You know what’s cool? Cars aren’t cool. No. Anyone can drive a car. But helicopters? They’re cool.
You’re wasting your time if you think that tootling around on the ground is cool. The ground is no place for coolness. I’ve found some super-cool helicopter flying lessons that are ideal for first time flyers. If you prefer to ride in a chopper and not fly it yourself, you can find those experiences by clicking here
My recommended helicopter flight experience
How long do I get at the controls?
Typically you’ll be flying for about 20 minutes, and actually piloting the aircraft for just part of that. It doesn’t sound much does it, but believe me, it’s more than enough for your first flight. On some of the experiences, the 20 minutes is split into three parts, where you take part as an observer, a navigator and then a pilot.
You’ll be concentrating really hard, and focusing on every movement you make. It’s not easy to keep that level of concentration for long, and you’d probably start making mistakes if you were flying any longer. Remember what it’s like on your first driving lesson, and then imagine that in 3 dimensions, with a whirling rotor blade meters above your head.
Remember that you’re not going to be taking the controls as you zoom over the countryside. you’ll be lucky if you can master taking off and hovering. It takes a while to get the hang of it.
How much will it cost?
Here’s a rundown of the UK’s leading helicopter lesson experiences.
As you can see, if you’re prepared to pay a bit more, you can get some absolutely fantastic experiences!
How difficult is it to fly a helicopter?
It depends how you rate difficulty. If you’ve never been behind the controls before, it’ll be a bit baffling. But you could say the same about playing the piano, riding a bike or playing Call Of Duty on PS4 without running blindly into walls. It’s all about hand-eye coordination, and using both hands at the same time. You won’t be looping the loop after ten minutes, but you’ll be able to build up an understanding of what control does what, and fly the helicopter on your own. Don’t forget that the trained pilot on board has the controls too if you need it, so it’s really safe.
What happens, as well as taking the controls.
Following a health and safety briefing, you’ll learn all about the controls of the helicopter. You’ll have to do this before you take off, to ensure you make the most of your time in the air. These vehicles aren’t cheap to run, and all the time you’re burning petrol, you’ll be paying for the privilege. All the helicopter lesson experiences are run by professional, trained pilots, and they’ll usually give you a demo so you can see what you’re actually trying to achieve.
Some of the experiences are lessons on an individual basis. Others have up to two other people taking part. It’s sometimes more fun taking an experience with like-minded people – they’ll be just as nervous and excited as you are! Click through to find out the details about the individual experience you’re interested in.