For those taking their first flight with Brisbane Bekaa Air, anticipation often mingles with nervousness. Flying in a helicopter is a unique experience and is quite different from flying in an airplane. If this is your first flight, here are some hints that will make your experience safer and more enjoyable.
There are few rules when choosing the right clothing for a helicopter tour. Your comfort is the deciding factor most of the time, and what you have in your closet right now should work. You do not have to buy specific wardrobe items for a flight unless you want to.
No matter how long or how high the flight, there are some basic guidelines to follow.
• Do not wear a hat because it could block the pilot’s field of vision
• Reduce your chance of tripping by not wearing flipflops
• Tie long hair back and away from your face
• Leave long dangling jewelry at home
Experienced fliers recommend wear dark clothing top and bottom. This reduces reflections from the helicopter’s glass that will show up in any photos you take.
Dress in light layers. A long-sleeve shirt and long pants will keep you warm enough.
This item is one of the easiest to choose for a flight and the easiest to forget. Double check and make sure you have it before taking off.
Fortunately, film cameras are a thing of the past, so you do not have to worry about taking off without it. You may want to buy a larger memory card for your camera, one big enough to store all your fabulous aerial shots.
Bring along your zoom lens, and keep it safely stowed in your camera bag.
Motion sickness medication
Even though you might not suffer from motion sickness in an airplane, it could become a problem aboard a helicopter. You should not have any issues from changes in altitude because the flight ceiling is much lower for a helicopter.
Most of the trouble comes from the sharp changes in angle as the pilot banks and turns the aircraft. Your inner ear and brain may have trouble processing all the strange information they are receiving. The result can be nausea.
There are several anti motion-sickness medications that do not require a prescription. Popping an appropriate dose an hour before your flight allows these drugs to enter your bloodstream and start working before you are in the air.
Alternatively, some people drink a cup of ginger tea or swallow a capsule of powdered ginger root before taking off. This is a good choice if you want to avoid the sedative effects of commercial preparations.
You may request a seat in the front of the aircraft, too. You are less likely to feel sick in this position because your eyes will help your brain interpret what is happening.
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Helicopters have bigger glassed-in areas than do airplanes. As a result, you are exposed to more sunlight even during a relatively brief 15-minute flight.
A good pair of polarized sunglasses will improve your vision in the glare. They also protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation which can damage your site and lead to cataracts over time.
Wearing sunscreen is essential for anyone spending time in the Australian outdoors. It becomes even more crucial when riding in a helicopter because its glass admits more sunlight. Without sunscreen, you might find yourself with an unpleasant surprise in the form of a sunburn.
People tend not to think about uncomfortable noise in their everyday lives. Once seated in a helicopter, though, they realize quickly how loud modern life can be. Unless you win a seat in the cockpit and have access to noise-canceling earphones, you are going to have a painful ride.
If you think ahead and buy a simple pair of noise-reducing earplugs, your ears will thank you for it. There are inexpensive models which fit into the ear canal and feature small tubes to the outside world. These let you hear normal conversation but reduce harmful noise by about 20 decibels.
This is a short section. Do not bring anything extra on a flight. There is no room for it and could present a safety hazard if it slides around inside the aircraft.