Flying is a lot like having a staring contest: even with utter concentration, you’ll never be better at it than birds. Go toe-to-beak with our winged companions with today's Groupon: for $149, you get one semiprivate, 55-minute helicopter flying lesson from Timberview Helicopters (a $300 value). Flights depart from Northwest Richards Road in Kansas City or Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe.
Timberview Helicopters' professional pilots instruct students in steering whirlybirds while soaring over glittering cityscapes and lush nature scenes in 55-minute introductory flying lessons, consisting of 30 minutes of ground instruction and 25 minutes of flight time. During the first half hour, up to eight aspiring pilots keep feet on terra firma as they soak in preliminary knowledge before taking flight. One by one, students climb aboard and take control of a 2004 Robinson R44, hovering over land and counting bald spots on skyscraper construction workers through the plexiglass window. Flight time may be shared with one other student, depending on class size.
The professional pilots at Timberview Helicopters ferry passengers high into the clouds aboard a sky-scraping whirlybird during flight tours through Destin, Kansas City, and Key West. Having chartered flights for National Geographic and the Travel Channel, these pilots expertly navigate planes toward sweeping, picturesque views, allowing sightseers to steal glances of Fort Walton Beach, downtown Kansas City, and Key West's ocean views from a perspective normally reserved for birds and astronauts with binoculars. Additionally, their high-definition videos grant guests a lasting commemoration of their in-flight experience. When they're not chartering tours, they teach budding pilots the gravity-defying tricks of their trade through pilot training and lug precious shipments from port to port with their cargo-lifting services.