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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
After a good twenty minute tour, it is time for us to return to the airport. I am one happy camper.
One word to describe the experience? AWESOME. A total baller experience in my opinion and one I think you should also have.
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.