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13601 Pioneer Trail

Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Commercial Operations

Aerial Photography, Video and News

The helicopter provides an unique and economical platform for the professional photographer to capture your client's product in that perfect setting. Our pilots are experienced in a wide variety of techniques to get you in exactly the right position for that perfect shot. Working in Class B airspace and in close proximity to the Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport is no problem. In addition, the helicopter can go low and slow -- legally -- to get you in the right position.

We specialize in photography of commercial property, lakeside cabins, and fall colors in Minnesota and the Mississippi River valley. Get the shot yourself or we can provide professional photographers on request.

We are also experienced in aerial still pictures and video with credits including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, St Paul Pioneer Press, AP, the Faribault Daily News, Fox 9, CNN, and Faribault Community TV. Ask us about the filming of the intro to "Mellaney's World" on FCTV.


Power Line and Pipeline Patrol

We are experienced in performing detailed aerial survey of powerline and pipeline right of way. We can get sub-meter positional accuracy with superior digital photography and video. These images can be used to identify vegetation or human encroachment to mitigate fire and structure damage. Areas of washout and erosion are also identified. Our helicopters provide a smooth, stable, cost effective platform to get the critical documentation decision makers need.


Corn Pollination

If you are wondering what a helicopter is doing pollinating corn, let me tell you a little of how it works. As breeders continue to come up with sweeter varities, these varieties seem to become harder to produce seed for.

Along with these new trials comes a sticky problem. Some of these hybrids can be difficult to pollinate or cross. On the older varieties, growers plant four seed rows to each bull or male row. The tassels are pulled from the female rows to prevent self-pollination. This has worked well over the years, but with the newer varieties growers have begun planting two seed rows to each bull row. This gives more pollen "shed" over the silks of the seed rows.

When temperature is very high early in the day, the pollen dies before it can reach the seed rows. That's where the helicopter comes in. Starting as soon as the dew leaves, we use a helicopter to fly up and down the bull rows to blow pollen to the silk of the female. This is usually done 4-5 times during the height of pollination. This operation must be carefully coordinated with the detassling crew. The corn must be free of tassels in the seed rows so the wrong pollen won't be spread in the field. Usually this cycle calls for one day of detassling then a day to fly. This schedule keeps everyone hopping but the results are worth the effort.


Deer Count

Aerial surveys for whitetails are used in a number of states in the midwest. This survey is designed to "see" through cover by placing the observer above the deer so they can look down and count the number of deer in an area. Complete snow cover is required for this survey, otherwise the deer do not stand out. Ideally a fresh snow helps hide debris and old deer beds which tend to look remarkably like a deer when you are observing from the air.

The main advantage of aerial survey is that it can cover an entire management area in as little as one flight or a single day.

Factors that affect the survey are the amount of fresh snow, the amount of disturbance in the area being surveyed and the weather before and during the survey. Under good conditions most deer are probably seen on each pass. However if beds are present, or stumps are visible it can be difficult to see all the deer. If an area happens to have a bunch of snowmobiles using it or has someone cutting trees, the deer may have temporarily moved away from the area being surveyed.

On the other hand prolonged cold weather may bunch deer up in some of the better wintering areas. Probably the worst problem faced is that acceptable snow conditions may only occur 1 or 2 times all winter. Passing up a chance to complete the survey waiting for the "ideal" conditions may very well mean that another chance doesn't come along. Many wildlife managers believe a less than ideal survey is better than no survey at all.

We understand that organizations have different goals and requirements so we customize our survey technique to meet your needs.


Herding

We recently had a call from a frustrated farmer in Goodhue County. Seems the judge was fed up with livestock roaming about and jailed the farmer for contempt of court for not keeping his cows in line (a true story). Whether you have one cow or many, you may find yourself in need of our services.