*** It's a great day for a helicopter ride! See you there! ***
UPDATE #7: There are still 5 spots left, so you may claim a spot by arriving early with exact cash. Also, there are usually 7 no-shows for this event, so you just might be able to join us. Make sure to come early with exact cash.
UPDATE #6: It's completely optional, but please consider tipping the pilot. It's a lot of flying he'll be doing for our group, and I'm sure he will welcome the show of appreciation.
UPDATE #5: Weather reports are showing Ft. Meade, MD to be in the 80s with a small chance of passing precipitation. I also just got off the phone with the helicopter company and their radar data (which is much more accurate and reliable) shows the same thing. They have given us the green light, so we are a go!
UPDATE #4: In the event of inclement weather, if it's light rain, we're still on. If there's lightning, we'll need to reschedule or cancel. Hopefully, if there is precipitation, it will just be a passing summer rain. I'll post an update by 1pm the day of the event. If we cancel, or reschedule and you are unable to make the new date, you will get a full refund. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
UPDATE #3: I got the green light to open some additional spots, so get them while you can!
UPDATE #2: The early-bird price has ended and the ticket price is now $40. Looking forward to seeing you there!
UPDATE #1: There are 5 early bird spots left and the price will increase from $35 to $40 when the early bird spots are gone or before Sun. June 23rd (whichever comes first). To be fair to those who want to join in and are ready to make payment, I'll be removing those that haven't paid by Fri. June 7th. So make payment to *truly* lock in your spot.
Let's go for a helicopter ride!
I've reserved a Robinson R44 helicopter for us, and made special arrangements with an FAA Certified Flight Instructor, who has 1000 pilot hours under his belt, to take us up for a 6 - 7 minute ride that:
Flies 750 feet above ground level with the doors off (but safely buckled in), directly over the NSA (even their employees are surprised it's permitted) and the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge The Casino at Arundel Mills, downtown Baltimore, and other landmarks will also be within eyeshot! It's not just the view we'll come for, it's the experience of hovering, taking off & landing, making hard banking turns, and the photo ops that we'll get to enjoy It's a thrill ride, an experience, and although 6 - 7 minutes sounds short, I climbed out using words like "amazing" and "wow" when I first did it! We'll each get $20 in "Bucket Bucks" which we can use towards the purchase of a longer tour
For the first hour, we'll check in. After that, we'll go up 3 at a time, so it'll take us a couple of hours to get through everyone. While we're waiting and getting excited, we'll hang out and mingle in the hangar and their picnic table area (which sits directly on the tarmac next to the planes) and watch planes come and go. We'll take off and land about 50 yards away! FOOD AND DRINKS WILL BE PROVIDED. We'll have turkey, roast beef, and ham sandwich platter and wraps to eat... and beer, wine, water, soda, diet soda to drink!
We've got an early bird special for this event of $35! The first 25 paid sign-ups, or those who pay before Sun. June 23rd (whichever comes first) get the early bird price! After that it will go up to $40. Secure your slot by RSVP'ing yes AND making payment!
Also please know that your RSVP is not guaranteed unless we receive payment. When you pay, your online receipt is confirmation that we have received your payment.
So come join us, tell your friends, and let's experience the thrill of a helicopter ride!
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If you need a ride, I suggest posting in the comment box below. Likewise, if you can offer a ride, please also post in the comment box with number of people you can accommodate.
Helicopter Safety FAQ
Please know that the helicopter company is required to follow rigorous FAA regulations and inspections (which include everything from equipment maintenance requirements to pilot drug testing), as well as manufacturer recommendations for maintenance. Every 100 hours, the helicopter gets maintained and 'signed-off' by an FAA and manufacturer approved helicopter mechanic, and it's no small inspection. With pilot pre-flight inspections before flights, the helicopters get quite a bit of maintenance between those 100 hours, and the helicopter company has local mechanics who work on anything they feel is needed or that the pilot feels is necessary.
Our pilot, Dave Jenny, has both a Commercial Pilot's license and a CFI license (Certified Flight Instructor), which means he has trained and passed FAA written, oral and flight exams, not only to be able to fly passengers, but he is qualified to teach flight to others who wish to pass the FAA exams. He has ~1000 pilot hours, which is a lot in the business. Commercial pilots are required to take drug tests, have FAA medical certificates, and regular 'check rides' by FAA examiners, and the company and helicopters are subject to inspection by the FAA for safety at any time.
Payment Instructions (Paypal account not required):
Please follow the instructions below for making payment (if payment by smartphone doesn't work, please try your computer). Payment at the door will be permitted only should the event not sell out. Most of our events do sell out, so we recommend you secure your spot online early. If you make payment for less than the current ticketed price without prior correspondence, your RSVP will be removed.
Select "Yes" under "Will you attend?" Enter the number of guests coming and click "rsvp" Verify correct dollar amount for number of people you're paying for, click "Pay Now" button If you don't have a Paypal account, click "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card" If you have a Paypal account, simply log in, and pay as you normally would via Paypal Event Check-in
We will have a master list of all those that have paid. It’s not required, but I recommend printing out your payment confirmation as a backup. When you check-in, your RSVP will be listed under the name of the Paypal or credit card account used to make payment. Typically, this is your LEGAL name as shown on your driver's license. Sometimes, it may be under a company name if you set up your Paypal or credit card account that way. If you are not sure what it is, please take a moment to log into your Paypal account (it will say "Welcome, [your account name]" at the top) or your credit card account to find out. If you are RSVP'd under someone else's payment, please use that name for check-in.
Refund Policy & Ticket Resell
Since we paid in advance for this event, all sales are final unless the event is cancelled or rescheduled. Similar to a concert ticket or a football game ticket, you are free to sell your ticket to someone else if you are unable to attend. I suggest posting in the comment box for the event, that you have a ticket for sale. Work out payment between yourselves, and send us an email letting us know the full name and Meetup profile URL (if a member) of the person taking your spot. Thanks for understanding. =)
If it's light rain, we're still on. If there's lightning, we'll need to reschedule or cancel. Hopefully, if there is precipitation, it will just be a passing summer rain. If it looks like the weather will impact our event, I'll post an update by 1pm the day of the event. If we cancel, or reschedule and you are unable to make the new date, you will get a full refund.