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Florida Helicopter Tours & Rides

Robinson R44 [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Andrew E. Cohen]
Robinson R44 [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Andrew E. Cohen]

One of the most exciting ways to see Florida is from the air, whether it be from a hot air balloon, an aeroplane or a helicopter tour. It gives you a whole new perspective on Florida.

Because of a helicopters ability to take off from a restricted space, there are many companies offering helicopter rides and tours close to Florida’s main tourist attractions and you will often see a helicopter parked at the side of the road as you drive through a tourist area.

You can get a fantastic birds-eye view of the theme parks like Walt Disney World as well as much of Florida’s beautiful scenery. Helicopter tours allow you to see parts of Florida you might otherwise miss.

Helicopters typically fly between 80 and 130 mph so you can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short time and because you are only a few hundred feet off the ground you can see a lot of detail. Flying over the crystal clear water you can see the marine life and coral reefs and might even spot a manatee or a shark.

Helicopter Tour Prices

Florida helicopter ride prices start from as little as $20 but bear in mind that for that price it will be over in the blink of eye! Expect to pay around $20 to $30 for a 3 to 4 minute introductory or “experience” flight. For around $100 you can expect a tour lasting around 15 to 20 minutes. The longer the tour, the more you can expect to pay.

There is no age limit on flying and children under 2 years old can often travel for free if sat on a parent's lap but be aware that helicopters can be quite noisy (though not as noisy as an airboat). Children of 2 years and upwards are expected to sit in their own belted seat but children up to the age of 11 may be offered a child price.

As with any tour, a gratuity is expected.

Types of Helicopter

Most operators fly either the Robinson R22 which can carry one passenger, the Robinson R44 with up to 3 passengers, or the Bell 206 JetRanger which typically carries 3 or 4 passengers.

This means that invariably you will have a window seat with a great view through the large windows though on the larger JetRanger you may be in the centre seat in the rear of the cockpit.

Weight plays an important part in helicopter operations so you normally need to quote your weight when booking a flight. This may dictate where you sit in the helicopter.

If you weigh over 300 pounds you may not be able to fly. Also note that many operators will insist on a minimum of two adult passengers for those helicopters with a seating capacity of 2 to 4 passengers.

Special Occasions

If you are celebrating a birthday, an anniversary or planning to pop the big question, then a helicopter ride can be a great opportunity. Many operators are able to customise the flight to your requirements if you are looking for something a bit special.

Like all flights, weather can have an impact so flights may have to be cancelled because of inclement weather. Many helicopter operators do not require a reservation but if you want to do something special or want a sunrise or sunset tour, it makes sense to make a reservation to guarantee your flight time.

Sunrises and sunsets over the ocean can be most memorable and make for a very romantic occasion.

And don’t forget to take your camera with you!