Could helicopter club be the answer to Arran ferry woes?

A Robinson R44 helicopter, similar to the one which would be leased by the helicopter club.

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An Arran businessman is proposing to form a helicopter club to be based on the island if there is enough interest…and deep enough pockets.

Arran Brewery managing director Gerald Michaluk,  a licensed helicopter pilot, is behind the proposal which, if it takes off, would see a single engine Robinson R44 clipper being  leased by the syndicate with flight training to PPL on offer to members.

The four-seat helicopter is equipped with floats and can offer syndicate members travelling with their friends and family quick, if expensive, travel to the mainland in a fraction of the time of the ferry and in a much wider weather envelope.

The helicopter, which will cost £450 per hour to fly, has four seats and limited space for luggage.

Members would pay for 10 hours of flight time (£4,500 pa) plus a club members’ fee of £500 pa and pay £450 for each additional hour they need over and above, the allocated 10 hours. If two members fly together then the price is  £225 each and four works out at £125 per seat per hour.

A typical flight to the mainland would take 15 minutes and cost around £31.25 per person.

Members can study for and get instruction towards their private pilots licence so they can fly themselves but a pilot will be on hand to fly owners, by appointment, to and from the mainland when required.

The club needs around 10 members, if it is to go ahead.

The helicopter would be used to provide tourist flights and conversion training in the summer months in addition to member use, but only members, their friends and family travelling with them will be able to use the helicopter to hop across to the mainland and back.

If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the club please email