Ben Evangelista is flying through his capstone project


Ben Evangelista

Ben Evangelista in the seat of a helicopter over a city. Evangelista is working as an intern for CR Helicopters as his Capstone Project.

Justin Dobski, Staff Writer

Ben Evangelista is a senior at Westford Academy, he has had an avid interest in flying helicopters. For Evangelista’s WA Capstone Project, he signed up for an internship at CR Helicopters, a helicopter company located in Nashua, New Hampshire.

CR Helicopters is a helicopter school and rental that provides several different services. Some of these services are helicopter repair, flight training, contract work, flight tours, and renting out helicopters for events. Two years ago, Evangelista met with the CEO of a helicopter company in Boston and began researching for other helicopter companies he could intern for after high school and for his Capstone Project.

“A year or two ago, at the Junior Career Breakfast, there was a woman there who was the CEO of Boston MedFlight. Boston Medflight works with helicopters to fly patients to hospitals instead of using ambulances if it is urgent enough. That started me on the journey of working with helicopters,” Evangelista said.

The first few days after starting, his Capstone was dry because the weather was bad. 

“It was so bad out those first few days,” Evangelista said. “[…] You couldn’t even fly using IFR because the clouds were too low to see or detect anything.”

Soon after, when it cleared up, Evangelista got to fly in the back of the helicopter. 

When it comes to helicopters, there are two sets of rules one should use to fly, according to Evangelista. During his first week at CR Helicopters, he learned about VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). Visual Flight Rules are used when you can see what is in front of you, and when it is cloudy you use Instrument Flight Rules.

During one of these flights, he got to fly over Boston with a flight instructor and one of their students. He also learned how to pre-fly helicopters, which is when you walk around the outside of the helicopter before you take off to make sure that everything is working properly and nothing can go wrong during the flight.

Evangelista’s journey with working with helicopters won’t stop after he finishes his Capstone project. Evangelista is planning on working at CR Helicopters straight after finishing high school, and will not be going to college next year.

“I’m probably going to start flight training at CR Helicopters soon, possibly even during my Capstone Internship,” Evangelista said.