Riding in a helicopter is the best way to experience the thrill of flight without the dangers of ineffective cardboard wings or unwanted airport security searches. Fly safely with today's Groupon: for $99, you get a 35-minute helicopter tour of Chicago from Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. in Lansing (a $166 value).
Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. has ushered sky-seeking patrons over Chicagoland rooftops in whirly-bird whisk-aways for more than 20 years. Voyages in Robinson R44 choppers kick off at the Lansing Municipal Airport, 20 miles south of Chicago's Loop. Following a brief safety overview, high-flyers will soar north over the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field, then east to the picturesque lakeshore, buzzing the Bears' historic Soldier Field, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, and the 800-foot statues of Mr. Rogers that line Michigan Avenue. The 35-minute tour provides ample time to continue north, with bird's-eye views of Windy City landmarks such as Navy Pier, the Hancock Building, and the Willis Tower.
Continue west toward the United Center, circling back toward the airport for a safe landing on a pile of helicopter-size pillows. Sun Aero's lofty jaunts lift off seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The chopper can hold up to three sky tourists, and each person on a tour may use a Groupon.
Sun Aero Helicopters Inc.
The pilots at Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. have been training pupils in the autogiro arts and transporting clients through the skies since 1991. Inside their base at Lansing Municipal Airport, aviators maintain a 12,000-square-foot hangar area and 3,000 square feet of training offices and high-speed computerized flight-planning facilities. Expert pilots impart their knowledge to up-and-coming FBI agents, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and leisure pilots during one-on-one training sessions in Robinson and Bell copters. Pilots also give landlubbers a skyscraper's view of Chicago's landmarks, such as US Cellular Field, the John Hancock building, and the Sears/Willis Tower. When they aren't transporting rally drivers, golfers, and famous wiffle ball players with private charter services, Sun Aero serves national media companies with aerial photography and land surveys.