In 2008 at age 25, owner and Chief Pilot Heather Howley started Independent Helicopters at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York, offering flight instruction, aerial photography, power line and pipe line patrols, tours and scenic flights. With well over 4,500 hours of flight time, Heather is a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Commercial Pilot. She opened her second flight school at Saratoga County Airport in the summer of 2013; and currently owns 3 helicopters and 1 flight simulator.
Heather discovered her love of flying while traveling across Europe in small planes. After returning to America and realizing she desperately wanted to learn to fly, she sold everything she owned and moved to San Diego where she worked two jobs while earning her private and commercial ratings, then moved to Colorado where she earned her instrument, flight instructor and instrument flight instructor ratings.
Heather is a 40 under 40 Albany Business Review recipient for 2014 and received the 2013 Orange County Rising Star Award; she is also competing in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year fundraising campaign to benefit local children who are blood cancer survivors.