On Wednesday afternoon, we took to the skies with the winner of our helicopter flight competition, Chris Marsh from Melbourne Hosting. The flight was booked for 2.30pm from City Airport in Manchester but at lunchtime the pilot rang to inform us that it would be low visibility that day if we wished to reschedule. After a few phone calls and twiddling of thumbs we decided to go ahead with the planned flight and off we headed for Manchester.
On arrival at reception we were presented with a form to fill in declaring our name, details and weight. Luckily we hadn’t over-indulged on the cream cakes the night before so all was good and we were given the thumb’s up to fly. Chris arrived a few minutes after us eager and looking forward to his trip. We were introduced to our pilot, Phil who proceeded to contact air control to confirm the flight and then it was all systems go.
Our helicopter was a Robinson R44 which was a small but hardy little thing. It took about 10 minutes for the rotors to get up to speed then we were off and soaking up the sights of Manchester. We were all really surprised how fast it took off and how sharp it turned in the air- our hands were firmly clinging to the seats during those moments! You suddenly become very aware of the fact that it’s just you and a few centimetres of metal between you and the ground..yikes.
We flew over all of Manchester’s iconic landmarks including Old Trafford, the Ethiad Stadium, the Trafford Centre, City Tower, Media City, Beetham Tower and even Chris’s work place which was brilliant! Phil pointed out several interesting things while we were up there including the flight exclusion zone over Strangeways Prison and how, on a clear day, you can see right across to Blackpool Tower and the Isle of Man.
After 20 exhilarating minutes of flying, Phil expertly navigated back toward City Airport and, within a blink of an eye, we were back on terra firma with wobbly legs and Cheshire Cat smiles. Chris was presented with a certificate from the guys at the airport which, I’m sure, has taken pride of place in the Marsh household!
It’s not every workday afternoon you get to fly in a helicopter, this was certainly one never to forget. We hope you enjoyed your prize Chris.
View all of the pictures we took on the day here