopes that as word spreads the business takes off, similar to the arc that Marathon Helicopters took in Alaska.

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