The human desire to fly only provides further evidence for the controversial theory that we are reverse-evolving back into pterodactyls. Propel our species upward with today's Groupon: for $175, you get a Discovery Flight helicopter-flying lesson from Wesson Aviation (a $350 value), located at Anniston Metropolitan Airport in Oxford.
Wesson Aviation grants groundlings a bird's eye view through aerial photography, helicopter tours, and flight training in a luxurious Bell Jet Ranger chopper. Prior to flight, students spend 20 minutes thoroughly inspecting the aircraft for safety, participating in a preflight briefing, and using the pilot's checklist to ensure there are enough peanuts for the entire flight duration. Students man the controls alongside their certified instructor during takeoff and fly the aircraft with coaching from the pro during 20 minutes of flight time. Training includes hovering, takeoff and landing, climbs, descents, and how to airlift stubborn cows from the middle of roads. Once landing is complete, students may discuss the flight and ask questions.
Leather seats fill the well-maintained Bell Jet Ranger helicopter, which is equipped with heat and air conditioning, a radar altimeter, and a traffic-avoidance system to help pilots steer clear of busy goose highways during rush hour. Students are welcome to invite one friend to ride along and ensure that future tales of aerial dexterity will not be over-exaggerated.
The FAA–certified instructors at Wesson Aviation instill safe-flying habits in budding aviators, whether their aim is to casually jaunt through the clouds or to pursue a license for flying a plane, helicopter, or really large, specially folded piece of paper. No matter their aerial pursuit, pilots learn on modern and well-maintained equipment. The Bell Jet Ranger helicopter has flown about 1,400 hours and spoils students with modern avionic equipment, such as a Garmin GPS, radar altimeter, and heating and air conditioning—creature comforts to revel in when playing long hide-and-seek games with a stealth bomber. Students can also work toward their FAA pilot certification for private, commercial, or instructor flight at more than 200 miles per hour aboard the outfit’s twin-engine Beechcraft Baron airplane.: