Are Helicopter Tours Scary? Flex Air Puts Your Mind at Ease
Whether you have some general fears, a nervous stomach or simply are scared of heights, an impending helicopter tour may seem like the scariest activity imaginable. But, rest assured, we are happy to explain everything you should know before your flight and put your mind at ease.
A private or group helicopter tour can be an incredible experience. From seeing things you have never seen before, observing the city lights from the sky or simply enjoying famous landmarks in new places, there is so much to see and the helicopter ride itself, can be incredibly exciting…if you overcome your fear.
The best way in overcoming a fear is through knowledge. Were you a kid who was scared of the monsters under the bed? Then this applies. Only after you check under your bed and see nothing, can you relax and not think there is a monster under there. Helicopters and flight in general is the same. We are here to explain the ins and outs of flights and helicopter tours so you can see them for what they really are and not a monster you have to face while on vacation.
Don’t miss out on the next time you can see the city, monuments and gorgeous skyline due to fear. We’re about to help you sit back and relax while we answer the question: are helicopter tours scary?
What Are You Really Afraid Of?
In most cases, the fear of flying comes from a general fear of heights or a fear of being out of control. Once you are aware of how the helicopter works, who is behind the controls and what you can do to overcome your fear, you will feel more incontrol of your situation above the ground and be able to enjoy the spectacular sights while you are at it.
With more knowledge you will find that helicopters are not only safe, they also don’t fly that high.
Despite what you may see in movies and tv shows, helicopter tour rides fly only a few hundred to a thousand or so (typically between 500-1000 feet above ground level (AGL)). Helicopter charters or long-haul flights do tend to go much higher, but while you are sight seeing, your pilot will want you closer to the sights rather than too high up to see them.
Another factor to consider is if your fear is of the heights or if your fear is of falling as both are very different and need to be handled differently. For a fear of heights, understanding that you aren’t really that high may help, but for a fear of falling, knowing how the helicopter operates may help you the most.
How Do Helicopters Fly and What If the Engine Stops?
Helicopters fly similar to how airplanes fly, accept, they don’t have rotors on wings, instead, they fly when the rotor on top of the cabin rotates pushing air down. When the air is pushed down, it creates lift. Unlike airplanes, this lift can be generated even when the helicopter is on the ground, for airplanes the aircraft must use speed to move forward to create the lift needed. Helicopters can move in all directions and generally move much slower than airplanes. They also fly lower as we have mentioned so the cabins are typically unpressurized.
One thing that typically causes someone to ask us “are helicopter tours scary?” is the fear of the aircraft falling from the sky. This is not likely at all. For starters, in a helicopter, there are options for the pilot to get the helicopter to the ground safely even without the motor running! Although it is incredibly rare, understanding that if you are on a helicopter tour and the engine stops your pilot will get you to the ground safely can help to alleviate some of the worries.
When the engine stops in a dual-engine helicopter, your pilot will simply use the other engine to reach the ground. If the engine stops in a single-engine helicopter, your pilot will land by controlling the helicopter while the blades rotate. This is called autorotation. Basically, the wind beneath the blades will keep them spinning until you reach the ground and at a steady pace.
Feeling better? Great! Let’s go over some more.
Helicopter Tour Operators Are Highly Trained
At Flex Air, we work with the most professional operators and the highest trained pilots in the helicopter tour industry. Many of these men and women have worked in law enforcement, the military and as commercial pilots and have all the experience necessary to not only put your mind at ease during your helicopter tour but also to guarantee your safety aboard their helicopters.
In order to be trained to work in any commercial aviation industry, a pilot must go through hundreds of hours in flight and a rigorous training schedule for multiple years prior to flying passengers. Helicopter flight training follows commercial training. As that is the case it takes many tests and maneuvers course hours to be licensed to fly you on your tour.
Not only is the pilot trained extensively, so is the ground crew and of course the ATC. Ground crews check and recheck all of the working components of the aircraft prior to flight and air traffic controllers are also monitoring your flight as well. Trust us, you are in the best of hands during your helicopter tour and all crew will put your mind at ease from thinking helicopter tours are scary.
Helicopters Come With Many Safety Features
Modern helicopters are loaded with additional safety features including:
- Auto-pilot: To assist with flight if pilots become temporarily distracted due to an emergency etc.
- GPS: Used to navigate even during bad weather or low visibility.
- Radio Altimeter: This tool allows the pilot to see where other aircraft and obstacles are in the area to avoid a collision.
- Traffic Advisory System: this system notifies pilots of other air traffic they should be aware of in their area.
- Flight Data Recorder: This helps in recording operational changes that are needed prior to each flight to let mechanics and crew know if there are any changes that need to be addressed, for instance, if something is loose or the fluids will need to be replaced.
Are Helicopters Tours Scary When There Is Turbulence?
Bumps and turbulence are completely different in a helicopter than they are in an airplane. For starters, helicopters do not go as high up as airplanes so the wind is different. If you experience turbulence on your helicopter tour, you likely won’t notice and if turbulence in the air space you will be flying in is likely to be severe, your pilot will wait it out before attempting to fly with you guaranteeing that your tour goes on smoothly
What Can You Do to Put Your Mind at Ease Before and During the Flight?
Well, for starters, if you have a serious phobia it doesn’t hurt to speak to your doctor first before taking a flight, Flex Air believes 100% in being safe rather than sorry. If you are simply nervous or are just curious and want to know if helicopter tours are scary, then we suggest taking the flight and seeing the sights! Your pilot and agent are both willing to answer any safety questions you have before, during and after the flight. Before getting on the helicopter for your tour, you will be given a briefing on safety as well.
Often pilots will tell passengers if they start to feel ill or scared, to focus on an object outside of your window and use your personal air-conditioner vent to cool yourself. Alternatively, you could try flying on a flight simulator before taking your flight as well. However, we assure you, helicopter tours are not scary and can be enjoyed even by those with fears of flying.
Your helicopter tour will be thrilling and exciting. Many consider helicopter flights to be a bucket list item and if you are given the chance to take one at any location in the world, as you have the opportunity to with Flex Air, we highly recommend you take that chance.
If you wish to take a helicopter tour through Flex Air, you can rest assured you will have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our agents and partnering operators have years of experience arranging and conducting helicopter tours and can help put all of your fears at ease. Contact us today if you have any more concerns before your flight!