Helicopter gift experience was unforgettable
To give you a better idea of what it is like to fly on one of our pleasure flights, we talked to a recent first-time flyer about his helicopter gift experience with Central Helicopters. Here he describes one of our best-loved pleasure flights from start to finish.
Like many of those coming to enjoy a helicopter gift experience, Norman Parker was a first-time helicopter passenger.
Living in Cheshire, he often visits the Peak District, and is an avid walker, but, he’d never seen it from the air. With four different flights taking in the national park, there’s plenty of opportunity to see famous landmarks, such as Chatsworth House, as well as the rugged terrain, forests, hills, rivers and more.
But, for Norman, the Dambuster and Chatsworth Tour stood out in particular, as he explains:
“I’ve always been interested in the Dam Busters. Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated with the story, the heroics, the danger. So the idea of combining my first flight by helicopter with a tour of the Peak District, that I know so well, and a tour of the famous Derwent dams, where the Dam Buster pilots trained, was the obvious choice.”
After a one-hour drive from Stoke-on-Trent, Norman and his family arrived at our Peak District flight location, Owler Bar. Set on the edge of the park, it is the ideal spot from which to lift off and explore the diverse landscape.
With Norman were his son, Justin, wife Pat, and daughter-in-Law Anna, whom like Dad, had never taken to the skies by helicopter before. Awaiting to fly them was one of Central Helicopters’ most experienced pilots, Dave Marsland, with the Bell 206 LongRanger. With a capacity for six passengers, the helicopter is perfect for gift experiences, allowing for a great view, and easy access for taking those all important photos.
Norman explains the take-off: “As the helicopter took off, the nose dipped, as if you are going to dive down, and then you are up and away, climbing steeply and turning all in one movement. As you leave the ground, fields, forests, houses and roads all rushed into view. The helicopter climbed to around 1000ft before levelling off.”
‘It brought the adventure to life’
From Owler Bar, Norman and his family headed north-west to follow the same route taken by the 617 squadron, retracing one their training routes as they practised low-level flying in their Avro Lancasters. Their heroic feats were captured on film in the 1955 movie The Dam Busters, which was also filmed right here.
Norman picks up the story: “We headed first over the Ladybower Dam, the Howden Dam, and then to the iconic twin towers of Derwent Dam. It was great to be able to see in person where the Dam Busters trained. To be able to visualise the dams and the countryside from the air, it really helped bring their whole adventure to life, and makes this such an interesting place for a helicopter flight.”
Another famous location that has been the backdrop of numerous movies, including Pride and Prejudice, is Chatsworth House, one of the grandest and magnificent estates in the UK. Built in 1552 by Sir William Cavendish, one of its most notable moments was when it became the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, while she was kept under house arrest.
Norman says: “It was a fun way to round off the flight. It’s another landmark I have been to many times, having visited the house, and walked the grounds, but it is really interesting to see it from high above, you really get a better impression of its size and magnificence, and, the pictures I took are that much more unique and special – I’ll treasure them.”
Norman added: “The flight was around 30 minutes, which was brilliant, giving us plenty of time to see the dams, countryside and Chatsworth. But, the whole helicopter gift experience was so memorable. The staff and pilot were great, and we even had lunch included at the Moorlands pub. It was a great gift, and so special to have the family along, too.”
1. Take to the skies like a celeb
If you like the idea of flying like a celebrity or high-powered VIP in a helicopter, a pleasure flight is for you. For the likes of US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Star Wars hero Han Solo (aka Harrison Ford) and Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt, (whose soon-to-be ex-wife Angelina paid £1.3 million for his helicopter) this aircraft simply trumps (excuse the pun) any other form of transport.
2. Witness the spectacular
Sit back and relax in our comfortable Bell LongRanger helicopter as it cruises along at several thousand feet. During your helicopter tour you’ll be treated to a spectacular bird’s eye view of the constantly changing scenery that stretches out for mile after mile in every direction.
3. Learn something new
Our highly-qualified helicopter pilots have years of experience flying fun-loving pleasure fliers all over the UK. Who better then to tell you about the many beautiful locations, historical gems, and other points of interest along the way. Listen up! You will learn something.
4. Marvel at the magnificence of one of the UK’s most important stately homes…
The grandeur and magnificence of one of the UK’s most amazing stately homes, Chatsworth House, awaits. Our Peak District and Chatsworth House Tour will take you directly over the great house, which was Built in 1552 by Sir William Cavendish. One of its most notable moments was when it became the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, while she was kept under house arrest. More recently it has been the set of a number of TV productions and films, including Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, partly for the spectacular grounds and gardens, which you’ll get an unmissable view of… cameras at the ready!
5. Take once-in-a-lifetime photos
Taking photos of everything from stunning landscapes, to some very special selfies onboard your flight. Where better to take some of your best photos or even video, than on a helicopter experience? Whether it is using a simple compact, iPhone, or an SLR camera, helicopter photography is for everyone. Just remember these key points: Make sure you have plenty of available memory on your device; put your camera close to the window to minimise reflections; keep the shutter speed above 1/1000 of a second, this will help reduce the impact of any camera shake, leading to blurred photos; have fun, try and get different, imaginative pictures, like helicopter shadows. On any of our helicopter flights, you are certain to capture some very special shots to add to your photo album!
