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Everything I Ever Wanted to Know About The Best Times for Helicopter Tours and Wasn’t Afraid to Ask

When I’m planning something special, I ask a lot of questions. But when I decided to celebrate my birthday in a helicopter above L.A., I knew it had to be more than just special. It had to be epic special. It had to be “tell-the-grandkids-the-story-decades-later” special.

So, I wrote out an almost embarrassingly long list of questions, and I called Anthelion Helicopters. I told them right away I had more questions than the entire broadcast history of the game show Jeopardy. They didn’t sigh or hang up! In fact, I felt like I was their best customer.

I had looked at their awesome Instagram feed and was beyond excited by the photos there, but the images represented all different times of day, and this led me to ask the most important question first. What time of day is really the best time of day for a Los Angeles helicopter tour? I was impressed by the response. I was clearly speaking to an expert who was patient, helpful, and sincerely interested in giving me the lowdown.

I learned that sunset is the hands-down winner for the most dramatic views of the iconic sights of L.A. Since they mentioned that winds are calmest in the early morning and early evening, I immediately decided that a sunset flight would be my choice. Calmer winds and stunning vistas blanketed in the colors of the setting sun made this a no-brainer. They did mention that at certain times of the year, the marine layer can impede views of the coastline. Downtown can also be restricted when there are games at Dodgers Stadium or the Coliseum. Flights are required to stay 3 miles out at these times. None of this concerned me, because weather is as weather does, and who in his right mind would ever complain about the Dodgers? Security concerns aside, baseball players probably appreciate a little quiet when attempting a home run!

They assured me that Anthelion would advise of any breaking weather or sporting events that could affect views of the coastline, downtown, or other areas, but they also encouraged me to be proactive and check, too. I liked that. I also liked the answer to my next big question. I wanted to know if there was anything special that could be done on my flight to make it extra exciting. I assumed helicopters can’t fly upside down like a fighter plane, but I still hoped there might be a thrill factor that would be safe and fun. I never would have guessed that the doors of the helicopter can be taken off for passengers who want that “wind in the hair” experience! This pleased me so much that I said, “take them off right now please,” even though my birthday flight would be taking place a week later.

Following a bunch of other logistical and scheduling questions, I booked my “take-the-doors-off-now,” sunset, birthday helicopter adventure through the skies of Los Angeles. It was everything I had dreamed of and more. And I can’t wait to tell my future grandchildren all about it.