Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Helicopter Ride at the Stuart Air Show

After spending the entire day at the Stuart Air Show, I wanted something a little extra. Jumping out the back of a C-130 at 2,000 feet? No that's not it. Hitch a ride on one of the AreoShell Aerobatic Team stunt planes? Had lunch and dinner so that was out. It was getting late, the last plane had flown and the show was closing down then I noticed the helicopter rides. Oh yeah - that's what I needed to do to make this day over the top.

I walked up right as they were taking the last tickets. There was one seat for the next flight so I plunked down my $35.00 and headed for the front of the line.

The helicopter was a four seater (including the pilot) and smaller up close than it looked from across the field.  I was heading out with an Army wife and her very young daughter both just in from Germany. I drove to the show. They came by military transport plane. Lucky for me and my camera, they decided to take the two back seats. I sat up front with and nearly on top of the pilot. 
The last helicopter I rode in was a monster. Sort of a corporate type, six seater. When it took off, you knew it, you heard it, you felt it in your teeth. After I squeezed into the tiny cockpit, buckled up, and checked my camera settings we were off as gently and smooth as a hot air balloon. I'm not even sure where the engine was. I asked what this particular helicopter was used for. Training, movies, rides, and whatever they could schedule to make a buck. Seemed like the best office in the world and the pilot mentioned a commercial license was a mere $17,000.00. That's actually cheaper than my daughter's college education. If not the full license, I would definitely consider lessons or areal photography.


  1. I'm never quite sure if I'm thrilled or terrified by helicopter flights!!!!

  2. @Red - This was like a ride in the park only 1,000 feet up. I had the camera in my eye most of the time so I only really appreciated it when I posted the photos.