Helicopter rides are great fun — but do you know what’s even more exhilarating? Flying a plane yourself! In the pilot training industry, many companies offer “discovery flights”, where someone who has always wanted to view the world from above, gets the chance to do so by flying a plane themselves (with a certified flight instructor (CFI) supervising the entire operation, of course.) This introductory session gives you the opportunity to see what flying an airplane is like and learn about what the private pilot certification process is like, while getting the thrill of a lifetime taking the controls in the cockpit with a CFI next to you. So, we ask — why take a helicopter ride when you can fly a plane?
Airplanes Provide a Better Experience
A helicopter ride can give you some of the same views, but not the same experience — if you’ve never ridden in a helicopter, some models can be loud, restrictive and uncomfortable to ride in. Those that are prone to motion sickness should be cautious, as on take-off in a helicopter, the first lurch upwards will turn any weak stomach. And not to mention those helicopters without doors, which can really add a factor of fear. In contrast, flying in a small aircraft is a comfortable, safe experience (and the doors are always closed tight). Your CFI will ensure that the ride, from take-off to landing, is smooth and trouble-free.
Discovery Flights Offer a Better Value
For the expense, taking a helicopter ride is a much worse value than doing a discovery flight in an airplane. The cost of running a helicopter is about twice as much as a plane, meaning the prices are higher, and can reach up into the thousands depending on duration and number of passengers.
Inflight Pilot Training offers two discovery flight options, starting at just $219.99:
Discovery Flight Cessna 172
90 mins (1 HR Flight .5 Ground)
Our standard discovery flight gives you the opportunity to fly a Cessna 172, one of the most trusted aircraft ever built, for an hour.
Discovery Flight Cirrus SR20
90 mins (1 HR Flight .5 Ground)
The upgrade lets you fly the most technologically advanced piston aircraft of this generation, and includes everything you need for an amazing flight — from air conditioning to a glass cockpit to the legendary Airframe Parachute system.
Other Benefits of a Discovery Flight vs. Helicopter Ride
- Discovery flights are more widely available than helicopter rides: Unless you live in a tourist-heavy area you probably won’t have that many options when looking for helicopter rides. Pilot training schools are located all around the country, often at your local airport, and probably offer some sort of discovery flight or introductory course that gets you up in the air.
- Airplanes can fly higher than helicopters: If you want a truly spectacular view, it doesn’t get much better than looking out over the world at thousands of feet in the air from the cockpit of an airplane. Helicopter rides, on the other hand, usually top out around 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL).
- Anyone can fly an airplane: Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to fly a plane, and it’s not that difficult to do, especially with a CFI in the seat next to you. You won’t have to get bogged down in learning what every instrument, button or switch does–that’s for future lessons–you’re given the chance to simply take the controls and fly the plane, much like you would drive a car or boat.
- Airplanes can fly farther than helicopters: With a helicopter tour, you’re likely to get a 15 to 30 minute ride (for the more affordable options). Inflight offers 60 thrilling minutes behind the control wheel of a plane, as well as a half hour of ground school to get you acclimated to the pilot’s process.
Are you ready to try a discovery flight and fly a plane?
Then get in touch with the CFIs at Inflight Pilot Training in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We will give you the opportunity to experience flying in a way that helicopters can’t provide. All you need is the right group of people to get you in the sky. It’s easy to schedule your discovery flight — simply use the book the introductory lesson through the form on our website and you’re on your way to flying an airplane.
Schedule your lesson today!