I have a horrible conflict; my sons are graduating on the same day at about the same time in different states. One in East Greenbush NY the other in Beverly MA.

I am interested in hiring a helicopter to transport us from NY to MA. My question is if I receive permission from the schools to land what other permits or steps would I have to take?

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    $\begingroup$ You have deeper pockets than me @Paula, that will cost you serious bucks. In any case it's hard to say exactly, it depends on the local laws. It would be a lot cheaper and faster to get a private fixed wing airplane from a local airfield like Alexander Farm to Beverly airport with car transfers in between, each one's just a couple of miles from your start and end points. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ See this question. But if you're chartering a helicopter - or any other type of aircraft - then dealing with landing permissions and other paperwork is the operator's job, not yours. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ @GdD the distance between East Greenbush and Beverly is approx. 125 NM. A helicopter transfer will take approximately 1 hours 40 minutes, assuming ~100 knots cruising speed plus a bit for start-up and transfer to the sports field / helipad. A fixed wing may be faster, but going to/from a local airport will take approximately 20-30 minutes, on each side. The flight itself will be faster than the helicopter flight, but when you add start-up / taxi time on each end, I'd be surprised if it is still quicker overall. I reckon you need a cruise speed exceeding 160 knots to make up for the lost time. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jan 8, 2018 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ 20-30 minutes to go 2-3 miles on each end @DeltaLima? There are small airfields in very close proximity on either side. Even if she uses a helicopter they're much more likely to transit between those 2 points as getting permission to land at a school is unlikely. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jan 8, 2018 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD, Google gives me 11 minutes by car for the first transfer, 19 minutes for the second. I padded both with 10 minutes extra time for margin. I did the same for the helicopter. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jan 8, 2018 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


If you charter a helo, most likely they’ll fly you from KALB to KBVY, then provide you additional ground transportation to and from these airports. As to landing directly onto school property, that would probably be at the discretion of the school itself; my guess is that they would frown on it unless it was an emergency, as helicopters are a noisy and somewhat dangerous nuisance to have around.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Sep 8, 2020 at 18:30

Just as a ballpark estimate, a trip like that in a Robinson R44 would likely be your most cost-effective option, and would take approximately 2 hours flight there and 2 back. Even if you get 500 dollars per flight hour and no holdover charge (which would be a stellar deal), you're looking at a minimum of 2,000 dollars for this trip - probably more.

Now for the bad news and the real answer to your question. Assuming that there are no local airspace restrictions which would prevent you from landing at these schools (and there probably AREN'T... I've landed at schools before for organized educational activities), FAA regulations say that you must have the "land owner's" permission to land at each site. That means it's not enough to get the Principal's sign-off. You'll likely have to get a member of the school board of each district to provide written permission or someone else who is a signatory of the property owned by the school district.

Alternatively, if there are any privately-owned, large, empty fields that are close to the school - say, across the street or something - it might be easier to get one of those individuals to give you permission, and then you could just walk across the street...


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