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Advice for first time helicopter passengers

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No doubt you’re excited at the prospect of your first flight on a helicopter. Whether you’ve flown in a plane one or one hundred times, the experience in a helicopter is altogether different.

A London Helicopter flight is an exhilarating way to see London’s famous landmarks. It offers a unique vantage point and allows you to see the beauty of the city in all its glory, whilst avoid traffic and any congestion charges!

Being prepared can help you relax and enjoy your flight, so we’ve put together some tips and advice to help you get the most out of your time in the air.

Helicopter Flight

What should I wear for my flight?

While you might expect it to be very warm whilst you’re up in the sky, the temperature can drop considerably  – and quickly – particularly when the helicopter reaches top speed.

In order to ensure you remain comfortable throughout your flight, we recommend that you wear:

  • Light layers – add or remove layers as you wish, depending on the temperature on board
  • Dark clothing – light coloured clothing can reflect against the windows of the helicopter, causing glare in photographs  
  • Fitted clothing – loose clothing can catch or blow up into the rotors
  • Full length trousers or jeans with a long sleeved top – to keep you warm during your flight and prevent fabric blowing into the rotors of the helicopter
  • Secure flat shoes – high heels, sandals and flip flops are not advised for safety reasons  

If your flight is booked for the winter months, wear a warm coat and gloves.  

If you have long hair, tie it back to prevent it becoming tangled.

What do I need to bring for my flight?

There are several items that are either compulsory to bring with you for your flight, or are strongly recommended for your comfort and enjoyment throughout:

  • Photo ID – necessary for identification
  • Sunglasses – protect your eyes from glare whilst you’re in the sky. Ensure they fit well to avoid them falling off as you enter/exit the aircraft  
  • Sunscreen – the windows of the helicopter will not protect you from the sun. Some flights are also open-door, so ensure you wear SPF
  • A camera or binoculars – to make the most of the views from your flight. Ensure they have a secure strap. You can use your smartphone to take photographs but it must be switched to Flight mode
  • Ear plugs/ear defenders – the flight can be noisy
  • Motion sickness medication – if you suffer from motion sickness, consider taking preventative medication before your flight

Is anything banned from my flight?

There are some items that will not be allowed onto the helicopter for safety reasons. These include:

  • Hats/visors – can be blown up into the rotor system, causing damage
  • Scarves – can fly off into the rotors or become tangled in the craft
  • Handbags/backpacks and keys – unnecessarily increase the weight in the cabin. You can leave your bag and other possessions in one of our lockers before your flight  
  • Jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets – can become tangled or loose, damaging the rotors

Are there are weight or height restrictions for my flight?

Your flight may be subject to restrictions of height and weight. As an individual passenger, you must weigh no more than 17st/110kg. Additionally, you must weigh no less than 15kg.

We do not specify a height restriction on our flights, however if you are over 6ft 2/188cm you may feel cramped. If you have any concerns please do contact us prior to your flight.

No children below the age of four years are permitted to fly with us and any children aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Do I need to take out insurance for my flight?

We hold compulsory Public Liability insurance which covers our pilots and passengers for any loss or injury incurred from their flight. There is no insurance provision for you missing your scheduled flight due to late arrival, or any loss associated with a delayed or cancelled flight. If you  

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my flight?  

Inclement weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, snow, high winds and thunderstorms can prevent a flight from taking off. We will notify you as soon as possible on the day of your scheduled flight to let you know if it has to be cancelled. Please note, the pilot’s decision is final.

When do I need to arrive for my flight?

Please arrive at the heliport at least half an hour before your scheduled flight time to allow sufficient time for you to check in and complete the compulsory safety briefing.

Prior to your flight taking off, the pilot will explain:

  • How to safely board and exit the helicopter
  • Where to sit
  • Where the first aid kit is located
  • What you should do in the event of an emergency

Should you arrive late for your flight, we cannot guarantee you will be able to fly.  
With our handy hints and tips you’re sure to enjoy every moment of your first helicopter flight over the London skyline. Why not check out our gallery for some iconic images and footage, then upload your own after your flight?

How to Dress for a Helicopter Tour

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So you’ve booked your first helicopter tour and the excitement is beginning to wash over you, but what do you wear exactly? Unlike most other forms of travel, your choice of clothing is particularly important in order for you to get the most out of your experience. By picking the right clothing you’ll ensure that you won’t spend the majority of the flight worrying about being too hot or too cold.

Colours

This may come as a surprise, but in order to take the best pictures it’s a good idea to wear darker colours. Darker colours will reduce any window reflections, as lighter colours tend to reflect in helicopter windows, which can ruin photo opportunities. If you or another passenger takes photos, a person in lighter clothes will show up as a luminescent ghost so it’s a good idea to leave the neon colours at home!

