Bucketlist: Open Door Helicopter Ride... Check!
Holy S***. This was UNREAL.
Imagine stretching your legs out of a moving helicopter where the velocity makes it near impossible to hold your legs out steady. Every few seconds the air pressure pushes your legs aside like limp pieces of bacon... *mmmm bacon.* While at the same time you're seeing absolutely nothing but open air between you and the ground. Sounds pretty terrifying. But, I am here to tell you that it is SO WORTH IT!
Do you live in Los Angeles? Have you ever been stuck in traffic on the 405 and watched the news helicopters circle above you? If you're anything like me, you've gotten side-tracked daydreaming about what the view is like from up there.
Is it peaceful? Is it heavenly? Does the horizon go on for days? Yes, yes, and yes.
For my boyfriend's birthday I booked us a trip with Fly NYON for a 45 min afternoon ride. Fast forward to arriving on-site in Hawthorne, LA (fun fact: its located right next to Space X). After meeting the pilot, getting a safety run-down, and getting strapped into our harnesses we were ready to go.
Our chopper was set up for 5 passengers (the pilot and 4 guests) so we shared the back seat with another pair. Since one of FlyNYON's mottos is that everyone gets the opportunity for a shoe-selfie, a "shelfie" if you will, they have what they call the "adventure seats." These are the two seats in the middle that are not directly adjacent to the open doors. Once the ride is safely up in the air and the pilot gives the signal, then the two passengers in the middle unhook their seat belts (don't worry, there is still a harness system in place), shimmy down to the floor, and scoot on their bums until their legs are in place and resting on the metal bar directly beneath their feet. As someone who was in the adventure seat, I can tell you that it is definitely a nerve-racking moment unbuckling your seatbelt and moving around in a moving helicopter but it is truly an experience that I will never forget and will ABSOLUTELY do again.
Once en route we headed first to downtown LA, made a loop around the Dodger's Stadium, headed up to the Hollywood Sign, and then made our way to the westside to fly over the Santa Monica pier. As the flight came to an end, one of my favorite moments was coming in really low to the water as we flew along the edge of the sand. We were so close that we could see people waving to us from the beach! After that the trip came full circle, taking us right back to Hawthorne.
Bucket List... check!