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”.