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The Heli Pilot: Nik Suddards

The Heli Pilot: Nik Suddards

By Eric Hansen
posted: 11/08/2005

AGE: 45
HOMETOWN: Juneau, Alaska
TITLE: Commercial helicopter pilot
HEIGHT: 5'10"
WEIGHT: 180 lbs.

SPECIALTY: Part meteorologist, part artist, Suddards assesses the weather and flight plan, and decides whether the chopper goes up or stays put. He also talks shot lengths and angles with the film crew while scouting. "I fly the camera, not the helicopter," he says.

BIG BREAK: Suddards first got airborne in 1976 while enlisted in Britain's Royal Air Force. Once Stateside, he scored a gig as an aerial-camera pilot for James Cameron on True Lies-which looks pretty good on a résumé.

["Check out what the pilot flies around in."]

TOOLBOX: The $1.5 million, French-made A-Star B2 is powered by a 732-horsepower engine and can fly at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.

November 2005

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