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What's It Worth? Helicopter Lifts

Paradise Helicopter’s Bell 407, which has a lift capacity of 2,000 pounds, delivers heat pumps onto the roof of Kukui Plaza in Honolulu’s Chinatown.

Need to place an air-conditioning system and ducts on a high-rise? Paradise Helicopters, also known as K&S Helicopters, can do that job and many others.

“We have an MD 500 with a maximum lift of 850 pounds and our Bell 407 has a capacity of 2,000 pounds,” says Sarah Restle, Paradise’s Oahu base manager.

Such jobs include a lot of details, but all you have to do is call Restle and she’ll set everything in motion.

“You just can’t shut down Waikiki and fly helicopters between buildings,” says Restle. She arranges flight details with the Federal Aviation Administration, hires special-duty police officers, and secures the roads with the help of Safety Systems and Signs Hawaii.

In January, Paradise pilot Josh Lang completed 10 lifts in 25 minutes to put heat pumps on top of the Inn on the Park in Waikiki. Last summer, Paradise placed air conditioners and ducts on the roof of the Moana Surfrider.

“Normally, we would close the street. But (for the Surfrider) we had all the parts staged on a barge floating outside the surf breaks in Waikiki,” Restle says. “It took about 20 runs back and forth. We closed the beach about 15 minutes prior to the helicopter’s arrival and the guests and employees were restricted from the area for probably a little over an hour.”

To hire the MD 500 for small projects of 850 pounds or less, expect prices to start at $3,000 to $3,500. Bigger jobs requiring the Bell 407 hover around $20,000. Prices include the helicopter, pilot, fuel and Restle’s planning and operations.

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