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Ventura Air Services
Ventura Air Services' owner, Mike Tarascio, took his first private flight in 1981. It was nothing too glamorous, just a ride on a tiny four-seater plane that took him to an electronics conference in New Jersey. The experience ignited his passion for flying, though, and by 1982, he had purchased his first plane. That single plane snowballed into a small airline, then expanded further into Ventura Air Services.
Now, the company's pilots helm an extensive fleet, on charter flights or turn over the controls to aspiring aviators during airborne adventures. On one adventure, the client, overseen by an instructor, takes over the controls during the entire flight over New York City, while their guest passenger snaps photos and helps with Icarus-spotting. During another adventure, the Top Gun experience, the client can try his or her hand at the ultimate triathlon: piloting a plane, riding a motorcycle, and playing volleyball.