You’ve never gone on a sightseeing tour of Boston quite like this.
Maybe you’ve taken a trolley ride, dabbled in a Duck Tour or strolled along the Freedom Trail.
“We’re specializing in doors-off photo flights where customers are harnessed in and everyone with an iPhone can get amazing shots of the city.”
That’s cute. But Jeff Hubbard is bringing something a bit more intense to the table with his company, Tuckamore Aviation. After more than a year of hurdling FAA regulations and a couple extra months convincing the Norwood airport council he meant business, Tuckamore is ready to take flight with its unique offering: high performance, doors-off helicopter tours of Boston.
Other helicopter tour companies have been flitting across the skyline for years, but Hubbard and his business partner Monica are targeting a different demographic.
“Doors-off is not uncommon in helicopters but keeping the doors on is the preferred method of flying tours even in warm locations such as the Grand Canyon and Hawaii,” Hubbard told me. “We are marketing towards the more adventurous type who prefer the open-air feeling of floating – you truly get that feeling in a hovering helicopter – and crave personalized photos they can post to social media.”
This new offering, branded “Hover Boston” (video below), is officially open to the public, and Hubbard is banking on the adrenaline-packed nature of the ride to spark interest and separate his company from others in his airspace.
“The level of comfort is higher with the doors-on due to lower noise levels, consistent temperature and the overall feeling of safety,” he said. “We’re specializing in doors-off photo flights where customers are harnessed in and everyone with an iPhone can get amazing shots of the city. This experience along with using a larger six-seat, high performance helicopter are how we are separating ourselves from other operators.”
The duo has been working on the business since 2013. “Hover Boston” prices begin at $229 per person for a 30-minute tour of the city. The company’s first Airbus AS-350B3 arrived this fall. It’s a six-seater, high performance aircraft Hubbard said is used in professional movie shoots, as well. For these tours, he’ll limit the passengers to four to ensure enough space to enjoy the ride – or snap a hundred Instagram shots.
“We are specifically equipped for doors-off photo missions by taking extra safety measures to make sure all persons are safely harnessed in and camera equipment remains attached to the customer,” he said. “This allows for increased safety and flexibility while in varied shooting positions inside the open cockpit design of our helicopter.”
Imagine hovering above Fenway Park or the Boston Common, blades whirring overhead, snapping photos of a place you’ve been countless times, but never quite seen like this.
“We are also separating ourselves from the competition by offering winter flights in support of those who want to see the snow-covered city outlined in holiday lights,” Hubbard added. “Customers are free to pick their own onsie ski suit to keep warm.”