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Desert Storm Poker Run Update: Watch Out for Low-Flying Billboards

Photo and observation helicopters chasing poker powerboat poker runs tend to get as much—or even more—attention as the boats themselves. That fact is not lost on photographer Jay Nichols and his favorite helicopter pilot Fred Young. Thanks to their efforts, three helicopters flying during next week’s 2015 Desert Storm Poker Run will carry the names and logos of familiar names of high-performance marine businesses including DCB Peformance Boats, Wozencraft InsuranceBullock MarineSkater PowerboatsPirate Cove Resort and Prestige Marine.


This Bell JetRanger helicopter was decked out with the DCB logo for a photo shoot Nichols and Young (shown here) did for performance-boat owner Win Farnsworth’s birthday. Click here for a free download of the Nov./Dec. issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine that carired the story of Farnsworth’s adventure.

An EC-130 from Maverick Helicopters, a Bell JetRanger and one Robinson 44 bird—Nichols’ photo platform for the event—will be outfitted with the sponsor logos and in the air during the run.

“Literally, we only had the idea two weeks ago and we sold out the space,” Nichols said. “Between Fred’s connections in Lake Havasu and my background in advertising and graphic arts, it was a no-brainer. Under the auspices of Young’s new company, Innovative Airborne Solutions, we are planning to bring helicopters to several of the major events this year, including Texas Outlaw Challenge and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

“When the helicopters are in the air, we will be shining like sunshine with the names of those companies in front of their core audiences,” he added. “And on Saturday afternoon we’re taking all the helicopters to Pirate Cove Resort for special photo shoots with, of course, the Pirate Cove girls.

“We also are working on logistics of getting at least one to the street festival,” he added.

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