Though action heroes commonly escape danger by commandeering a helicopter, few movies show them asking their friends which lever is the flight stick and which activates the turn signal. Deftly handle hectic rescue missions with today’s Groupon: for $95, you get a one-hour helicopter pilot training class from Southern California Helicopters in Long Beach (a $199 value).
Southern California Helicopters’ meticulous introductory flight-training program prepares students for supplemental instruction using classroom materials and hands-on experience. Neophyte pilots begin aviation explorations with 30 minutes of ground instruction, where a knowledgeable instructor imparts lessons on navigating the instrument console and understanding right-of-way at a four-way stop. With book smarts cemented, students climb into one of the school’s helicopters and ascend into the open skies, one-on-one with a pilot, for a 30-minute flight. At a safe altitude, instructors shift control to the pupils, giving them the opportunity to experience a thrill usually enjoyed only by weather balloons and mice that have stowed aboard a radio-controlled zeppelin.