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NYC Helicopter Charters: The Turtle vs. The Eagle

Summer time is fun at the beach time. Nothing is more relaxing than sun bathing surf-side. Getting there is an altogether different story. If you’re traveling from Manhattan, whether you’re headed to the sophistication of the dunes of Long Island or the warmth of the sandy beaches of the Jersey shore, you’d lose the race to a turtle. Unless, of course, you were an Eagle.

Although you probably can’t grow wings, you definitely can charter a helicopter which will have the same effect, minus the feathers. Helicopter charters are safe and convenient and with three heliports in Manhattan and dozens throughout the shore areas, they are a great way to spend more time on the beach and less time on the road.

There are several different types of helicopters to choose from, all of which will serve you well. The difference is in rate, airspeed and size. The most basic model is a Bell Jet Ranger, capable of carrying a pilot plus three passengers at a speed of around 100 mph. It’s like the sports car of helicopters, small and zippy. A trip from the West 30th Street heliport in Manhattan to Belmar, NJ would cost around $2,000 and would take under 45 minutes.

The next step up is an A-Star. If a Jet Ranger is like a sports car, an A Star is like a Mercedes sedan, comfortable and reliable. Look down on traffic or enjoy the breath-taking views from high above while the pilot carries up to five passengers to any destination at speeds of around 120 mph. A flight from the East 34th Street Heliport to The Hamptons will take under 45 minutes and would cost around $3,000.

If the Rolls Royce of helicopters is what you seek, a Sikorsky SK-76 is the ride for you. By far the most luxurious helicopter, a Sikorsky provides true cabin class comfort for six to eight passengers. Flying at speeds approaching 180 mph, the super-quiet cabin provides complete climate control, twin jet engines and a two-pilot crew. A Sikorsky will get you to where you want to go faster and in greater comfort but that speed and comfort comes at a price. A flight from Wall Street Heliport to Atlantic City will only take about an hour but it will run you around $4,000.

So be an Eagle and leave all the turtles behind.

Jeffrey Menaged is the President and CEO of Chief Executive Air, a private aviation company specializing in aircraft charters, jet card programs, fractional ownership programs, aircraft sales and acquisitions and aircraft management. Please visit them on the web at or email Jeffrey at