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Helicopter Pleasure Flights

You don’t have to train and become a helicopter flight, or pay thousands of pounds for a top-end commercial charter in order to enjoy the experience of a helicopter pleasure flight. Operators at airfields around the country offer helicopter pleasure flights and sightseeing trips. Some people use these flights as an inexpensive way to see if they are comfortable flying in a helicopter, others just want to see their house and local area from a new perspective.

So, what can you expect from a helicopter pleasure flight? In short, whatever you want, you’re paying for it. Your pilot on the day should, within reason and the time available, do whatever you want to do during your pleasure flight. With that in mind it really makes sense to have a clear idea of what you want to see and do during the experience. One thing is for certain, time travels very quickly during a helicopter sightseeing or pleasure trip, without a plan 30-60 minutes may well have literally flown by without you realising.

If there is a particular landmark that is close to the airfield (we would suggest within 10 miles for a 30 minute flight, or within 25 miles for a 60 minute flight) then try and identify it on a map and show it to the pilot prior to the flight. The pilot will mark it on his map or navigation system and fly straight towards it after take-off, demonstrating how the helicopter flies and pointing out other local landmarks along the way.

There are some very unique things about a helicopter that are worth asking to experience during any helicopter pleasure flight. Ask your pilot to demonstrate sideways and backwards flight to you, you’ll learn to truly appreciate flight in 3D. One of the most unique things about a helicopter is its ability to land almost anywhere, if there is time and a suitable site nearby, the pilot of your pleasure trip may well land at a different airfield, hotel, landing site or open area as part of your trip; but only if you ask first.

Don’t forget to take a camera, almost all pilots are happy for you to take photographs throughout the flight. Ensure that the camera remains secured to you via a wrist-strap at all times to prevent it from becoming a loose object in the cockpit. Other top tips to make your pleasure flight more enjoyable: wear full length trousers, long sleeved top and light cotton clothing to be comfortable. If you have sensitive hearing, ask for inner ear defenders (small yellow foam) that will offer additional protection to that of the headset that you will be given. Finally, enjoy it! Helicopter flying is one of the most exciting and enjoyable things that you can do, arrive with a plan, pay attention to the post-flight briefings and make the most of your helicopter pleasure or sightseeing flight – you won’t be able to stop smiling.