Flying High With A Helicopter Tour Over Long Beach California

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I love to fly. To soar on the winds over the Earth looking down on the city below, it is a magical experience that has captured our imaginations since before the Greeks. When the opportunity came up to take a helicopter tour over Long Beach with Anthelion Helicopters, I couldn’t say no. What’s even better is that it isn’t just a tour, I will be taking a short simulator class on how to fly a Helicopter, and then I will get to pilot the Helicopter over Long Beach. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

We are going up in that, Anthelion Helicopters, Helicopter Tour

Anthelion Helicopters is located at the Long Beah Airport. If you’ve not been to this part of town yet come back and read the next post where I let you know of a funky coffee shop not far away that brews a mean espresso. Anyway back to flying.

When you arrive at the Airflight lounge, Anthelion will come and pick you up and transport you to their hangar.This is where you will fill out all the paperwork and take your Demo Flight training. Of course, you could just take a tour, but why when you can fly it yourself.

Marc getting a lesson on the Helicopter flight simulator

The instructor who is also my co-pilot walks me through all the controls and a test flight over digital Long Beach. If you grew up playing video games as a kid, you will probably rock this. Me not so much.

Helicopter simulator lesson

Now that my training is over it is time for us to move to the real thing. We strap in, go over all the controls again and get set to take off. For this portion, I leave the flying completely in the hands of the pilot. I wouldn’t want to accidentally propel us in the wrong direction.

We are ready to fly

One final lesson before tsake off

We are off.

And we have lift off

I may not be in control, but I do have my hands on the throttle so I can feel what the pilot is doing and the corresponding results from the Helicopter. It feels really cool.

Flying over Long Beach Port

Now that we are in the air I take over for a few minutes taking us in the direction of the Port of Long Beach.

Yes that is my flying the helicopter

Flying over the river towards the Port of Long Beach

At this point, I hand over control back to the pilot. I could continue to fly, but I want to focus on the sights below and take some pictures. There is so much to see at 1000 feet, and it is such a different perspective of Long Beach from what you see at sea level.

We fly over the Port and the Queen Mary. It looks, even more, impressive from the air.

Flying over The Queen Mary

We also fly a bit South towards Naples Island where I will be enjoying a Gondola cruise is just a short while. From this height, you can easily see the three Islands that make up Naples and the canals that I will be cruising through.

Naples Island

An overhead look of the canals of Naples Island

After a good twenty minute tour, it is time for us to return to the airport. I am one happy camper.

Returning to Long Beach airport

I'm ready with a camera crew

One word to describe the experience? AWESOME. A total baller experience in my opinion and one I think you should also have.

That was a blast!

Back in the hangar, the last thing for me to do is to pick up my Pilot’s Log certificate when documents how much time I spent in the air flying. I may not be ready to have my own helicopter, but I am on my way.

I'm official with my Pilot Log book

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Disclosure: General

This experience was covered by Visit Long Beach as part of the support offered for this travel series. Some photos used in this post were shot by Bob Maguglin of Visit Long Beach. The views and opinions in this post are 100% my own.


About Author

Marc Smith is a single, 45-year-old, gay urbanite, living in high-rise heaven in Vancouver’s chic Yaletown neighbourhood. After a ten-year career as one of Vancouver’s pre-eminent event planners, he decided it was time for a change and posted on his Facebook page “I am ready for a change. What shall I do with my life?” 30 Day Adventures was born from that status update.

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