Early man made many attempts at flying, such as sewing feathers onto his arms and scaling mountain peaks in order to cling to the underbellies of passing comets. Take to the sky the new-fashioned way with today's Groupon: for $149, you get an extreme helicopter-riding experience for one or a helicopter photo flight for one from Charleston Helicopters, which takes off from Landmark Terminal at Charleston International Airport (a $299 value).
With more than 20 years of chopper-steering experience, the aviators at Charleston Helicopters fly adventurous and photo-happy folks alike above the scenery of Charleston. Following a quick safety briefing, adrenaline-seekers who choose the extreme ride will strap themselves in tightly on a door-less helicopter for a hair-standing, exuberating assault on the laws of physics. During the 30-minute joyride, fearless passengers whirl around the sky, ooh-ing and ah-ing as unique helicopter maneuvers—such as high-speed contour flying and steep turns—explore unusual altitudes. The extreme helicopter ride focuses on speed and trick techniques, helmed by safe and professional pilots who promise not to turn the seatbelt sign on and off just to tease passengers.
Alternatively, film buffs seeking unconventional perspectives can zoom and snap from the seats of a private Charleston Helicopters air-vessel. Photographers navigate their shoot by backseat flying, directing the pilot where to go for the 30-minute aerial photo session. Aiming their cameras at ground, sky, or water, levitated lenses capture enough inspiring images to fatten up a photo album or hoax their way into a UFO forum.
With their fleet of Robinson R22 utility helicopters, the aviators at Charleston Helicopters take joy in breaking the laws of gravity. They whisk passengers high above Charleston for flight lessons and photo tours, and while passing over the harbor, guests can snap shots of the Battery, Shem Creek, and various forts. Viewers may also zoom over the Charleston skyline to admire buildings soaked in red-and-orange sunsets and the flickering lights of surrounding towns. Many of Charleston Helicopters's tours invite guests to toast airborne triumphs upon landing with champagne, instilling an extra sense of victory without having to drag race passing geese.