Like impressionist paintings and rabid raccoons, Christmas lights are best viewed from afar. Behold a spectacle with today’s Groupon: for $99, you get a Christmas lights helicopter tour package from Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Caldwell (a $170 total value). The package includes:
- Helicopter Christmas lights tour for three people (a $150 value)
- Two souvenir photos (a $20 value)<p>
Tours depart from Western Aircraft at the Boise Airport and run from December 16 to January 1.
The fully certified pilots at Silverhawk Aviation Academy hoist cadres high above Boise’s holiday lights for 15 minutes of twinkling wonder during this seasonal tour. Groups glide over the Idaho State Capitol building, basking in the glow of festive illuminations fueled by electricity and political intrigue, and take in the flicker-spangled Idaho Botanical Garden as they skim along starlit foothills and coast over glimmering neighborhoods. Before guests leave, shutterbugs snap two photos for clients to set upon their mantels or to confirm their evening’s whereabouts in a court of law.
Silverhawk Aviation’s owner, Catherine Rad Weber, built a school not only to teach people how to fly, but to learn to love their wings as well. Her comprehensive curriculum challenges students to fly at high altitudes, in different weather conditions, and over diverse terrain, training helicopter pilots who will be comfortable in the cockpit anywhere in the world. The program includes hands-on experience in caring for the rides, moving them in and out of hangars, and safely washing them without getting soap in their eyes.
Whether training or touring, visitors receive eyefuls of southern Idaho’s diverse geological features. The helicopters surmount rugged mountains, speed over mesas and high deserts, and ride air currents above rivers that wind their way into deep canyons. Apart from stunning the brain’s beauty receptors, this splendor provides a natural obstacle course against which more experienced pilots test their skill, zipping around rock spires or hopping the feet of their craft neatly through pristine fields of tire plants.