Got a cheap helicopter flight;

Went up to see what it was like.

If it weren’t for high prices,

I’d be getting that license.

Instead I’ll just dream of it at night.

Last year I bought a Groupon for an introductory helicopter ground lesson and flight.  At the time, a then-coworker had been talking about getting his rotorcraft license, and was really enjoying it.  I like flying, so why not?  Plus, it was ridiculously cheap–$69 for the whole thing, which included an hour-long ground school class and an hour-long (ish) flight.  For reference, an hour in the helicopter costs $350.  Cha-ching!

The ground school wasn’t a big deal, mainly because I knew a lot of the basic information about the airport and general aerodynamic principles.  I was in the class with my boyfriend, who’s also familiar with flying, and one other guy, who had no aviation background.  I felt a bit sorry for that guy since he was dealing with two people who work in the aero/aviation world for a living–it was probably like being in advanced calc while trying to still figure out algebra.  To that guy: I hope you were able to figure at least something out!

Many months passed while the Northeast got smacked with cold weather and snowstorms.  And then finally I got around to scheduling this flight.  It was awesome!  I was slightly tense the entire time, since I’ve always heard how much harder it is to fly helicopters than fixed-wing.  And it probably is, but I can’t give any informed opinion after such a short flight.  In any case, the instructor and the guy in the backseat (there was a pilot for KLM who was in town to do a 10-day helicopter intensive, and he flew along with us) both said I did a great job and that they could tell that I’d flown before.  Woo!

Anyhow–the whole thing was really amazing and I wish that it weren’t so expensive to do.  At $350/hr and at least 30h before the thought of a checkride, that is a really expensive license.  Sad.  I’ll add it to my list of “things to do if I get super rich”.