(Co)-Piloting A Helicopter! (June 25th, 2016’s Something New)

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

aurora-and-alex-in-the-helicopterI was gonna say piloting, but let’s be real. Even though they “let us fly,” it was a first lesson where the instructor was in control. BUT we got to fly. Kinda. Haha.

Every year on my birthday, I do something I’ve never done before.

This year, as per usual, I was coming up with my idea last minute-ish. I mean, shockingly less last minute than usual. Alex and I planned this on June 10th/11th (so like, 2 whole weeks before game time. Woo!)

My great friend Alex and I went out to dinner on the 10th, while I was (yet again) visiting Los Angeles on hiatus, and of course we talked about what this year’s adventure would be.

I was contemplating doing this whole “fly a helicopter” thing.

Of course I thought about going home (Los Angeles) for my birthday. But I thought, “My hiatus fell in early June, I’m not gonna go back less than 2 weeks later just for a weekend. That seems silly.”

But then the more I talked about helicoptering with Alex, the more it was like, “this plane ticket money is going to be some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Sky team forever!” (We’ve started nick-naming ourselves the Sky Team because last year we did a hot air balloon ride. And now it’s helicopters!)

So, we found a place. (There are so many options!) And we decided to go doors off (’cause somehow that made it more helicopter-y to me.)

We started the day filling out paperwork and taking a little class. The number one thing we had to remember is that with the helicopter controls, you *barely* move them – like barely. Barely touch them and the helicopter will do it’s thing.

Before you knew it, we were off the sky!

Aurora De Lucia standing outside the helicoper for her birthdayI got to drive first while Alex sat in the back. It felt very safe because the pilot was right there. But for the most part, we got to be in control when we were driving.

I thought doors off meant it was going to be so windy… but it really didn’t seem so bad!

Of course, it wasn’t a super windy day and we weren’t up super high in the sky… I’m sure it *could’ve* been super windy with doors off. But it wasn’t as insane as I expected.

(Also, personally, I thought I got more wind when I was in the backseat than when I was driving.)

Landing was funny because you truly do barely, barely, barely have to touch your controls. If you even start to touch it too much, your pilot will yell, “I said 1/4 of an inch!” (like, in a nice helpful way, not a mad way… He’s ultimately in control. And you’re close enough to the ground at this point, you’re gonna be fine).

If you can believe it, I successfully landed. We arrived from our little joy ride all in one piece.

Then Alex drove (flew? – what’s the correct term here?). It was fun to hear him ask questions and see how concentrated he was. (Granted, he did kind of have our lives in his hands, so of course he should be concentrated to some extent.)

At the end, we got certificates to commemorate our flying experiences!

I can’t wait to see what’s next for Sky Team 2017 🙂

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