My first helicopter ride

Posted: 5th September 2012 by Aaron Hagen in Uncategorized
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When the idea of sending me up in a helicopter first came up, I thought it was crazy.

But honestly, I didn’t think it would happen.

It did.

It’s not that I’m afraid of flying or of crashing.

It’s more the height.

I recently went on top of the new fire station in town. That was high enough for me.

So the prospect of being 500 feet in the air wasn’t appealing to me.

We first talked about doing this a couple months ago. We are working on a new promotional video for Worthington, and we thought it would be cool to have some aerial views.

It kept getting pushed further and further back.

Recently, it became clear to me this was actually going to happen.

We set the date for Tuesday at 11 a.m. We wanted some leeway for weather.

But the day proved to be perfect — a bright, sunny day — and we were good to go.

I didn’t sleep well the night before. It was the last thought I had before I went to bed and the first when I woke up.

Tuesday came, and it was time.

Daily Globe photographer Brian Korthals and I took off to go to the airport.

Amber Luinenburg was there waiting. She was coordinating where we were going to go to shoot.

We walked to the helicopter and met our pilot, Matt. He flies for Sanford, so that put my mind at ease.

What didn’t put my mind at ease, however, was when they took the doors off. Yes, there I was, scared of being off the ground and shooting video out a helicopter with no doors.

I made sure my seat belt was tight and we took off.

That was, by far, the worst part.

Watching the ground as we ascended into the sky was a little insane.

Eventually, I got used to it. We went throughout the town, taking pictures and video along the way.

It wasn’t too bad. Except when we turned. The pilot, trying to get us the best possible shots, would always turn so Brian and I were looking straight down.

I felt like I was going to fall out.

I didn’t — luckily — but that feeling wasn’t great.

We hit everything on our list — which took about an hour — and headed back toward the airport.

Safely back on the ground, we unstrapped and put our feet back on the Earth.

I’ll be honest, it was quite the experience. It isn’t one I’m going to do anytime soon, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I can tell you this, I’m not going to go and get my pilot’s license anytime soon.

I haven’t looked at the pictures Brian took, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the video I have. If I got anything that will work, I will deem this a successful trip.

And either way, it was something to cross off my bucket list.

  1. Avatar of gretcheno gretcheno says:

    How cool! Colin and I saw you guys flying around and wondered what was going on! My dad was a medi-vac helicopter for a few years, and I got to fly with him once when he was refueling, up in Duluth. SO COOL! I felt like I was in a Vietnam movie, I remember! I’m looking forward to seeing your video and Brian’s photos!