Although the Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1903, they didn't conceive the notion of a flight plan until several years later, leading to numerous flights that went straight up and down or back in time. Pair the power of flight with a well-thought-out approach with today's Groupon: for $99, you get an introductory flying lesson from Westfield Flight Academy in Westfield (a $199 value).
An affiliate of Westfield State University, Westfield Flight Academy is an FAA-certified flight school where current and former airline pilots help ground-bound beginners head for the heavens. Leave ineffectual bird suits and prohibitively ugly rocket sneakers at home for a high-altitude tutorial, beginning with a preflight discussion of basic information and the principles of aerodynamics. Following the briefing, the cockpit will become your classroom as you embark on a training flight lasting about 45 minutes, giving you the chance to start, taxi, take off, and fly the plane as your instructor explains how to break gravity's rules without hurting its feelings. After the flight, every pupil will receive a certificate of completion, as well as a logbook signed by the instructor using a quill stolen from the wing of a peregrine falcon, the only bird that can fly without first inhaling helium.
Westfield Flight Academy flies planes all year round, giving students the chance to wink coyly at geese as they fly south for the winter or glare menacingly at geese as they charge north for the summer. Students are also welcome to attend their lesson with a friend, who can sit in the back seat of the plane to enjoy the flight and shout encouragement and advice, just like the friends of real airline pilots.
Students must be at least 14 years old.