Now, this is an experience everyone should have at the top of their bucket list! Whilst most people only dream of flying above the clouds in a Helicopter, Gemma and I were lucky enough to be given the incredible opportunity to turn that dream into a reality, down at Elite Helicopters in Goodwood, Chichester. Their Towers and Tall Ships Helicopter Tour is a remarkable way to explore Sussex’s harbours and famous landmarks, and with this being our hometown area, we couldn’t wait!
The day of anticipation had finally arrived, and Gemma and I began packing up our filming equipment ready for the busy day ahead. Both of us were incredibly excited, yet the nerves were beginning to kick in. After a few sing-your-heart-out songs in the car, we had finally arrived at Goodwood Aerodrome where Elite Helicopters Ltd is located. The location is fantastic for participants wanting to make a day of it, with the Goodwood track situated across the path and a small yet cosy café with a range of goodies opposite to the track.
As you approach Goodwood Aerodrome, you will be asked to park your car round the back of the site, a short walk away from the entrance to Elite Helicopters. There are plenty of signs around (as shown below) directing you to the reception area - so don’t worry, you won’t miss it! You will need to ensure you are there 20 minutes before your flight to be given your ticket and your health and safety briefing.
The staff were absolutely lovely and extremely helpful. Both the ground staff and pilot were brilliant at reassuring customers, and their knowledge on the flight was superb!
It was finally time for Gemma and I to make our way out towards the helicopter. As we entered the field, you could feel the tremendous power of the helicopters rotor blades (I was a little hot – to say the least - so the strong wind was much appreciated!). One by one, you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken outside of the aircraft, then be kindly assisted into the helicopter. Once all 6 seats - including the co-pilot seat - were filled, it was time to fly!
The first few moments felt amazing: buzzing above the ground as you float into the air – magical! In a matter of seconds, we were hundreds of feet into the air, with teeny Southern England directly beneath us. This was definitely one of the most unique ways to sightsee, that’s for sure!
The historic sites were magnificent, and from Chichester Harbour Marina, we flew down towards Hayling Island and Portsdown Hill Forts, before flying up past Spinnaker Tower! Across the sandbanks, we even saw a few seals sliding around (although at first glance they looked like little black slugs!). The pilot was brilliant at informing everyone on what to look out for and hovered above the main hotspots, so customers had time to capture the best photographs!
After an incredible 30-minute tour covering roughly 45 miles, it was time to head back to base, where everyone eagerly awaited our smiling faces as we appeared from the helicopter! The photographs taken earlier were ready for collection in their own frame, for a small fee of £10. A truly lovely memento from the experience!
A huge thank you to Elite Helicopters and their brilliant staff, who made our experience all the more enjoyable. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone wishing to celebrate, or just experience a thrill to remember!