When fall unfurls its wings and flaps languidly through the air, commandeer a helicopter and pursue it into the sky, harpoon in hand. For $99, today's Groupon lofts you into the air above Boston for an attraction-packed half-hour helicopter tour from East Coast Aero Club (a $199 value). Each tour requires three people to fly, so bring along the other two vertices in your bizarre love triangle. If you don't bring along your fellow flying aces, East Coast Aero Club will randomly pair you with one or two other strangers or pre-friends, depending on one's outlook. Each passenger requires his or her own Groupon. East Coast Aero Club only flies in safely pristine weather—and even then, only under the approved clearance of Logan's air-traffic controllers—so your scheduled time may be subject to change.
East Coast Aero Club has been buzzing clients through the Boston sky since 1985. After dusting off from Hanscom Field in Bedford, you'll soar in East Coast Aero Club's enviably cute Robinson R44 Raven, a safe, spry little bird used for tours, flight training, and directing stampedes of cattle and washed-up prop comics. Retracing Paul Revere's ride on your way back toward Boston, you'll be able to spot the Mormon Temple and later Harvard, following the Charles River onto MIT. From there, use your eyes to strafe Beacon Hill, the State House, Fenway, the USS Constitution, and as you swing back around, the skyscrapers of downtown. After flying over the Zakim-Bunker Bridge and possibly rescuing orphans from a bus teetering over its edge, the pilot will chopper you back to Bedford.
A helicopter ride with East Coast Aero Club is good for more than just a carefree sightseeing jaunt with friends and family. If you miss the Fall Foliage Tour, use your Groupon through next spring and gander at the snowy snow and blooming flowers of the city. Many men swoop up with their girlfriends and propose; other men take their buddies and renew their bromantic vows. If it’s too soon to pop the question, you can always take along your chronically oblivious third wheel, Dennis Farina, and exchange silent, awkward glances. But if you're ready to commit, East Coast Aero Club's pilots have amassed a selection of trade-secret helicopter-proposal ideas during their four decades of combined flying experience. Just ask and the incurable sky-pirate romantics will fetch their secrets from the highest room in the highest tower in Boston, helping you pitch the perfect question, framed to music and air-to-ground rocket fire.
Passengers must weigh no more than 220 pounds. An appointment is required.
Six Yelpers give East Coast Aero Club a five-star average:
- My husband and I did a wonderful helicopter tour of Boston with the East Coast Aero Club. The views were amazing and the flight was very smooth. – Chagit S.
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.