Twenty six – Flying in a Helicopter

I’ve been back from lovely New York for nearly a week and we’ve also just found out we’re moving house next week so I’m a little behind on my blogging, apologies!

My ‘new thing’ in New York was flying in a helicopter, which I booked as a surprise for Sam but ended up telling him before we’d actually left – whoops!

We booked it for the Friday morning which was our penultimate day in NYC. At the time of booking (about two weeks before we went) it looked like the best day for weather, with a big yellow sun and 30 degrees on the forecast. There were a few days where they expected thunderstorms and showers due to the humidity, but they never came and we had glorious weather the whole week!

…until Friday of course.

We woke up to the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen in real life. It was crazy. Of course the trip was cancelled. We nipped out for breakfast and ended up getting a cab because the rain was so heavy. Afterwards we tried to walk around a bit but it just wasn’t worth it – it was a bit like an outside shower!

So we went back to the hotel and waited for it to pass. They’d rescheduled us for 2:30 and we were a bit dubious as to whether it would clear up but miraculously it did, and at 2pm we arrived at the helipad.

Helicopter Flight Services
Helicopter Flight Services

It is all go go go when you arrive! They do a security check outside and then send you in, where you put your bag in a locker and they immediately strap you into a belt with a floatation device. They ask you for your name and weight, and then you’re put in a line next to the door to outside.

They give you a safety briefing which is on how to use the floatation device, a bit like on a plane, and about going out to the helicopter. This, essentially, is to stay in a line and follow them. Easy enough.

We went outside and it was so loud! There were a couple of choppers out there as basically all the tour companies use the same pad. They take a picture of you in front of the helicopter, which of course they sell you at the end, and get you inside where you meet your pilot.

They ask you your weight because it’s all done on weight distribution. I was sat up front next to the pilot, and Sam was just behind me on one side. There were six of us in total, and the pilot too. In the front you get a great view of everything, and in the back by the windows you get to see everything as you turn around. The only seat that I think wasn’t that great was the back middle, but it’s just luck of the draw really.

On the chopper!
On the chopper!

You’ve got these headphones so you can hear the pilot, and a microphone so you can ask questions and chat to each other. We put them on and attached our seatbelt, and took off!

The thing that surprised me most about going in a helicopter was definitely how smooth it was. I expected you to feel every movement and for it to be quite bumpy but it’s not at all. If anything it kind of feels like sitting on a tumble dryer, just some vibrations.

At times when you’re turning you do go a bit sideways but it always seems very safe. The pilot we had was really friendly and seemed very on the ball, pointing different buildings out and telling us facts about them.

Here are some pictures from the journey, which was 20 minutes long:

Sam is definitely the photographer of the two of us so hopefully he’s got some better ones on the camera!

It is honestly a brilliant experience. It’s very expensive (think £10 a minute expensive!!!) but it’s so worth doing, especially if you feel like you’re only going to be there the once.

We booked our’s through Helicopter Flight Services and I’d definitely recommend them. You can book with them here.

Another bonus is that they are about a five minute walk from what is officially the best bar in the world – The Dead Rabbit. We popped in afterwards and I would definitely recommend doing the same!


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