The best part about seeing your house from an airborne helicopter is the chance to observe how it really acts when you're away. Spy on home away from home with today's Groupon: for $110, you get a 20-minute helicopter ride over downtown Des Moines for up to three people from Iowa Helicopter in Ankeny (a $200 value).
Owned by KCCI-TV's chief meteorologist "Copter" John McLaughlin, Iowa Helicopter's tours shepherd guests through the great blue yonder. "Copter" John even pilots some of the flights himself, which depart from Ankeny Regional Airport and last approximately 20 minutes, the same length of time it takes to construct a helicopter sculpture out of macaroni. During the downtown Des Moines excursion, up to three passengers can yodel in multipart harmony above such notable structures as the Saylorville Dam, 801 Grand, Principal Park, the Brenton Skating Plaza, and the state capitol, easily viewable from cloud-skimming perspectives.
Pilot and local network meteorologist John McLaughlin has logged more than 7,700 hours of accident-free flight time in both fixed wing planes and rotorcraft. He draws on that experience to lead flights and tours around Iowa such as agricultural and crop condition surveys and holiday lights sightseeing tours. The flights soar over farmland and wilderness, and he also zips over Des Moines for panoramic views of the skyline and river. John also provides flight training and examinations, teaching burgeoning pilots the fundamentals of flight and the best mouth noises to make during takeoff.