Mike Bloomberg and Helicopters: A Love Story

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Photo: Joseph Reyes/Office of the Mayor

Many are the 3-year-old boys obsessed with helicopters. Fewer are the ones who grow up keeping that flame alive, and fewer still are men who can afford to buy themselves one. Then there is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who once, when criticized for taking over the controls of a police helicopter, brushed off criticism by saying, "I fly helicopters more sophisticated than that all the time that I happen to own.”

Bloomberg, as the Times reports, is looking to add to that fleet: He's on the waiting list for a V22 Osprey, a state-of-the-art military chopper estimated to cost as much as $30 million. He apparently travels so much in his Agusta SPA A109S to places like Albany and the Hamptons that he's a fixture in flying circles, but only recognized by those truly in the know:"[O]ther pilots recognize his tail number, but Mr. Bloomberg has blocked public aircraft-tracking systems from tracing his exact aerial whereabouts."

And, of course, the mayor displays his trademark humility when talking about his flying. Once, after former navy pilot and Staten Island borough president James Molinaro complimented Bloomberg on how smoothly his chopper had landed, the mayor replied, "It’s not the plane. It’s the pilot.”  Title of his mayoral memoir, too?

Related: Bloomberg Compares Living-Wage Bill to Communism