Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Have you ever ridden in a helicopter?

It used to be a very special occasion if you got to ride in a helicopter. Now it seems like every popular city and tourist destination is offering helicopter tours – and you can even get a Groupon deal!

Have you ever ridden in a helicopter? Was it for work? Were you in the military? An emergency? Was it one of these tours we’re talking about? Please tell us about it in the comments below the poll.

If you want to go on a helicopter tour, these are the ones that Tripadvisor users say are the best.


  1. The best rides are in those old helicopters that have just the huge glass in front that is curved all the way around and down to your feet. Man – talk about stomach dropping – especially when you soar over the edge of cliff and then suddenly you see nothing but air below your feet!

  2. We did it all the time during the southeast Asia war games in which our team was compelled/forced by liberal politicians to accept second place.

  3. I have had several opportunities to take sight-seeing trips on a helicopter and have refused. I did recently buy a drone outfitted with a camera, so I can enjoy some of the view from way up in the sky without actually going there. I also am not keen on flying commercial (or smaller) airplanes, which is part of the reason that I RV; traveling on land is by far the most comfortable way for me to travel. Besides, my wife always shares with me the pictures that she takes during all her helicopter rides.

  4. My first ride was an Italian Navy chopper. That came to pick me up for dinner from the USNS Mercy during Desert Shield. I was stationed in Naples for 4 years and was fluent in la bella lingua Italiano. It was a fun and excellent meal.

    My last ride was an open door ride to view the 2018 eruption near my home on the Big Island. It was fascinating but very cold.

  5. Only for fun. Once in Hawaii. Spectacular. Another time in Australia. We were there visiting friends & husband was participating in a vintage race. One of the other racers had a helicopter (had a service where he used it) and took us for a ride.

  6. Too many times to count. I was the Chief Flight Instructor & Owner of a helicopter flight School. Also flew photo, agricultural, ferry & scenic flights.

  7. Flew in 5 different models in the Marine Corps!!! Even worked and flew in Marine One for several years as Avionics, 1st mech and Crew Chief!!

  8. First time was back in 1983 when we [wife, 3-year-old son, and I] flew in a helicopter to see Mount Rushmore on a short 8-minute flight. in 2017 the wife and I flew over [close to Kilauea] Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Both were fantastic and well worth the expense and experience.

  9. I have flown in a helicopter many times in the Army for a variety of reasons. The most frequent flights were as a Field Artillery Forward Observer.

  10. I was a flight nurse for 20 years. I can’t say how many missions but lots of lives saved and a few close calls. I am retired from one of the best jobs in the world

  11. I’ve been up a few times on tours and in search and rescue missions, but definitely became anxious in the Russian Arctic (Franz Joseph Land) in a Russian bird transporting us to shore. All well and good until the windshield started fogging and the pilot pulled out a battery powered fan, used some duct tape to hang it from the ceiling, then held the fan to direct the air flow toward the windshield to partially clear it so he could see where we were going. Did not instill confidence in the helicopter or pilot, though he had obviously used this option before.

  12. As a K9 handler for the L.B.P.D when we did demos we’d put the K9s in the Helicopter and the handlers would ride outside on the skids to the demo location. The kids loved it as well as the handlers

  13. The most memorable time was during Operation Desert Shield. I had to fly from Bahrain to Fujairah, UAE to repair a navigation system on a ship. Due to the tensions in the region, the pilots were still flying with evasive maneuvers. We were in a Sea King. A little scary.

  14. Funny story. When my husband was working in Death Valley he was assigned to ride a ‘copter up to Telescope Peak to do some work on the generators that power the TV & park radio system repeaters. All day I kept thinking “I don’t want to hear there was a crash”. He came home & told me they’d had a “crash” landing (no damage, no injuries, lots of warning bells, sirens, etc hard landing). It was a pilot who wasn’t experienced in high altitude flying techniques. The following week he had to go back, but I had no crash thoughts plaguing me. The second pilot explained to his passengers what had gone wrong the week before.

  15. Does a Gryocopter count?
    Was thinking about buying one and took a test ride. A wonderful experience. They dont take off straight up but need a short runway but airborne they preform almost like a helo. Way too much noise. Engine right behind passenger

  16. It’s been a life long dream of mine, ever since I used to watch “:Whirlybirds” on TV. Right up there with a ride on a submarine.

    • Yep, the Army taught me how to fly helicopters which provided me with an occupation for 43 years. You can see a lot of beautiful country when you are flying around at 500 feet!

  17. I used to work on an oil exploration survey crew, and we had 3 helos that we worked out of. A Hughes 500, an Alouette, and a Llama. This was back in the 70s; one of the funnest times of my life.

  18. Boss picked me up on the front lawn of the Radisson and we flew to the Astrodome for an event… then he had me sneak in the back door with someone else’s badge. Great times.

  19. Now retired law enforcement, but when active I rode in several. Also, I’m a pilot with airplane, so the skies are a second home to me.

  20. Speaking of helicopters, what happened to the contributer who used to write a column for you about all the great gadgets he found. He bought a used helicopter, picked it up, brought it home and we never got to hear about his helicopter experience after that. I believe he called himself the wandering something.

  21. I was in a helicopter for an architectural photo shoot with the doors off and leaning out taking photos. It was only when I got back to the ground did I find out my seat belt had come off…

  22. Yes, many times as an Army nurse. One of my many responsibilities was to do air evacuations when needed. Harrowing, but satisfying work.

  23. Years ago at the Grand Canyon. We hemmed and hawed a long time because the extra $700 wasn’t in our vacation budget, then decided we might not have a chance again for a long time. I’d do it again today without batting an eye about the expense. Great ride, great pilot.

  24. I rode in several while in Vietnam, then in 1989 we went to the Smokies on vacation and decided to take a helicopter tour of the area. We all enjoyed it except my 13 year old son. It was a white knuckle experience for him, he’ll never get in another one. I don’t know what scared him so bad and he won’t talk about it to this day. Lol

  25. As a Vietnam Infantry squad leader, we flew on helicopters more times than I want to remember. Now in all honesty, I loved flying on choppers and still do if I ever get a chance. RVN, 1968, 25th ID

  26. I’ve ridden in several helicopters on tours while traveling. The most exciting was on the big island of Hawaii. We flew over the volcano and up the coastline. We were first riders of the day in very windy conditions. My husband became pale and sweaty but was able to keep down his breakfast. When we landed, the company decided to cancel rides for the rest of the day due to the wind!

  27. I have ridden more times in a Huey than I can count. It was our main transportation flying in and out of the jungle in Vietnam

  28. Once (twice) in the Navy, I had to transfer from my ship to another in our squadron and back, I would never do that again, it shook and vibrated so much I thought it would fall apart. Small boat transfers or high line would be my preference if I ever had to do it again, fortunately I never had to swap ships underway again.

  29. I was evacuated out of the Grand Canyon by helicopter after a fall. I was not seriously hurt but unable to complete my rim to rim hike.

  30. Interesting timing for your question. Last Saturday, my wife and I took a helicopter tour to see the beautiful fall colors here in central Michigan. Although the colors weren’t quite at “peak”, it was still a wonderful experience to see the forests of multi-color trees from the air.


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