We Fly: Rainbow Helicopters Airbus AS350 AStar

Flying around the Hawaiian Islands with helicopter pilot Nicole Battjes.

Rainbow Helicopters flies a fleet including the Airbus AS350 AStar around the Hawaiian Islands. [Credit: Jim Barrett]

Rainbows arc over Hawaii like a big Aloha to the world. They symbolize the welcoming nature of the islands, and beckon pilots to fly around. So it's no wonder that when entrepreneur and helicopter pilot Nicole Battjes came to Hawaii 14 years ago, she decided to name her business after the rainbows gracing the mountains and valleys of O'ahu. 

Battjes not only called the company Rainbow Helicopters, but she's had her fleet of touring and training R44s and Airbus AS350 AStars painted in schemes to match. We caught up with Battjes to take a tour of the islands and gain insight about what it's like to fly one of the most popular working rotorcraft in the world, in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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