When talking with non-aviation friends about working in the helicopter industry, I’ve found the reactions have a recurring theme – all helicopters are Jet Rangers, and all helicopters are used to transport wealthy people from one up-market location to another, unless that is, they are bad guys in which case they will inevitably crash in an impressive ball of flame into the nearest cliff. They know this because that is the picture painted in cinema and television.

Training and simulation provider Coptersafety is seeking to correct this impression with its upcoming documentary film, From the Ground Up, about helicopter pilots and the work they do. The Film was created by Isabella Presnal and No-Office Films. Presnal explained the motivation behind the film: “I grew up moving around the world for my father’s career in aviation, and helicopters have been part of my life since I was a baby. I was tired of the false narrative Hollywood movies paint about helicopters. Creating documentaries that educate and evoke emotional responses is my passion, and I knew I needed to make a film about the rotor industry’s most important factor – safety – with the actual lives of helicopter pilots.”

Fair enough, but why did Coptersafety, after all, a training and simulation company, choose to get into filmmaking?  “As training and safety are core of our being, it has been rewarding to be able to produce this documentary about our customers to share the stories of their day-to-day life as a helicopter pilot,” explained Hannu Marjoniemi, Coptersafety’s Commercial Director. “We would hope this film encourages aspiring pilots to seek career opportunities in this unique industry where the safety and wellbeing of pilots, their families, and the rest of the crews and customers are not just essential, but the core of their operations.”

There will be a preview screening of the film in Helsinki on the 10 November, with its industry premiere during HAI-Heli-Expo in February next year.


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