Despite having notorious traffic, it's really not that hard to get around Hollywood. All you need is the power of flight. That's where Copter Pilot's signature sightseeing tours come in. The Robinson R-44's large windows look out on pretty much all of the city's major sights, allowing passengers to view the Sunset Strip, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Sign from an air-conditioned spot in the sky. The team at Copter Pilot knows a thing or too about working in Hollywood too—when they're not offering tours of Tinsel Town, the crew often help out with film and television productions, operating everything from handheld aerial cameras to gyro-stabilized Cineflex Cameras.
For more than two decades, the FAA-certified flight instructors at Orbic Air have maintained an impeccable safety record while escorting sightseers and pilots in training through the sky aboard a reliable fleet of Robinson helicopters. With Van Nuys Airport as a home nest, casual travelers can charter a scenic ride to Los Angeles, Big Bear, or Las Vegas in order to make a flashy entrance or rescue a kitten stuck on top of the Luxor pyramid. The Orbic Air flight school sees enrollees from first flights all the way to commercial-pilot certificates with guidance from expert instructors.
Adventure Helicopter Tours parades sightseers about the skies above Los Angeles for aerial appreciation of the city's many landmarks. The outfit hosts 12 separate tours around southern California, including those that fly over the homes of celebrities, providing ample opportunities to pass judgment on their backyard barbecuing skills. Other options include a romantic sunset excursion, and a route that flies past the Hollywood sign. Every passenger on an Adventure Helicopter Tours excursion enjoys window seating and a two-way MP3 stereo headset for easy communication with fellow sightseers.
The male and female firearm experts of American Home Defense shape their shooting and self-defense classes around legal regulations with an emphasis on personal safety. In private shooting lessons, students learn to handle three of the most common handguns and home-defense classes equip participants with the know-how to protect their families from intruders or a neighbor's moat monster.
To cover Los Angeles' approximately 500 square miles could take days, unless you've booked a trip with Coastal Helicopters. Its fleet of luxury choppers offers guests unparalleled views of the city from above, giving them a serene bird's-eye view of all the hustle and bustle. Beyond their standard tours, the trained pilots also lead aerial photography tours of California's urban and natural wonders, such as the ancient erosion pattern that mysteriously spells "Hollywood." They lift off from some 25 locations across the state, concentrated mainly around LA but spanning as far north as San Francisco.
With its fleet of choppers and experienced instructors, Elite Helicopters keeps the focus on learning. The accredited flight school helps students acquire fundamental flying skills and build up pilot ratings.