Looking for a bird’s-eye view of Central Indiana? Sign up for the ride of a lifetime on Fishers-based Freedom Helicopters. With a home base at the Indianapolis Municipal Airport just northeast of Indianapolis, the operation offers scenic tours of the regional landscape from a unique aerial vantage point.
I must admit, I’m not a great air traveler and was feeling slightly nervous before my ride. Fortunately, experienced pilot Joe Newkirk put me and my two fellow passengers at ease with smooth driving, offering intriguing background commentary on the points of interest we passed below.
Our route traced the beautiful White River south from the airport over Keystone at the Crossing, Broad Ripple, Butler University, and Newfields, venturing out as far as the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (The Coke lot is actually shaped like the state of Indiana — who knew?)
It was fun to pick out the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and the oversized “Funky Bones” outdoor sculpture within the 100 Acres: Virginia B. Fairbanks Nature Park.
We then headed east toward downtown Indianapolis with the skyline shining in the sun, passing the Indiana Statehouse, Victory Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, Bottleworks, and other easily recognizable structures. From there, we looped back north over the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and I was delighted to actually spy my own house near Broad Ripple before returning to the airport for a smooth landing at the Tom Wood Aviation building.
Freedom Helicopter rides can accommodate three passengers per 30-minute trip, and the flight path is customizable to soar above your favorite Hamilton and Marion County landmarks. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to fly over Indiana’s spectacular fall foliage or seasonal holiday light displays.
20-minute Freedom Helicopter tours of downtown Indianapolis start at $299 total for two people. For more information, visit freedomhelicopters.com.