Helicopters tow planes over Norfolk Saturday


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you think you saw a helicopter towing an airplane in the skies over Norfolk on Saturday, your eyes were not deceiving you.

Two planes, a Saberliner 80 and Cessna 421, were delivered to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Norfolk campus by air midday, according to the school. They were too large to be towed through the streets of Norfolk.

“A helicopter is going to lift the two aircraft from Norfolk International [Airport] up into the sky, over the water, over a few homes and lower it onto our football field so we can benefit from these at our school,” said Dr. Joel English, vice president of Operations at the institute.

Specifically, the institute hired Erickson, Inc., a helicopter lifting company specializing in heavy hauls to perform the work.

Norfolk Police closed down several roads and nearly a dozen homes were evacuated for the move, which could begin as early as 11 a.m.

The best place to view the move was Azalea Gardens Middle School, according to English.

The Virginia Beach-based trade school purchased the former Calvary Christian School complex off East Little Creek Road in Norfolk in 2018 in order to expand its operations.

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