White sand beaches spread out into the distance, running into the cerulean-blue sea, where seaweed and fish can be seen drifting below the surface. Tree-studded islands and winding sandbars pass underneath, and a white suspension bridge stretches across the horizon like a length of thread. Tampa Bay Aviation's visitors take in these elevated, panoramic views of the Florida coastline from the passenger’s seat or behind the controls of an airplane or helicopter.
Its team of certified flight instructors and experienced commercial pilots operates a fleet of Cessna 172 and Piper Cherokee planes, Robinson R22 helicopters, and an FAA-approved helicopter simulator. During flight experiences and pilot-training programs, they let clients take the aircraft's controls without having to first duel the ghosts of the Wright brothers. They also take clients skyward for aerial surveys and photography sessions.
Andres Kerllenevich began flying helicopters as a hobby while making a living as a lawyer. As time passed, he earned his license and left to fly tours over Alaska and New York City. He eventually settled in St. Augustine, the historical city where his wife fondly remembered vacationing as a child. Now, seven other FAA-certified pilots join him in leading tours over the coastal castles, historic lighthouses and colleges, and vibrant downtown areas of St. Augustine, Tampa, and the Florida Keys.
At the helm of Robinson R44 helicopters, the pilots soar at heights of up to 1,500 feet past Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Porpoise Point, and the towering red cross at the Mission of Nombre de Dios. They also guide tours above Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and the Florida Aquarium, while granting passengers glimpses of coastline populated by bottlenose dolphins. Pilots have also orchestrated aerial marriage proposals, during which the groom-to-be points out his question written on the beach or on a rooftop sign. The tours grant a bird's-eye view for photography and videography sessions.
Defying gravity is a routine feat for the crew at MaxFlight Helicopter Services Inc. In addition to providing basic flight training for aspiring pilots, the fully licensed professionals also use the Robinson R-22 and R-44 helicopters to take passengers on aerial sightseeing tours. These excursions can be educational, recreational, or a bit of both as the pilots lift off from Kissimmee Airport and navigate their way around some of the area's natural, urban, and holographic landmarks. While soaring several hundred feet above the ground, passengers will also spy familiar sights from an entirely new perspective, and may gain a whole new appreciation for the beauty of a sunset or a fireworks show.
The friendly, professional Warbird Adventures flight fleet fulfills the dreams of propellerheads by putting aspirant aviators directly in the pilot's seat of a helicopter. Tote along two extra friends to enjoy your airborne exploits and strap on your gear. After a safe liftoff, your easygoing operator will hand over the controls of the skyscraping machine. Finally live your fantasy of relaying the day's rush-hour boat traffic, chat it up with the pilot about the sham that is the Bernoulli effect, or relax and take in the striking views as your jealous crewmates watch you steer the craft. The smooth flight offers a rewarding challenge for wannabe aviators, and to commemorate the adrenaline, Warbird will record your shining moment to a DVD, a perfect way to remind future jet-packing grandchildren about the glory days of propeller-bound flight.
With more than a dozen antique aircrafts on display, Kissimmee Air Museum chronicles the rich aviation history of Florida and the nation. While planes fly overhead, flight fans can flock to the northwest corner of Kissimmee Gateway Airport to ingest the on-site museum's incredible inventory of vintage fighters, educational exhibits, and any snacks hiding in their pockets. Current exhibit Air Power and Pearl Harbor traces the rise of air power before the famed 1941 attack, showcasing exclusive bird's-eye-view photographs taken by a Japanese bomber pilot. Visitors donning homemade bulletproof vests repurposed from homemade muscleman costumes can confidently peruse the museum's formidable World War II rifle collection, as well as its wide array of German Luftwaffe artifacts, including test equipment and literature.