Helicopters swoop and hover with the agility of hummingbirds, although they can only draw nectar from disproportionately large spring tulips. Pollinate the skies with today's Groupon: for $69, you get an introductory helicopter-flying lesson including a brief flight behind the controls, an observation of the same, or an informal lesson and ride from East Coast Aero Club in Bedford (a $199 value).
Two hueys strong, East Coast Aero Club's fleet of training-friendly R44s faithfully carries crews of flight trainers during their illuminating aerial explorations. Helicopter experiences can be tailored to the desire of each participant—choose to embark on a serious land lesson and a hands-on flight in the agile hover-pods, aim for a more casual introduction and tagalong, or simply sit in on the lesson of a friend, a spouse, or an imaginary twin. East Coast Aero Club includes insurance in tuition and keeps its flock of copters in pristine condition. Further training awaits those who reach high enough to grab it, opening up a world of careers in sightseeing tours and epic pranks on skyscraper-dwelling King Kongs.
East Coast Aero Club
Since 1985, the FAA-certified team of pilots and instructors at East Coast Aero Club has shepherded citizens from Hanscom Field airport to the skies above Boston for sightseeing, introductory flights, and pilot-certification programs. The crew oversees a 35-aircraft-strong fleet composed of planes by Piper, Cessna, Cirrus, and Diamond, as well as helicopters by Robinson. The company’s entry-level educational program, Learn to Fly, matches pupils up with one of more than 25 certified flight instructors, who teach students how to read each craft's instruments and back issues of SkyMall.
But passengers don't just learn about flight; they also learn about the area around them. Scenic flights afford aerial views of the city, soaring from Hanscom Field over such sights as the Lexington battlefields, the Charles River, and the USS Constitution. Passengers can bring along cameras to capture the spectacular views and document any crop circles they spot in the outfield at Fenway Park.