What You'll Get
Whirly-bird watchers like to study their subjects from well-concealed tree blinds so as not to be spotted. Bravely show yourself, then climb inside the beast and tame it with today's deal: for $69, you get a one-on-one helicopter-flying lesson from a certified pilot at East Coast Aero Club (a $225 value for the introductory lesson). The launching and landing pad is about 30 minutes outside of Boston at Hanscom Field in Bedford. Chopper commandos-in-training need only be more than 14 years old and less than 270 lbs. to be eligible. Appointments are required but may need to be rescheduled due to inclement weather such as storms, solar flares, or raining men.
One of East Coast Aero Club's seasoned instructors—each with many hours of flight time, years of experience, and dozens of propeller hats—will be your guide and co-pilot throughout the airborne journey. Prior to the lesson, prospective pilots will be emailed reading materials to warm up the brain-engine. Upon arrival, a ground-school session (approximately 1.5 hours) will be held to initiate the uninitiated. Once the basics are out of the way, it's time to climb into the cockpit for takeoff. When you're safely up in the air, the instructor puts you in control of the flight path, seeing the sky in ways only known to passing storks and flying nuns. Your flight will last approximately 45 minutes. When the time comes to return to human heights, the instructor will safely take you from up there to down here, concluding the exhilarating experience. Altogether, you'll be able to start up the helicopter, hover, take off, do most of the flying during mid-air flight time, land, park, and put the craft to rest.
Today's Groupon to East Coast Aero Club is a rare opportunity for master gamers to test their piloting chops in non-virtual conditions, and it also makes a sweet gift for a granddad who has been longing for flight ever since sneaking a sip of Fizzy Lifting Drink on that factory tour.
Aficionados on Facebook give the East Coast Aero Club a perfect five stars:
- Having taken lessons from many of the club’s instructors over the years, I can share that I received exceptional training from each...They all have a genuine focus on helping their students achieve their goals as quickly and safely as possible. – Nate Weinsaft
- My 16 year old daughter has been taking helicopter flying lessons with Phil Greenspun. He is an amazingly calm and competent instructor, giving her as much control as possible and making her feel secure in her abilities. – Sheri Galyean
- The staff is skilled, conscientious, friendly, and motivated by a genuine love of aviation. And Hanscom Field's accessibility by public transportation from Boston/Cambridge is very convenient! – Gary Drescher
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Mar 22, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. By appointment only. Schedule subject to change due to weather. Weight limit of 270 lbs. Must be 14 years or older. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About East Coast Aero Club
Since 1985, the FAA-certified team of pilots and instructors at East Coast Aero Club has shepherded citizens from Hanscom Field airport to the skies above Boston for sightseeing, introductory flights, and pilot-certification programs. The crew oversees a 35-aircraft-strong fleet composed of planes by Piper, Cessna, Cirrus, and Diamond, as well as helicopters by Robinson. The company’s entry-level educational program, Learn to Fly, matches pupils up with one of more than 25 certified flight instructors, who teach students how to read each craft's instruments and back issues of SkyMall.
But passengers don't just learn about flight; they also learn about the area around them. Scenic flights afford aerial views of the city, soaring from Hanscom Field over such sights as the Lexington battlefields, the Charles River, and the USS Constitution. Passengers can bring along cameras to capture the spectacular views and document any crop circles they spot in the outfield at Fenway Park.