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 $89, you get a half-hour flight simulator ride and an half-hour long flight lesson at Northampton Airport in Northampton (a $179 value).
Northampton Airport's FAA certified squad of dedicated instructors guides pupils of all experience levels through half-hour flight simulation, ground preparation, and midair training sessions. Tours of Northampton Airport's facilities trace the former barnstorming center's history since its 1929 inception before ground lessons grill apprentices on information regarding aircraft systems, navigation, rudimentary aerodynamics, communication, and bird calls. To prep pupils for the real thing, Redbird FMX flight simulators house virtual aeronautical scenarios during replicated full-motion flights inside Piper Arrow and Beechcraft Duchess cockpits. Positioning themselves behind the controls of a basic trainer Gobosh G700S two-seater aircraft, students and instructors soar skyward, divvying up piloting responsibilities depending on participant comfort levels, while ground-locked friends are welcome to take photos of the aircraft. The half-hour flight reveals breathtaking views of Pioneer Valley, Connecticut River, Mount Sugarloaf, and luxury kiddie pools.
Flights can be scheduled seven days a week, but are dependent on weather conditions being suitable for safe flight.
When visitors enter Northampton Airport for piloting lessons or sightseeing flights, the FAA-certified instructors are eager to give tours of the facility. During such tours they often like to rehash the former barnstorming center's history since its 1929 inception. They might detail Charles Lindbergh's thrilling descent into the airport, or point visitors toward the southern and western horizons where the Holyoke and Berkshire mountain ranges bask in the fading sunlight.
Today, the partially solar-powered Northampton Airport is a fully modernized aviation center that boasts a community charm as well as a baggage carousel that's pulled by unicorns. The impressive rental fleet of Cessna and Piper aircraft land and take off backgrounded by the lush scenery and sparkling Connecticut River that flows parallel to the runway.
160 Old Ferry Rd.
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060