As with any recreational activity, it is important to consider a variety of things prior to actually engaging in said activity. For instance, if you are going to ride a jet ski, you will ensure you have a flotation device as well as a pretty good understanding of how to start and stop the water vehicle. That said, these types of activities are very active in the sense that you are renting a machine and driving it. Of course you will be careful to consider everything prior to hopping on.
However, even for passive types of recreation in which you do not drive the vehicle, such as helicopter rides, it is important to understand a few key things prior to boarding the copter. Doing so will ensure you and your loved ones remain safe. However, it is just as important to emphasize that only by taking some pre-lift-off considerations will you be able to relax enough to actually enjoy your ride.
Unlike renting a boat for the afternoon or booking a bus tour or dinner cruise, a helicopter tour can be more expensive by the hour than just about any other type of activity. The reason is that helicopter fuel is expensive and the more people a copter takes, the more fuel it will use. Additionally, the distances flown can often be a hundred miles round trip. As such, you should expect high prices. If you expect high prices going in, you will not be surprised, and you will be able to enjoy the ride for what it is–something amazing that you might not get to do very often.
2. Number of riders
Of course, intimate rides are more fun. If it could just be you, your husband or wife, and the pilot taking a ride, you will likely be more relaxed. However, it is common to have strangers accompany you because the tour company will want to maximize the seat capacity as much as possible.
High winds can prove disastrous. Additionally, storms that are miles away can move in quickly. If you are miles away from the base camp or take-off area, flying hurriedly back to safety can be nerve wracking. As such, prior to lift-off, you should know the weather for at least six hours before take off and six hours after return. Doing so will ensure you are not surprised.
4. Safety history
Most tour companies operate a safe tour schedule. However, it is not uncommon for incidences to occur. If a tour company tells you there was an incident in the last year or so, what the representative is actually saying is that a helicopter crashed. More than likely, people died. The tour guides will never say the word death. Instead, they will soften the terminology by using the less alarming word “incident.”
5. Maximum cargo
Tourists must consider their own weight, but it is also important to consider carry-on baggage, such as backpacks, lunches, or cameras. Although such baggage might not seem to weight much, similar baggage across several people will add up quickly to an additional hundred pounds. In terms of helicopter rides, do not take more than is absolutely necessary. By only taking what is necessary, you will help create a safer flying environment in which the helicopter does not exhaust its fuel.
Pets are typically not allowed. If you have a pet, you will likely have to leave it at the hotel, or you will need to find a kennel.
Most pilots are very experienced. However, it is also best to get a pilot with a good bedside manner, so to speak. For instance, if a one-way trip is twenty or thirty minutes, sitting in silence can be boring. If you have lots of questions, it is best to get a friendly, talkative pilot who can be a guide in addition to being a pilot.
8. Reviews of previous passengers
Prior to lift-off, you should familiarize yourself with reviews. You can look on Google reviews as well as on Trip Advisor and Yelp. Instead of paying attention to the five-star ratings, you should look at the four-star and the two-star ratings. Four- and two-star ratings represent people who were obviously happy or upset but not so jubilant or irate so as to ruin their objectivity. As such, four-star ratings and two-star ratings are probably more accurate than other types of reviews. Needless to say, if there are too many bad reviews, you should look elsewhere.
9. Refund policy
Simply put, if you should need to cancel prior to lift-off, you need to know the policy on refunding tickets.
Usually, the ride is half the fun. The other half involves touching down and exploring the wilderness, waterfalls, and landscape. Additionally, it is nice to have the opportunity to take photos. During the booking process, you should ask if the helicopter will land and how long you might have to engage in sightseeing activities. If you are looking for a great helicopter tour experience that provides all these types of activities, you should consider Bekaa Air Brisbane Helicopter Tours.
Photo by Hugo
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