In recent years helicopter rides have increased in availability and have decreased in price due to the increased competition in the market. However, they remain one of the UK’s best kept holiday secrets. Here we look at pleasure flights available in the UK and their main selling points.
Types of the Helicopter ride
A variety of services are available throughout the UK including pleasure flights, helicopter tours, trial lessons, and pilot training. Helicopters can be also be chartered for special occasions, weddings, aerial photography or business requirements. Here we take a look at the pleasure flight.
Why book a pleasure flight?
For tourists, helicopter rides allow for a whistle-stop aerial tour of the area and allow them to see many of the local sights from a unique perspective. What better way to explore the Scottish Highlands and Lochs, the Peak District or the stunning Lake District?
For locals, flights provide a new way of looking at familiar sights and a new perspective on their local area. That thirty-minute journey to the nearest supermarket suddenly becomes a one-minute diversion at the hands of an experienced helicopter pilot.
Pleasure flights are also exhilarating. Helicopters usually travel at well over 100mph and can reach much higher top speeds. They are also incredibly maneuverable at the speed which makes for a thrilling ride.
Pleasure flights also make great gifts and most providers will sell vouchers which are valid for up to one year from the date of purchase. Many people are so impressed with their flight that they sign up for an hour’s flying lesson right after their first flight. A good proportion of them goes on to become a qualified pilot in their own right.
Shorter pleasure flights start at around 40 during which you will reach more than 100mph and 1000 feet during a thrill-packed five-minute burst of adrenalin. Group discounts are often available which helps to lower the cost even further.
City tours tend to last around 15 minutes and take all of the major sights that a city, such as Manchester or Nottingham, has to offer. You usually have the option of a shared group flight or, for an extra charge, you can also hire the entire helicopter to yourselves.
The longest pleasure flights tend to last for around one hour and involve a tour of a large area such as the Peak District. Some providers, for example, Central helicopters who are based in Nottinghamshire, allow you to choose your own route, within the realms of the feasibility of course.
During longer pleasure flights you usually have the helicopter exclusively to your own group whereas on shorter helicopter rides you will probably be sharing the aircraft with others.
Helicopter rides have an outstanding safety record. A pre-flight safety briefing is given before all flights. All providers of helicopter pleasure flights in the UK must be licensed and fully insured by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Helicopter rides have a reputation as expensive luxuries that are only affordable by an elite few. However, thanks to providers such as Central helicopters they are now becoming more and more affordable and could be ‘the next big thing’ in the UK’s tourism industry.