orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Our Community

September 14, 2013

A new way to joy ride

ORANGEFIELD — Heads were turning as two helicopters landed in a small field located between K-Dan’s Grocery Store, 9604 Hwy. 105 in Orangefield and the Bridge City Orangefield Volunteer Fire Department Station on Thursday.

Steve Taylor, owner of Red Bird Supply INC. in Orange, and Al Judice, owner of Judice's French Market & Deli located at 3005 7th Street in Port Arthur, spend each Thursday and Sunday flying their helicopters.

They both referred to their flights as ‘playing’.

“We usually go to restaurants to eat lunch,” Taylor said.

Taylor has been flying helicopters for approximately a year now while Judice has been flying one for about five years.

“These are way more fun than an expensive sports car,” Judice said.

Both agreed flying made them feel young again.

The flight plan for Thursday was to enjoy lunch at Larry’s French Market.

Neches Helicopter Training representative Curtis Spears said that one must have a minimum of 40 hours of training, nationwide 55 hours.

“One still has to pass the test from the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration],” Spears said. “That would be for a private pilot, not for hire.”

Spears also said one must show proof of citizenship and pass a medical evaluation prior to taking the test.

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