When you take a Helicopter Tour with Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours, you are in the capable hands of a great team of pilots that hold FAA Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot Certificates. Their backgrounds vary from flying for major airlines to crop dusting, banner towing, and ex-military fighter pilots.
With their thousands of hours of flight experience, you will feel safe and comfortable with one of their team members at the helm as you fly over iconic landmarks like the Thousand Islands, the Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando-based Disney World's Cruise Ships.
Meet the team that makes up Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours below:
Mark Grainger is the President of Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours and started his aviation career at thirteen as a ground crewman at a small grass strip airpark in Virginia. Mark has flown hang gliders, sailplanes, crop dusters, banner planes, commuters, charters, airliners, fighter jets, and almost everything in-between, totaling over 23,000 flight hours.
Steve Nesbitt is the Director of Operations and Lead Pilot for Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours. Steve is originally from South Lima, New York, and majored in History for his Bachelor of Arts at Geneseo State University. He found his love for aviation and historical airplanes while working through college as a lineman at a local general aviation airport. Furthering his educational career, Steve earned his Master of Science degree in Airport Design, Development, and Management, while teaching as an Adjunct Professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. Steve loves flying the WACO Biplane (which he has over 1200 flight hours) and the opportunity to share historical flights with our customers.
Dwight Bell, the Helicopter Pilot with Cocoa Beach Helicopters, started flying at sixteen when his brother gifted him flying lessons. He took his first solo flight at seventeen in a Cessna 150 and a Cherokee 140, flying out of a small airport in Boyne City, Michigan. Dwight fell in love with Helicopters after taking a helicopter tour over the glaciers in Alaska, proclaiming them to be “man’s second greatest invention.” He returned to Florida and quickly earned his helicopter rating. Dwight also uses his aviation knowledge to help local teenagers as the Executive Director of a local ministry, using aviation to teach teens how to make good decisions in life.
John “JC” Cherniga, Helicopter Pilot at Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours, is a retired Air Force Colonel, having flown over 2400 hours in the H-1″Huey” and H-60 “Black Hawk” during his 26-year career. His unit was the Department of Defense’s lead organization for providing worldwide contingency planning, training, and rescue assets for stand-by support to the space shuttle program during every launch and landing. They also directly supported the returning U.S. astronauts from the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz capsules. In addition to having experience as an Air Force flight examiner, instructor pilot, and functional check flight pilot in the Huey, and as Black Hawk day tactical aircraft commander, night tactical co-pilot, and a functional check flight co-pilot, JC holds a Commercial Pilot (rotor-wing) and Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI) ratings. When he is not flying, John likes to travel and is the sole proprietor of “J. Cherniga Images,” selling his award-winning photographic images at art festivals throughout Florida and across the Country.
Mike Brady is the Chief Mechanic at Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours, holding an A&P license (received in 1982 at the Merritt Island Airport, which is ironically the headquarters of Florida Air Tours) and an Inspection Authorization (IA). He is a Brevard County native, is a certified FAA Private Pilot, and in his free time, Mike works on one of his many antique cars and Beechcraft Bonanza. He has been a vital member of the Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours team since January 2013.
Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours has a long history of being the leading provider of aerial sightseeing and flight experience tours in Central Florida and taking their guest's sightseeing over the famous Space Coast and beautiful Cocoa Beach from the air with our commercial sightseeing tours for up to three passengers at a time.
Book your aerial tour today with Cocoa Beach Helicopter Tours, known to provide their guests with Safe, Scenic, Fun!