Helicopter Tours would like to introduce you to our Pilots and Crew that will be your Helicopter Adventure guides in and around the Smoky Mountains. Flying is their passion and sharing this unique perspective with you is their gift. We look forward to taking you to the Great Smokies National Park, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and all the beautiful places in the Smoky Mountain area.

Les Center

Les Center: Les is Scenic Helicopter’s fearless leader. A long time employee of Scenic, Les took over as Operations Manager in 2015 and has continued to carry the company into expanding markets and varying fields of operation. As a certified pilot, Airframe and Powerplant mechanic, Les also assists in keeping our fleet of aircraft in pristine running condition.

Carol Haynes

Carol Haynes: Another one of Scenic Helicopter’s long time employees, Carol is a Co-Owner of our family owned company and has been with us since 1992. As our Manager of Sales for our heliport and ticketing office locations, Carol makes sure our customer’s experience is as smooth and wonderful as possible right from the start!

John Kandel

John Kandel: John, is a dual rated pilot, who began flying airplanes then transitioning to helicopters in 2002. He holds a Private Pilot Airplane, Commercial Helicopter Pilot and an Airframe and Powerplant Certificate. Attended Bell and Robinson Maintenance Course. He began working for Scenic Helicopter Tours in 2007 as the Director of Maintenance and as a Tour Pilot. In January 2012, he began a new adventure with a Humanitarian/Mission Organization, Samaritan Air, which flies throughout the country of Haiti. On his off seasons, he comes back to work at Scenic Helicopter Tours.

Graham Ritter

Graham Ritter: Graham is from Cape Girardeau, MO, is a commercially-rated helicopter pilot. At an early age, he fell in love with the Smoky Mountains on his twice-a-year trips to the area. While taking a tour in Alaska at age 14, he fell in love with flying helicopters. At the age of 23, he achieved his ultimate dream of doing what he loves most, where he loves most, by becoming a pilot with Scenic Helicopter Tours. He would love to one day fly in Alaska or Colorado, doing utility work or heli-skiing. Graham loves to fish, hunt, and camp.

Gavin Turner

Gavin Turner: Gavin is from Sevierville, TN and graduated from Gatlinburg Pitman High school. He fell in love with flying when he took his first flight with Scenic in 2013, and shortly after began working as a Boarding Attendant. Gavin has a very outgoing and upbeat personality. He loves to interact with the guests and makes sure everyone’s having a blast. He spends his free time snowboarding, skateboarding, and hiking. He also enjoys strawberry daquiris and long walks on the beach.

Isaac Kandel

Isaac Kandel: Isaac is 16 years old and has grown up watching his father, John, fly helicopters. At the young age of 12, his father let him take the controls in flight to get the feel of what it takes to FLY. Isaac one day hopes to obtain his pilot’s license as well. He has been with Scenic as a Boarding Attendant since May, 2016. He also has a passion for making videos and movies in his spare time, as well as playing paintball and airsoft with his brothers and friends.

Marci Nikirk

Marci Nikirk: Marci is from Sevierville, TN and she graduated from Pigeon Forge High School in 2007. Some of Marci’s hobbies are photography and painting. She is an exceptional artist and has a passion for creativity. Marci started out at Scenic in 2010 as a Boarding Attendant, but found herself leaning more towards taking the guests photos and capturing the excitement, smiles, and joys from flying. Marci enjoys spending time with her daughter, attending church, and taking selfies with her dog Fritz.

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​​​​©  2020 Scenic Helicopter Tours

1949 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Sevierville, Tennessee 37876  |  Phone: 865-453-6342

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