From the Wright brothers to Snoopy, flying has been a dream of many. At Talbot Flight Instruction Services, seasoned instructors make that dream a reality for their enthusiastic customers. They, along with their flight-school students, journey through the clouds during practice flights that prepare novice fliers for licensing exams and the moment they'll eventually turn into pigeons. The instructors also spend time on the ground, leading classes that teach the art of piloting aircraft through study and classwork.
Chartered flight company MidWest Air Link offers quick and efficient air travel throughout the Midwest with planes that seat up to 5. Each person is allowed to bring a 25 pound bag, and unlike scheduling a trip with a commercial airline, customers set their flight times and dates to skip waiting in long lines at the airport. MidWest Air Link’s experienced pilots helm the fleet of Beechcraft Baron 58s, known as the “town cars of the sky” thanks to their comfortable accommodations. The company currently charters flights out of Chicagoland, Valparaiso, and Indianapolis airports.
Before deep-frying each poblano pepper, the chefs at Sal Y Limon first stuff them with gooey Chihuahua cheese. They also stuff a chicken breast with ham and cheese in the pechugas rellenas dish and douse homemade enchiladas with salsa. On select nights, notes from a live musical performance swirl in the air as patrons toss back steak tacos and shrimp dressed in a homemade cocktail sauce.
The pilots at Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. have been training pupils in the autogiro arts and transporting clients through the skies since 1991. Inside their base at Lansing Municipal Airport, aviators maintain a 12,000-square-foot hangar area and 3,000 square feet of training offices and high-speed computerized flight-planning facilities. Expert pilots impart their knowledge to up-and-coming FBI agents, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and leisure pilots during one-on-one training sessions in Robinson and Bell copters. Pilots also give landlubbers a skyscraper's view of Chicago's landmarks, such as US Cellular Field, the John Hancock building, and the Sears/Willis Tower. When they aren't transporting rally drivers, golfers, and famous wiffle ball players with private charter services, Sun Aero serves national media companies with aerial photography and land surveys.
Smith Field Air Service’s CFI-rated instructors impart aspiring aviators with piloting knowhow and transform the cockpit into a classroom as student and teacher take flight. The introductory flight begins with a 30-minute ground session, as flight instructors acquaint amateur aeronauts with basic piloting principles and perform a preflight inspection to evict high-flying hitchhikers. Once airships have been cleared to sail the high skies, pilot and protégé will raise anchor and chart a course for the clouds. During the 30-minute flight, prospective pilots will have a chance to command the controls and perform basic flight maneuvers, such as the wing-tip toe-tap.
AA Elegant Limo's chauffeurs ensure expedient, luxurious travel for groups looking to cruise streets in comfort and arrive in style. Up to 14 people can pile into the Ford Excursion, a super-long white limo with a fiber-optic mirrored ceiling for a cushy club atmosphere. Like velvet-lined snow pants or the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, the Hummer appeals to those who like a rugged exterior and lush interior. Equipped with a 5,000-watt sound system and two 18-inch subwoofers, the sleek black vehicle pulses electrifying tunes for a raucous party vibe. Both the Excursion and Hummer limos come equipped with flat-screen TVs, beverage coolers, and champagne wells.