YES, an AERIAL TOUR or an AIRPLANE Ride is a fantastic adventure for an individual or group activity that will inspire and create lasting memories. Most aviators I know had their inspiration come from an airplane ride long ago. The Aerial Tour IS a passionate experience. Your heart rate jumps and your senses tingle. The freedom of flight creates a fabulous moment that enhances your awareness and imprints a long lasting impression on your life. Some people want a leisurely flight in a comfortable airplane with a great view while others crave something a little more thrilling such as an Aerobatics or Air Combat ride. Not all aerial tours fulfill the same expectations- there are options to suit everyone's desires.
1. Be careful choosing a Flight School. Flight Schools use these tours to build flight time for inexperienced pilots. Do you want a young, inexperienced pilot as your guide? These schools are not allowed to fly scenic tours. They use a complicated loophole to sidestep the FAA approval process and pilot drug testing. Flight schools call it a "DEMO" flight, which is intended to be an orientation flight for a potential student pilot. They side-step the rigorous FAA mandated standards and testing to provide billable hours and "flight experience" for the new pilot. Get to know the pilots a company uses for tours and verify their experience. Check out our pilot roster.
2. Be Careful using an Aerial Tour Company that subscribes to 'Groupon'. If the company is using Groupon it should raise a red flag., Aviation in general is a premium product that should be using first class equipment, maintenance and only the most experienced aviators. Groupon takes 40% off the top, and aerial tours tend to have a thin margin. With the cost of said maintenance, hangars, aviation gas and insurance, the pilots are only making $25 or so a tour before Groupon. The financials just don't add up. Someone is taking shortcuts somewhere. We all like that "special deal," but "bargain basement hunting" in aviation might cost more than you think in the end. Do the sniff test! Quality aviation through top end equipment and highly skilled professional pilots shouldn't be side-stepped.
3. Airplane Rides are extremely convenient and safe. Easy airport access and first class service should be an absolute. The Tour is all about giving YOU that first class experience. Book at your convenience online or by phone and leave the rest to your hosts. Go for a quality company that takes pride in their aircraft and pilots- company that puts YOU first through behind the scenes detail. A motivated pilot makes all the difference. At San Diego Sky Tours we focus on the customer experience. We enable our pilots to provide their own seasoned ideas on how to make each tour better than the last. Small details like different size seat cushions, premium headsets and customized accommodations to individual needs are a must to ensure every feature is optimized. We've even built a customer centric pilot lounge to allow our passengers to relax in an exclusive environment before and after each flight. Here you can watch their tour video and talk with the pilots. San Diego Sky Tours through it's diversity is an industry favorite.
4. Balloon Rides are great but the weather has to be just perfect. I love the idea of a balloon ride. However, I have tried to schedule a balloon ride a couple times but they are often cancelled due to weather / winds. At San Diego Sky Tours, we often get that last minute tour booking from a frantic balloon customer that has just been cancelled. Our Tours have a 98% reliability factor. We seldom need to cancel because of weather.
5. Aerial Tours are an ABSOLUTE MUST DO for San Diego. My best friend runs Paradise Helicopters in Hawaii. He flew a biplane tour with us in San Diego, and confidently told me that Biplanes ARE ABSOLUTELY the "thing to do" in San Diego. Because of our efficiency and tour routes, the open air, the vintage Aviation History and the Aerial Tour options. Biplanes are the "must do" experience of San Diego. Do the Helicopter in Hawaii and the Biplanes in San Diego!