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Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, we know that helicopters were made to fly, but there are times when transporting helicopters by truck is really the best option. It also happens to be one of our favorite projects at NAT. Let’s explain.

transporting helicopters

People and companies that own helicopters for leasing, tourism or logging purposes value every air mile. They typically charge a rate per passenger to cover the costs of wear and tear to the components, value deterioration of the chopper, fuel, and the pilot’s hourly rate. All of that adds up to quite a tidy sum for each flight. 

On top of that, a helicopter requires regular maintenance to keep it airworthy and to ensure the safety of passengers. However, during that time, the company loses out on productivity. If the helicopter is in for maintenance, it is not generating income by transporting passengers. Also, having to fly to the service center is considered empty miles. 

For that reason, most helicopter owners opt to transport helicopters by truck when they send them for servicing or maintenance. Companies also deliver new helicopters to buyers by truck. In fact, shipping helicopters by truck is usually the best option whenever it doesn’t carry passengers.

Helicopter maintenance

Transport a Helicopter | Your ROI

In addition to regular helicopter maintenance, you have to contend with unscheduled repairs and breakdowns. Those hours take away from the helicopter’s profitable hours. Now you might think that it’s still quicker to fly the helicopter to the service center, and you’d be right. However, according to Bell Helicopter, it costs between $250-$300 per hour in direct operating costs for one of their most fuel-efficient choppers, the 206B JetRanger. Indirect costs can easily push that up by another $200-$300. Older, less fuel-efficient helicopters can cost a lot more, compared to transporting helicopters by road. 

Although a pilot might want to fly the helicopter to its destination, the owner would much rather transport helicopters by truck, as it’s much cheaper; both in direct and indirect costs. Importantly, it extends the productive flying time of the aircraft.At the same time, you benefit from:

  • Not having to pay pilot fees for the relocation
  • Maximizing the lifespan of high-value components
  • Having no delays or interruptions caused by bad weather. 

As with shipping cars, trucks and boats, it is important to not hire just any trucking company to transport your chopper. Find a carrier that specializes in transporting helicopters. Speak to Nationwide Auto Transportation today to discuss your requirements.