6. Discover the Dambusters
Flying over the iconic spot where the Dambusters RAF pilots practised for one of the most daring raids of the Second World War. In 1943 a select few pilots carried out low-level flights over the Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire because of its similarity to German dams in the Ruhr Valley, three of which they would go on to destroy months later using the ‘bouncing bomb’.
Our Dambuster and Chatsworth House Tour departs from The Moorlands pub and heads north-west to follow the route of the famous 617 squadron down the Derwent Valley and over the twin dams. If that’s not enough, the flight also takes in other spectacular aerial sights over the Peak District, including Chatsworth House. We’ll even throw in a free lunch. Sound good?
7. Experience a unique ride – there’s nothing quite like it
Strapping into a helicopter, listening to the spinning rotors, followed by the sensation of lifting off and rapidly accelerating as you fly high into the sky – there’s nothing quite like it. For first-time fliers the excitement of take-off is a unique, thrilling part of your pleasure flight. Whether you are departing from our Nottingham Heliport or are leaving from one of our locations in northern England, you can be sure your flight will be memorable from the very first minute.
8. Head for the lakes… mountains, wild moors, cityscapes, and beaches
8. Discovering lakes, mountains, wild moors, cityscapes, beaches and world-famous historical landmarks. Our Derbyshire helicopter rides are centred around the Peak District with its varied landscapes and famous landmarks. If you prefer city helicopter tours, we’ll show you the sights of Nottingham and York. Or, how about a coastal flight taking in those famous old English seaside towns, such as Blackpool and Skegness? Why not bring along the family to qualify for a group discount, and share the experience of a lifetime!
Share your Great British View and WIN!
Here at Central Helicopters our pleasure flights take us to some pretty spectacular, varied locations, where we are lucky enough to regularly get a Great British View. From scenic national parks like the Lake District, to historic cities such as York, to unique seaside favourites including Blackpool.
A stunning scenic selfie
But, one thing they all have in common is spectacular views… and plenty of them.
In tribute to these, we are asking YOU to get involved and send us your pictures and videos of your Great British View taken during a Central Helicopters flight. Maybe you’ve got amazing aerial photography, or a scenic selfie? Whatever the composition, we want to see it.
WIN a flight voucher
Share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreatBritishView. The chosen winner will receive a FREE 6-Mile Helicopter Air Experience. Be in it to win by Friday, November, 4. All entries will forfeit their copyright, allowing Central Helicopters Ltd to use the photographs for marketing purposes. The winner will be chosen at the discretion of the management. Winning photos will be displayed on our website!
Choose your Central Helicopters pleasure flight and experience unforgettable views of some of Britain’s best-loved locations.
OK, so we might not be able to fly you to the moon, but we can offer you the next best thing. Imagine soaring through the sky, getting a bird’s eye view of the town and cities below and watching the specks of cars and people moving around getting on with their daily lives. Now imagine all this but giving it as a present to someone for their birthday or Christmas. You’ll be the favourite friend or relative for sure!
Starting at just £39, helicopter pleasure flights are much more affordable that you may have originally thought. Departing from different locations, you or the recipient will be able to take in spectacular views of Nottingham, Preston, Yorkshire or the Peak District. Rising to a height of 1,000ft, and travelling at speeds of up to 100mph, you’ll be able to see for miles. You could even make it a family occasion as more than one person can enjoy the flight at once. We even offer a discount to bookings of more than one person which makes our helicopter flights a unique and exciting adventure.
Depending on how generous you’re feeling; you can opt for a 6-mile or 15-mile trip. These roughly equate to 5 minutes and 10 minutes respectively of flying time. Or if you fancy going all out, people choosing to fly from Nottingham can upgrade their flight to 30 minutes long for just £99. For this you’ll get the helicopter exclusively for your party and you can even choose places to fly over. Flying over your own home is always a popular choice!
If you’ve already caught the flying bug, and want to take it a step further, then why not try a lesson. Many people dream of learning how to fly, but often it is just a pipe dream with money being the main issue. However, it need not be expensive with trial lessons starting at just £99. For £99 you’ll get a classroom briefing then a chance to put what you’ve learned, into practice with 15 minutes in the air. Don’t panic though, our helicopters are dual-controlled so you’ll be in the safe hands of your instructor at all times. Perfect for those adrenaline junkies and people who love adventure, taster helicopter flying lessons will leave you craving more. Prices range from £99 to £949 depending on how long you actually want to fly for, and how in depth you want the lesson to be.
The R44 Helicopter Discovery Day will give you a full two hours in the air where you’ll learn practical skills of controls, navigation, and if you (and your passengers who can travel in the helicopter with you for free) are brave enough, you can even have a go at some emergency procedures.
