Up in the Air. . . in a Helicopter ...

One of the wonderful perks of travel is meeting interesting, wonderful people. Whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, it seems that I’m always adding to my growing list of contacts and friends.

A recent travel adventure was related to just such a situation. A friend owns a company that makes helicopters, and he had invited me to go for a ride. Finally, we were both at the same place at the same time, and we could make it happen.

**RotorWay International**is in Phoenix, Arizona and are the world’s oldest and largest kit kelicopter manufacturer. This means that you build them yourself, the process supposedly taking about 300-450 hours. These are small, two-seater helicopters with no doors or windows — just an open space that you use to crawl into the seat.

I got a tour of the place, and then got to spend the morning hanging out in my friend’s office. I had lots of work to got done, so I could work away while getting a little view of how the company is run on a day to day basis.

Then it was time for my flight. John, one of the company pilots, was gracious enough to take me up. After a good pre-flight and safety briefing, we went up. I was amazed at how different it was from flying in an airplane. I’ve flown in small aircraft before, but this experience was totally different. It seems a lot more graceful, the hovering a kind of dance. We took a quick tour of the Phoenix area, with John pointing out geographical points of interest as well as explaining the details of how the helicopter worked.

As with any exhilarating experience, it was over all to soon. As we gently touched down, and it was very gentle, I understood how people could get hooked on this type of flying. While you’ll never see me building my own helicopter, for those of you find the idea appealing, I’d encourage you to go check it out. Factory tours and demonstration flightsare available to the general public.

Thanks, Grant, for letting me hang out for the day and for arranging the flight. It was great fun!

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Tags: b5media, flight attendants, Flyaway Cafe, travel, vacation, Phoenix, helicopters

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