Helicopters were designed to imitate the sky squid, an elusive animal that navigated the air by spinning its rubbery tentacles and producing black ink clouds to terrify predator hawks. Enjoy man’s improvement on nature with today’s deal: for $75, you get an introductory flight lesson with Freedom Helicopters (a $150 value) at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers. Swap the usual gaudy necktie for today's Groupon to make this Father's Day a game changer.
Freedom Helicopters specializes in helicopter flight training for earth-bound folks from every walk of life. With today’s deal, you or a friend can benefit from Freedom’s training experience. The lesson itself lasts one full hour and begins with a 30-minute ground safety lesson to orient visitors to the helicopter itself and the safety procedures involved in flying. The orientation is followed by the billowing star of the show: a 30-minute flight lesson with an FAA-certified flight instructor. You’ll take to the skies above the Indianapolis Metro Airport in a light Robinson R22 helicopter that features dual controls for backup, just like the passenger-side brake in driver’s ed. After alighting once more upon the earth, you’ll receive a souvenir logbook to document the lesson and apply it toward the requirements for an FAA private-pilot certificate.
There are numerous reasons to take a private flying lesson: it might be the first step on the path to an exciting career change, provide much-needed excitement in the midst of workaday life, or help pop ears clogged by nests of baby sparrows. You can feel especially proud while at the helm of a Robinson helicopter, because all Robinsons are made in Torrance, California, which produces more helicopters each year than any other chopper manufacturer worldwide.
In order to fly, students mustn't have any serious medical conditions or exceed a weight of 220 pounds.
Joe Newkirk can still recall the look on the 9-year-old's face when she gazed out of the helicopter window. The girl, who suffered from vision problems, won an essay contest themed "Live Life in HD." Among the contest's donated prizes—which included a zamboni ride—Newkirk contributed a helicopter experience. As he saw the girl transfixed by the view at 1,000 feet, he recognized how her experienced mirrored his first time in the air. "The feeling you get, it's a feeling of freedom." Hence the name, Freedom Helicopters.
Originally a design engineer for a helicopter manufacturer, Newkirk found himself less interested in engineering parts and more fascinated by how the machines could lift straight off the ground without a runway start or being kicked by a Rockette. After obtaining his Federal Aviation Administration license, he recognized the scarcity of experienced pilots due to the military's increasing retention of helicopter operators. Today, Newkirk and his team of fellow FAA licensed pilots work to remedy the shortage and help people cross an experience of their bucket lists by turning over the controls of Robinson helicopters capable of sustaining speeds of 130 miles per hour. Backed by training from Newkirk's team, Freedom Helicopters' alumni have gone from zero hours of experience to leading helicopter tours through the Grand Canyon and saving lives as medical evacuation specialists.