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 Groupon: for $159, you get a tour of Indianapolis for up to three people with Freedom Helicopters, starting at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers.
Guided by Freedom Helicopters' skilled, flight-savvy pilot, you and up to two friends will soar above Indianapolis and head to the sights you want to see. Take to the skies in a light Robinson R44 helicopter as you zip over several Indy attractions, including the Noblesville Courthouse Square and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Hovering tourists can customize the 24-minute ride with favorite sights and sensations (guests can provide a soundtrack from a personal MP3 player, if they're inclined), as they request to see the downtown Indy skyline, Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Geist and/or Morse Reservoirs, Broad Ripple, or even their house, so long as it's within a 15-mile flight of Fishers and any temperamental backyard dragons are tied to their leash.
Touring birdmen mustn't have any serious medical conditions or exceed a weight of 290 pounds in order to fly; total weight limit for three passengers cannot exceed 580 lbs.
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.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Airfield, Hangar 304-9
Fishers, Indiana 46038Get Directions