Helicopter Ride over Downtown St. Louis
This is something I've always wanted to do: fly in a helicopter. I found one helicopter tour operator in St. Louis the last time I was here but it was during storm season, so no flights were being made at that time.
The weather was perfect when I arrived here last Saturday, so straight from a 20-hour flight from Manila that involved plane changes in Nagoya and Detroit, I went to the riverfront where the helipad is located to sign up for a ride.
|View of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis|
It was a lot noisier than I thought it would be, although the headset help muffle the sound of the whirling propeller a bit. It was also a bit more jarring than riding in an airplane, with the vibration more palpable. Maybe because it was also a small helicopter.
|Postcard perfect view of the Arch, the Old Courthouse and downtown St. Louis|
|The railroad tracks look like abstract art from above|
Continuing its journey back to the helipad, the helicopter will fly past the Gateway Arch, with downtown St. Louis in the background. It was on this point that the pilot referred to as "the opportunity to take a postcard-worthy of the Arch, which the Old Courthouse nestled between its two bases. I was busy clicking away with my camera when we made the pass. the height of the Arch is 192 meters (630 feet) so I think we were flying at about that same height.
|Flying over Eads Bridge. On the extreme left is the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams|
It then skirted the historic Eads Bridge, then banked and made an approach back to the helipad. It landed gracefully like a grasshopper alighting on a lily pad. The ride was over, too soon I think.
|Another view of the trainyard from the cockpit|
|The Robinson R44 at the helipad|
Rides start at $35 and each trip needs a minimum of two passengers. You will be grouped with others if you come alone.