Avoid Loose Clothes

It’s important for you not to wear loose fitting clothes as they catch the wind worse than other outfits. Particularly in open door helicopters where you’ll be subjected to the wind first hand. For the ladies, this means skirts are out! A set of jeans will ensure that the wind doesn’t catch your clothing too badly. If you have any loose jewellery you’ll want to leave that at home so that you don’t lose it. On your feet, you’ll want to avoid sandals or flip flops that can come off easily. Laced shoes or trainers will be just fine.

Dress for the season?

If it’s the summer, you’re going to want to make sure you’re not wearing anything too heavy but likewise you don’t want to be too cold when the on-board temperature control takes effect.  The best way to stay comfortable on a helicopter is to wear layers which can be easily removed until you reach a temperature that works for you. This strategy works in both summer and winter so you can be sure that you will be able to find a temperature that allows you to fully take in the sights of London below.

Accessories

Hats are an absolute no-no for helicopter travel. Hats flying upwards and into the rotor system can damage helicopters so leave these either in the lockers or at home. Whereas, sunglasses are essential. Given your height in the air and the size of the windows, you can find the natural light exposure to be much higher than ground level. On that note it’s important to bring sun cream as you can run the risk of being sunburnt.

Things you can’t bring with you

You’re going to be limited by what you can bring on the flight. You can only bring a camera or mobile phone on board. All other possessions will be left in lockers. You won’t be able to take a purse, backpack or set of keys as these easily be blown about and into the rotor system.

The secret to making the most of your helicopter trip is to dress for the occasion. Leave the valuables at home, chuck on some sun screen, some jeans, a few layers of tops and some shades and you’ll be set to enjoy the fabulous vistas without feeling uncomfortable. If you want to get some good shots of the occasion always remember to leave the bright colours at home so that you can get pictures that capture you in the best light, rather than having you or your friend light up like Casper the ghost when you print them off.

Most importantly of all, keep your camera charged and have fun!

Where you can arrive in a Helicopter in the UK: The Coolest Destinations

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One of the most underrated and underutilized ways to travel in the UK is by helicopter. Helicopters may be seen as just a novel way to travel, but in a lot of scenarios a good helicopter ride can bring a lot of practicalities the table. In an area like London, using the underground isn’t going to help you get to see the sights but a helicopter will put the city in perspective very quickly. Not only would you get to experience London on a whole new level but you can arrive to you’re destination in style, how cool is that?!

You might think that booking a helicopter is impractical, but it may come as a surprise that many tourist hotspots around the UK accommodate helicopters landing on site. The only limitation is that the helicopter will need the landowner’s permission and a place to land safely. Planning a helicopter trip may seem complicated but luckily we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you on your way, so take a look at our list of some of the coolest places to land a helicopter in the UK.

London Helicopter Hotel LandingHelicopters Music Festivals inc. Glastonbury

Traditionally, festival travel may be associated with long car trips or dare I say, coach trips! Not to mention getting stranded in the mud. However, if you want to skip the traffic and arrive in style, book yourself a helicopter. From Glastonbury to Reading all the way to V Festival, there is the ability to land a helicopter on-site or very nearby.

Glastonbury is just an example, there is literally hundreds of destinations in the UK you can travel to by helicopter. The London Helicopter Charters offer helicopter travel across the UK and operates a bespoke service to events, festivals, historic sites and fine dining locations.

Hotels with Heli-pads – Romantic Getaways

For the romantic amongst you, there’s a ton of fantastic hotels with helipads that can set you up for a spur of the moment weekend away. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even go off the mainland. Exclusive destinations such as Tiroran House Hotel Mull allow helicopters to land on the front lawn. For those looking to make the particularly extravagant statement this can be a welcome decision.

Weddings

Whist it’s a somewhat expected tradition for brides to show up late there’s fashionably late and there’s missing your own service. For those planning a wedding, arriving in a helicopter can be a different way to highlight your day and make it unforgettable. If this would interest you, there are a lot of venues out there besides churches which can accommodate helicopters, so its worth doing a little research.

Football & Other Sports Events

It may surprise you to know that it takes as little as 90 minutes to get from Manchester to London by Helicopter – the same as a football game to play out. By using a helicopter you can skip the driving and the queues all whilst taking in the beautiful scenery. The majority of stadiums will be able to facilitate a helicopter landing on site (Just not on the pitch!) but its important to check with your favourite club and see what they can accommodate.

Why not fly instead?

Next time you find yourself considering a long traffic journey on the way to a festival or event, ask yourself if you’d rather fly instead. Travelling by helicopter can be a simple way to enrich or improve any occasion. Whether you’re going to see your favourite band at Glastonbury and want to build up to the event, or you want you whisk your partner away on a once in a lifetime weekend, a helicopter can vastly improve your experience.

Support London’s Air Ambulance

We are delighted to support London’s Air Ambulance, helping to extend the reach of their lifesaving missions across London. The London Helicopter will match your donation to double its impact.

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