Report on our experience: Helicopter flight over New York

By Steffen, 12. January 2017
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steffen and tino in a helicopterSince we recently did another helicopter flight over New York, we have got some great pictures to share with you! During our visit to New York City, we finally scratched the helicopter flight off our to-do list! We took the Scenic-Tour (the flight takes 18minutes – for a comparison of all tours and operator click here) which is the most popular tour, and we find it offers the best cost/benefit ratio. While 18 minutes may sound like a short flight, it definitely feels longer and gives you plenty of time to not only explore the city but take pictures too. We have summarised why it’s definitely worth taking a helicopter flight over New York City for you below.

Review of our helicopter flight over New York

We took lots of pictures of before and during our helicopter flight to make sure you know what you are paying for should you wish to do one yourself. Check out our experience below.

Waiting to take off

All the helicopter flights leave from the DowntownManhattan Heliport at Pier 6. In the confirmation email of the booking you will find that it asks you to arrive approximately 45 minutes before your flight. During that time you will receive a safety briefing and watch a video with safety instructions. During this time you will also receive one of the silly looking packets below, which contain your life vest. Prior to boarding, you will also be weighed to ensure that the weight will be evenly distributed in the helicopter.

Take-off: Governors Island & Statue of Liberty

First you will fly over Governors Island to the Statue of Liberty. It does not matter on which side you are sitting. The pilot will fly a loop around Lady Liberty – so you can be sure that you will get a great view and take beautiful pictures.

The flight then continues over the Hudson River towards the north. The view of the southern tip of Manhattan with One World Trade Center standing tall among the other skyscrapers is truly impressive.

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown is much flatter than the rest of the city – that is on account of the underlying ground. As you fly on up the hudson you will soon see Central Park. The big, green rectangle in the heart of Manhattan provides a great contrast to the concrete jungle. It is particularly fascinating to look at the ponds, especially the Onassis reservoir, which fill the space of several city blocks.

In the far north: the George Washington Bridge

As you can see from the pictures, the Hudson River is quite wide here. Once you see the George Washington Bridge (which, by the way, is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world!), you have almost reached the most northern point of your helicopter flight. You will have a stunning view when the pilot turns south again – unbelievable stretches of water and then the spectacular view of Manhattan just beyong. You can already make out the highest building in Manhattan in the distance (the One World Trade Center), which that will be your next destination.

The last few meters: Financial District, Staten Island Ferry & Brooklyn Bridge

When you get back to the Financial District, you can also see the Staten Island Terminals, where the free ferry docks.

One last view of Brooklyn Bridge and you are back on the ground at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. You will no doubt touch down with a big smile on your face and the memories of a lifetime!

Our bottom line: Go for it!

As you can see, we have nothing but positive things to say about a helicopter tour over NYC and we highly recommend you to take one. If you are not sure which one to choose: here is a quick comparison of all helicopter tours in New York (all operators, tours, and prices). This is definitely one of the best and one of the most unique ways to explore the city!

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