Wednesday, November 2, 2016

That Time I Flew a Helicopter

Nov. 2: When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?

I am not sure if this falls under “brave”, “adventurous”, or “just plain reckless”, but I saw a Groupon for a helicopter flight lesson and said, “Happy birthday to me”. I don’t know what came over me, I read the description and just thought, “yes”.  I had been feeling boring and life had become very routine, I was hungry for ways to shake things up again. What could be better than flying around in my own personal twirly bird? I knew it was potentially dangerous, but that was part of what made it sound so appealing. Why is it that humans find flirting with death so much fun??

***Spoiler Alert: I survived.***

Funny enough just a week after purchasing my voucher I found out I was pregnant and I was hit with a real dilemma at that point. I didn’t want to waste my money or lose the chance for this experience by waiting until after I had the baby. In retrospect, that was a smart decision, because with my schedule I never would have gone. I spent way too much time asking Dr. Google if this was okay and I finally contacted the flight school directly. (Funny enough, you get better answers when you just pick up the phone). They did not allow women on board later in their pregnancies, but early on was fine, so I was good to go!

I drove alone to the airfield and wondered if I should have brought a friend. I wasn’t experiencing morning sickness yet, although that had crossed my mind when I pulled into the parking lot, but at that point it was too late. I was shown a short video and given a brief presentation, I then filled out my paperwork and waivers, and awaited my turn outside.

My Chariot for the Day
My heart pounded in my ears when I strapped myself into the helicopter, but once we got up in the air it all melted away. I saw my part of New Jersey from a new point of view, the instructor let me take photos, and he was so patient when showing me the controls. Speaking of the controls, they were way more wobbly, sensitive, and complicated in ways that I had anticipated. It just makes that episode of How I Met Your Mother when Robin lands the news plane that much more unbelievable.

The View
After it was over, I was riding high on adrenaline and good feelings on my drive home. Suddenly my phone rang, I didn’t recognize the number but something told me to pull over and answer. On the other end, I heard the VP of my company who was borderline hysterical. She had seen on the news that a helicopter had plunged into the Hudson River that was carrying an instructor and a student. I’m not sure how often this happens, but the coincidence that this happened on the same day I had taken flight sent chills down my spine. I was contacted by so many coworkers, I had to send out an email later that day assuring them I was unhurt and alive. It's nice to know they care at least!

Windblown Selfie

Reflecting on this, it is a crazy happy memory. I still can’t say for sure if it was brave or reckless, but it happened and I’m still here.

#NaBloPoMo #Writing #Blogging #Helicopters


  1. Bravo! great tat you have done such a brave thing. I like to fly but to fly alone is something not me..all the best for your NaBloPoMo

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Good luck with your NaBloPoMo!


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