Living up to their slogan "Excellence in Aviation," Rotor F/X runs the gamut of flight-related services by selling and repairing rotorcraft, in addition to offering flight training, transportation, and quick aerial tours of the Los Angeles area. As a prop company, Rotor F/X has a reputation of building believable cockpit mockups, aviation sets, and scale models of planes and helicopters. As a testament to their ability to enhance stunts, effects, and camera shots with their replicas, the crew of the History Channel's Modern Marvels asked them to construct a experimental helicopter that not only lifts up into the air, but travels back in time to prevent the original Star Trek from being canceled.
With a home base at Van Nuys Airport, Corsair Aviation treats people to sightseeing tours of Los Angeles with unforgettable aerial views. Pilots spout fun facts about local hot spots as planes fly over the Hollywood sign, Dodger Stadium, downtown Pasadena, Santa Monica Pier, and the Playboy Mansion. Alternatively, passengers can take control of the yoke during flying lessons. Flight-training students can choose from more than 13 different airplanes, a helicopter, or a hot-air balloon.
The Flight School at Van Nuys makes its home at Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley, where diverse airspaces present opportunities for training in a wide array of scenarios. Some 400,000 takeoffs and landings take place at VNY each year, so while it may not be LAX or Mission San Juan Capistrano, it certainly stays busy. Pilots-in-training must learn to navigate safely amid this flurry of aeronautical activity. Developing skills are put further to the test over the L.A. Basin just south of the airport, where complex airspace requires deft maneuvering and keen vigilance. For more room to roam, students can point the school's Piper and Cessna aircraft north of the airport and practice their navigation techniques in less cluttered airspace.
Realizing their community's limited resources for foundational art education, the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art was founded in 2002 as a portal for blossoming art students to sharpen skills with the help of talented, professional artists. Thus, an eclectic team of instructors took shape through a hand-selection process that yielded skill sets from the realms of fine art, entertainment, and paint-by-number calculus. Now in its 10th year of art education, the school—named a top 10 school worldwide by American Artist in Nov. 2011—acts as a springboard for students pursuing degrees in fine arts or the digitally driven video-game and film world of entertainment art. Individual classes afford à la carte education for beginning and advanced students of sculpture, drawing, painting, and illustration. Regardless of the field of study, LAAFA seeks to assist all students in completing advanced degrees at other institutions, accessing local art resources, and solving Van Gogh's tricky magic-eye series.
Mammoth Property Reservations shares its colony of condos to serve as plush, comfortable base camps for recreational expeditions into the joy-paved trails of Mammoth Lakes. Adventure-addicts swarm this four-season resort community to find their fix skiing, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, or defending outdoor pillow forts from scores of feral dust bunnies. Each picturesque property is homily furnished, ensuring comfort before and after encounters with wild wendigos. Purchase one Groupon for a single night in these peaceful peaks, or combine up to five for an extended engagement mining Mammoth Mountain for snow-dusted black diamonds.