Day 92 in America, Tomorrow I go home, what better way to end a 3 month stay than flying Over Manhattan in a helicopter.
After wandering along the river on my first day of sightseeing I had been given a leaflet about helicopter rides over Manhattan, thinking nothing of it I dumped it in my bag with the rest of the trash I had collected over the day. The next day I’m wandering up 5th avenue when I think about that helicopter ride again and how cool it would be to end my stay in America with a ride over this amazing city! I think about it all day, get some other leaflets and seriously look in to the possibility of doing it on Monday morning.
I even tweet about the idea of going on a ride of Manhattan, everyone is crazy for the idea, telling me to go for it. I think that was all I needed, was that final push to make my mind up. So I wander down Broadway to pier 6 where the helipad is. I had a leaflet for Zip helicopter rides, but as I walk in to the building the ticket agent from New York Helicopter catches me and we start talking about the rides they offer, I had already done my homework on the prices so knew the deal he was offering was good, I still wasn’t 100% sure and he knew that. So he pulled the next card, the seat next to the pilot, I was sold in an instant. After a pretty short wait and a nice chat with the guy behind the desk, it was time for life vests, and to stand in the holding area for a few minutes. I was actually a little nervous! Walking out on to the pad, its noisy the sounds of helicopter blades comes from all directions, we are lead over to what will be our ride and each group gets their photo taken in front of the helicopter.
The Manhattan helicopter ride
I’m first on, sitting next to the pilot, I can’t believe I’m doing this! We buckle up and get headphone sets, mine has a microphone, but I’m too scared to speak in to it. As we take off I realise that the area below my feet is glass too, and all you can see out of it is water! We’re up in the air and it’s amazing, Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, Liberty Island and the statue, you can see the Staten ferry crossing below us. Next we see the downtown area of the city, 9/11 memorial it’s pretty cool getting to see the memorial from above, it’s a shame I’m on the left side as all these sites are too the right, I still get some good shots.
I love how much the Empire State Building sticks out from the rest and then Central Park, it just looks so cool from above, and you get that same feeling about it being completely out of place. Looking down across Manhattan, the view is amazing! We do a turn so this time all the sights are on my side, but this time we are nearer to New Jersey so I don’t get such a good view, still seeing it from far away has all the more impact. The rides coming to an end as we swing down to the bottom of Manhattan and past all of the islands again, I get some more great shots of the skyline as we come in to view of the helipad. The landing is gentle and it’s not long until we are escorted off the helicopter and back inside.
The whole ride was amazing, and the pilot was very good with his information about all of the places we were flying above. The only real disappointment was that you don’t get to fly directly over any part of the land, it seems there must be some sort of flying laws on that one, But still I’m so glad I’ve done it and I’m happy to say it was worth every dollar, even if I did waste $20 on a photo of me by the helicopter!