Flying in a helicopter for pleasure to see the views, or learning to fly it, will give you a sense of freedom which is second to none. Soaring high above the ground, taking in awesome views and better still, getting to enjoy it with your loved ones, is certainly the perfect and unique gift for everyone.
Are you looking for a present with a difference? At Central Helicopters we offer helicopter pleasure flights. Established over ten years ago we offer quality helicopter flights and pride ourselves on our customer service and facilities. We are family owned and run. Unlike many helicopter companies we own all of our aircraft giving us greater control and flexibility.
Based at Nottingham Airport we offer a wide range of helicopter pleasure flights across a variety of different destinations around the UK. Here at Central Helicopters our pleasure flight destinations include Nottingham, the Peak District, the Lake District, Preston, Blackpool and Yorkshire. We offer a number of different flight packages from each destination. Our flight packages range from a six-mile introductory flight experience to extended flights of forty-five minutes including a tour of the local area. We also offer you the chance to enhance your flight experience by upgrading to a co-pilot seat.
Helicopter flights let you see a destination as never before. It might be your local area or somewhere new. Marvel at the scenery and see how many landmarks you can spot whilst flying. Our helicopter pleasure flights make a truly unique gift and are something the recipient will never forget. All of our flights include a pre-safety briefing where you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have.
At Central Helicopters as well as offering unforgettable pleasure flight packages we also offer helicopter flying lessons. We provide a number of flying lesson packages including introductory flights to suit all levels of interest and budgets. Our trial lesson vouchers make the ideal gift and come in a presentation card. All of our vouchers are valid fro twelve months and the recipient can choose when they want to book their flight. Our trial flying lessons make a special gift for all ages and are a truly unique present. At Central Helicopters our individual lessons start from fifteen minutes flight time and go up to sixty minutes. All of our flying lessons come with pre-flight briefing and a presentation certificate after your flight to remember the day. Our expert pilots are flexible and if there are any particular locations or sights you wish to see on your flight then let them know. With our helicopter flying lessons all flight time counts towards the Private Pilots Licence should you wish to pursue your flying career and qualify as a pilot.
Here at Central Helicopters we have a range of aircraft and use two different types of helicopter for our trial lessons. One is the Robinson R22, which is a two-seater aircraft designed specifically for one to one tuition. Alternatively we also offer lessons in our Robinson R44, which is a larger helicopter and seats up to four people. The two extra seats mean you can take friends or family members along for the ride!
We also provide charter helicopter flights ideal for business flights, corporate flying days and taking aerial photography. We can also charter flights to sporting events, arrive in style at the races.
Posted: 14/02/2013 14:23:44 by Sarah Harvey | with 0 comments
The Lake District has long proved a popular destination for visitors and it’s not hard to see why. This national park has natural beauty in abundance and it also boasts plenty of activities and attractions.
If you want to enjoy the magic of helicopter flights, this could be the place to do it. You’ll get to see this incredible landscape in a completely different way and get a new appreciation for its geography and scale.
Here at Central Helicopters we offer 15 and 30-minute flights featuring Lake Windermere and lots more.
Make the most of your trip
Particularly if you’re travelling from elsewhere around the UK to enjoy a helicopter tour like this, you may want to make the most of your trip and, to help you do this, it’s worth investigating the area by land as well as by air.
After you’ve touched down and had time to digest the wonders of your airborne adventure, you can try out a whole range of activities on terra firma.
What’s so special?
This part of Cumbria is a major tourist destination and in 2007 alone, over eight million people visited the national park to enjoy its rich cultural heritage and awe-inspiring landscapes. There are lots of reasons why individuals are drawn to the Lake District.
Some are tempted by the peace and quiet you can find in the rolling hills, forests and lakes, while others love the various outdoor pursuits on offer, including walking, mountain biking and of course watersports.
Also, the area is steeped in history and culture and visitors can experience attractions like the Wordsworth Museum and Dove Cottage, as well as Beatrix Potter’s house. For some more ancient history, there are stone circles and Roman forts to explore.
If you’re keen to get some ideas for activities while you’re in the area, you might want to take inspiration from Cumbria Tourism. It noted that in 2008, the most popular attractions included Windermere Lake Cruises, the Whinlatter Visitor Centre and Forest Park, the Grizedale Visitor Centre and Forest Park and the Theatre by the Lake Keswick.
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not check out Go Ape Grizedale Forest?
The best for walks
Recently, the Lake District was voted ‘Best walking destination in Britain’ by members of the Ramblers’ Association. They concluded that walks in the national park were by far their favourite. It’s no wonder really when you consider that the park boasts 885 square miles and contains varied landscapes ranging from rugged mountains to rocky crags, high fells, peaceful valleys, impressive lakes and undulating hills.
Whatever level of fitness and experience you have, you should find walks that suit you perfectly.
The key to making the most of your visit to the Lake District is planning. As well as booking helicopter tours, you can make a list of other activities you’d like to do while you’re there. This way, you won’t have any regrets when you have to leave at the end of your stay.