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Psychology comes in useful

An education in psychology is very useful when working in a business development role, says Preston Helicopter Services director Joanne Firth.

Despite having a science degree majoring in psychology, Ms Firth began a career in aerial services when she met her husband, who encouraged her to manage his company.

She said the main benefit of the qualification was having sophisticated interpersonal skills.

“You’d think it would come in handy for dealing with fears and phobias, but few people actually have a fear of flying,” Ms Preston said.

Preston Helicopter Services has been operating from a helipad by Riverside Drive

for 10 years, mainly providing services to government and utility companies.

Ms Firth said the company was vying for a larger chunk of the WA corporate market.

She said she wanted the company to be perceived as a vital business service – not just an aerial limousine.

“We regularly take investors down to blue gum plantations and wineries,” Ms Firth said.

“Helicopter rides are also perfect for migrant familiar-isation with a town.

“We’ve been used by The Sunday Times, The West Australian, ABC, NBC and BBC for aerial photography and rapid transit to news stories.

“With permission from local councils, we can even land at parks – the applications for our services are only limited by your imagination.”

Ms Firth said the company had been used for transit to meetings out of town, search and rescue, weddings, powerline inspections, surveillance, geological mapping and even fresh produce delivery.

“I enjoy the government and corporate work the most, but doing scenic flights and special occasions is also fun,” she said.

Ms Firth said Preston Helicopter Services prided itself on a flawless safety history.

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