Helicopter Academy manager Tom McDermott
Tom McDermott started a photo business (BOATPIX) in August 1981 taking pictures of boats in Ocean City, Maryland. In January 1986 the business took to the air using helicopters in Florida and Helicopter Academy was born. Since that time hundreds of pilots have benefited from Mr. McDermott's clever creativeness in combining helicopters in a flight school with aerial photography of boats. Most any helicopter pilot in South Florida that has flown taking pictures of boats is somehow affiliated. Mr. McDermott is also founder and president of BOATPIX.com, Inc.
After chartering and leasing helicopters for four years, Mr. McDermott took delivery of his first new helicopter in May of 1990 and it was wrecked by the delivery pilot before it made it to his home airport. He set off to run a safer operation. He soloed shortly thereafter in another helicopter that he later bought and still owns. He manages HelicopterAcademy.com, LLC which operates an expanding fleet that includes at least a dozen Robinson helicopters used for training and contracts for various photo companies. HelicopterAcademy.com, LLC is also an authorized Robinson Helicopter Company Service Center in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
Mr. McDermott has lifelong friends from the helicopter business and his formal education is a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the Glenn L. Martin School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Believing in college and higher education his staff includes many pilots with advanced degrees although that never seems to be a requirement for a job in the helicopter world. HelicopterAcademy.com, LLC offers helicopter training either with or without college credit and is well known for a program that can get a student to a paid position in four months. McDermott has written extensively including a column in a national magazine.