The best way to capture the beauty of spring showers is to commandeer a flying machine, take flight, and then hunt down every last drop on its fluffy home turf. Fly higher than a low-lying stratus with today's Groupon: for $99, you get an introductory flight lesson for one person (a $199 value) or a ten-minute demonstration flight over Lincoln, downtown Concord, and Walden Pond for up to three people (up to a $297 value) from East Coast Aero Club.
East Coast Aero Club has been buzzing clients through the Massachusetts sky since 1985. For those interested in learning the art of flight, the club's individual lesson will provide the opportunity to take an active role in aerial ascents. A serious endeavor, the instruction will require prospective students to begin with approximately two evenings worth of self-study and ascetic meditation, followed by an interactive Q&A session and a 25-question exam. Once they're cleared for takeoff, students can book their in-air lesson, which affords them roughly half an hour to take the controls into their own hands and fly with the guidance of a certified flight instructor.
Aerially obsessed aviators can also opt for a hands-off, high-flying demonstration excursion. After dusting off from Hanscom Field in Bedford, altitude addicts will soar in East Coast Aero Club's enviably cute Robinson R44 Raven, a safe, spry little bird used for demo flights, flight training, and directing stampedes of cattle and washed-up prop comics. Sticking close to the airport, passengers enjoy an unfettered view of the area's most intriguing quadran, including the birthplaces of both the American Revolutionary War and Henry David Thoreau's penned ponderings that lived on in infamy thanks to his masterworks, Walden and Ponds: Nature's Most Benevolent Wishing Wells. Friendly for all ages, the demonstration flight offers a speedy pathway for landwalkers who'd like to meet clouds that resemble their favorite presidents.
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.