The excitement mounts in the days before take-off, increasing as you try to imagine what your helicopter flying experience will be like. Then the day arrives. On arrival at Gloucestershire (Staverton) airport, you’ll be welcomed by your pilot, given a full briefing and taken to the helicopter – probably a two or four-seater Robinson trainer. Strapped in safely, you’re in a different world as your pilot starts-up and hover taxis, talks to the control tower and with deft manipulation of the controls, transitions into a gentle climb over the airfield perimeter.
As the flight progresses, you’ll be kept involved through your headset, or as the pilot points out another landmark. A thousand feet below, the Cotswolds undulate away to the east; ahead, a stunning cloudscape hangs over the Severn; and all the time, the instruments monitor your unfolding experience. Now’s the time to sit back and enjoy the pilot’s commentary – or ask all the questions you want. How fast do tail-rotors spin? What do the pedals do? What’s this knob, or that dial for? Asking is part of the experience, so make the most of it. It’s your helicopter flight experience.
Depending on the conditions you could fly over the Cotswolds, head towards Bristol, or watch the Malverns draw closer as you navigate towards Worcestershire Beacon. Don’t be surprised when you’re asked if you want to take the controls. There’s no pressure to do so, but for many passengers, actually flying a helicopter is the day’s high point. This isn’t a helicopter lesson, just another part of a flight experience you’ll remember for years. Yes, you are in control.
Too soon, your flight experience draws to a close as Staverton’s hangars and runways appear ahead of you. Within moments you’re safely back on the ground and the rotors are running down. But though the experience is over, the memories and the thrill will live on.
No-one forgets their first helicopter experience. Rise Helicopters can [make yours a reality.]