Wondering whether you can still take a helicopter tour in winter? Fortunately, like most companies in the northeast, we offer private charters and tours year round, although stormy winter weather conditions often mean fewer flight days. On the other hand, helicopters actually fly better during winter months, because the dense, cold air creates ideal conditions for helicopter performance.
If you decide to take a helicopter ride during winter, here’s what you can expect when you’re in the air!
Good News! Our cabins are heated
Taking a helicopter ride in winter doesn’t mean you have to be cold.
The outside temperature won’t affect your level of comfort onboard. All of our helicopters are equipped with heat to keep our passengers warm and cozy during colder months. Heaters in the helicopter draw warm air from around the engine and push it into the cabin to keep passengers comfortable, even in very cold weather. On a sunny day, you won’t even need a jacket—the sun keeps the cabin very warm all by itself. (But if you’re wondering what to wear, layers are always a good choice!)
Take a helicopter ride to get a bird’s-eye view of a winter wonderland
While the weather outside may look frightful, the views from above are delightful!
Leaf-peeping season is a great time to book a helicopter tour, but winter excursions definitely have their perks! The best time to fly is a day or two after a snowstorm, when you’ll be able to see the beautiful winter wonderland stretching out below under a blanket of untouched snow. Imagine soaring over ice skaters in Central Park, or snow capped mountains across the Hudson Valley.
If you’re flying with us, browse from a selection of 30-minute tours or one-hour tours that can accommodate up to 3 passengers. Our flights depart from one of two airports in New York state: Stewart International in Newburgh, N.Y., or Saratoga Airport in Ballston Spa, N.Y. Each of our tours offers incredible sights of the areas’ natural and historic landmarks. Soak up the one-of-a-kind views of the Hudson Valley’s snowy hillsides and mountain tops or the pristine winter wonderland of Lake George after a heavy snowfall.
How does winter affect flight planning?
Flying a helicopter during winter means we have a few extra considerations when planning your flight.
Those of us familiar with northern winters know snow is inevitable. In most cases, weather conditions are favorable for a safe excursion aboard our helicopters. (Plus, flying with fresh snow on the ground is absolutely spectacular!) However, in the case of inclement weather such as dense fog, low clouds, or heavy snowfall, we may postpone or cancel a flight to ensure the safety of our passengers and pilot.
Icing conditions do limit the days we’re able to fly a helicopter during winter.
During winter, ice could also result in a delay or postponement of a scheduled flight. If the temperature drops below freezing and there is any visible moisture in the air, such as clouds, mist, haze, snow, or rain, at the altitude we plan to fly, we won’t take off.
Shorter days create a smaller window of time to fly, so make sure to schedule your flight early!
The sun sets earlier in winter, which means our window to fly during the day is also shorter. With flight days also limited by winter storms or icing conditions, this means we have fewer overall opportunities to fly, and these slots fill up quickly. If you’re hoping to experience a winter helicopter ride, make sure to book your flight well in advance! You don’t need to worry about planning around winter weather conditions because…
If your winter helicopter tour is canceled due to weather conditions, you can choose to reschedule your flight or refund your payment.
If we have to cancel a flight due to poor winter weather conditions, you’ll be able to reschedule your ride at a date and time that is convenient with your schedule—at no additional cost. Or, if you’d rather, a refund will be issued in place of rescheduling your tour.
The holiday season can make for an even more magical helicopter flight experience.
There’s nothing more romantic than seeing twinkling lights over freshly fallen snow.
During the holiday season, towns are aglow with merrily glimmering lights that make the landscape shimmer and shine. Ask us about taking a “Christmas Lights tour” to experience this cheery sight for yourself!
Tours also make a romantic date night or unique outing with friends to celebrate a special occasion. Pop a bottle of champagne to mark the New Year with our flight-approved insulated tumblers or toast to another birthday or anniversary with the one you love. Be sure to let your pilot know if you’re celebrating—they can help make the experience even more memorable.
The holidays are almost here and the perfect gift for your loved one might be right under your nose. Our private tours can accommodate up to three passengers. Don’t let colder temps keep you from gifting a private helicopter tour to a friend or family member this holiday season! Plus, we’ve rounded up a list of a few more things to know before your first helicopter flight.
While the leaves may have fallen and temperatures continue to drop, don’t fret! Private helicopter tours are still available all winter long (with some pretty incredible views, too). Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our schedule of events, learn more about helicopter flight training, or schedule your own private adventure.