Once the chopper lifts off from the Hook Pier Heliport and rises above New York Harbor, the Big Apple's sprawling metropolis fills passengers' sightlines. Rotors spinning, the copter flies past the Statue of Liberty and toward the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and other looming examples of urban architecture. During these tours, sightseers sit comfortably within one of the company's five Bell 407 helicopters, which boast giant windows and enough legroom to roundhouse kick roving bands of skydivers looking to freeload their way onto the aircraft. The helicopter pilots also charter their aircraft on trips to cities including Boston and Atlantic City.
Typically, you can only see Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and Yankee Stadium in less than an hour while leafing through a stack of New York postcards. However, Zip Aviation confounds expectations, whisking tourists over those landmarks and more on one of three helicopter tours in 12?30 minutes. Helmed by a team of pilots with an impeccable safety record, the tours grant passengers a bird?s-eye view of the city aboard their Bell helicopters. The aviation company complements its sightseeing excursions with an array of other transit services, including private charters and special-event transportation options.
Manhattan Helicopters' staff zips passengers past the Big Apple's most iconic attractions while narrating trips in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, or Chinese. Each one of their pilots must log thousands of training hours before steering whirlybirds past landmarks such as the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, and Madison Square Garden. Voice-activated Bose headsets provide crystal-clear communications between pilots and riders, and large windows deliver unobstructed views of Governors Island and the distant Palisades. Plush leather seats equipped with cup holders equally absorb chair-gripping excitement and reveries more peaceful than a nap in a stork's bindle.
Some of the best views afforded visitors by the Empire State Building can actually be found on its second floor. That's where NY Skyride's virtual skyline tours take place. Guests gather upon a large, moving platform that drifts in sync with footage projected onto an 18-foot high definition screen. The experience brings visitors up close to the highest peaks of architecture the city has to offer. The virtual tour explores three dozen famed landmarks within 30 minutes, while narration by actor Kevin Bacon points out interesting facts about each sight, such as its historical significance or how many degrees away from it he is.
Wings Air Helicopters' band of experienced pilots advocate the beauty of airborne travel through charter services, flight lessons, and an aerial film-production studio. Luxury jets, decked out with sectional couches, meeting tables, and bars, grant passengers and their mobile studio audiences safe travels with charter and cargo services. Within helicopter cockpits, Bose noise-canceling headsets block out the hum of spinning propellers to ensure clear communication during charters and tours. Wings Air Films offers a wide range of aerial production services, supplying movie helicopters and camera platforms to capture bird's-eye shots of famous landmarks or Waldo sightings for motion-picture and television industries.
Core Helicopters launches students skyward during hands-on helicopter lessons with certified, experienced staff on high-performance R22 helicopters with heated or open cockpits at Linden Airport, only 14 miles from New York City. Fledgling flyers begin their sojourns on the ground, with 30 minutes of in-depth training in flight controls and safety. Next, the pilot and pupil air-kiss the tarmac adieu before they climb into the cockpit, where strapped-in students get hands-on chopper experience for 15 airborne minutes. Soaring past the atmosphere's cloud-shaped sheep, pupils take over the flight controls themselves, or sit back as the instructor pilot takes the helm. Each trainee leaves the lesson holding an FAA-authorized, bird-notarized certificate for proof of their flight training. The flight time also counts toward a future pilot's license, should the student choose to pursue it.
Additional options including extended flight times, flight instructors demonstrating high-performing, advanced maneuvers, and flight-of-two flights where two helicopters will fly side-by-side together, which allow air-to-air photos with friends, are available for an additional fee.