Pilots are the cowboys of the air, roaming the wide-open skies and herding children's runaway balloons. Giddy up, up, and away with today's Groupon: for $149, you get a 30-minute Lake Lanier Islands helicopter tour for two from Blue Ridge Helicopters, located at Gwinnett County Airport in Lawrenceville (a $300 value).
At Blue Ridge Helicopters, Gold Seal CFI–certified instructor Ron Carroll commands a pilot team with more than 25,000 hours of combined flight time. Tour takers can recruit pilots' aeronautical knowledge for the half-hour tour of the Lake Lanier Islands and lake and gain an aerial perspective of the breathtaking 39,000-acre reservoir, which boasts 692 miles of scenic shoreline, 68 parks, and countless skinny-dipping fish. From November 18, 2011 to January 1, 2012, Grouponers may opt for a night tour of Lake Lanier to get a glimpse of the Islands Resort’s Magical Nights of Lights, peering peepers down on 7 miles of twinkling holiday lights magically materializing from the darkness. Regardless of the time of day, passengers survey the scenery in safety and comfort aboard one of Blue Ridge’s five R44 four-seater helicopters, each meticulously maintained by Robinson Helicopter–certified mechanics and the hottest helicopter hairdressers in town.
Blue Ridge Helicopters, Inc.
Ron Carroll's fascination with helicopters began in Vietnam, when the aircraft transported him and his fellow infantry through the jungles to the front lines. Two Purple Hearts, nearly 20 years, and a stint in the publishing industry later, Carroll happened upon a copy of Flying magazine and his interest quickly rekindled. He continued with flying lessons, deepening his desire to become a helicopter pilot.
Today, Carroll possesses a Gold Seal CFI certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and helms a team of three pilots with more than 25,000 combined hours of flight experience. With a fleet comprising Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters—as well as a TruFlite H flight simulator that lets aspiring pilots practice operating a helicopter while singing and without leaving the ground—the team has trained throngs of airmen, including Governor Sonny Perdue.
850 Airport Rd.
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046