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Boston Area’s Best Flying Adventures

March 30, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo courtesy: Skydive New England-Facebook)

(Photo courtesy: Skydive New England-Facebook)

Humans have dreamed of flying adventures for more than 2,000 years, from the earliest experiments with kites and gliders to the first successful invention of an airplane by the Wright Brothers. Today in Boston, dreams of flying adventures are still coming true for people who seek the adrenalin pumping, breathtaking and awe inspiring experience of flight in its many forms. Flying adventures in the Boston area include a wide variety of fun and challenging experiences, such as hot air ballooning, sky diving, helicopter flight training and airplane flight discovery programs.
(Photo Credit: Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides)

(Photo Credit: Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides)

Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides
(508) 733-1868
www.bostonhotairballoon.com

A ride in a hot air balloon is a flying adventure like no other. Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides, located in Sterling, Mass., specializes in hot air balloon flights for two, including “engagement flights” and corporate events. The company operates year round out of both Minuteman Airport in Stowe, Mass and Sterling Airport in Sterling, Mass., but the peak season is May through November, according to Pilot Bob Martel. Most balloon adventures begin at dawn, though some afternoon flights are available. Most flights with Boston Hot Air Balloon Rides fly from tree top level to about 2,000 feet up. Cameras are recommended to capture views of wildlife, grasslands, waterways, treetops and even the Boston skyline. The main pilot in this hot air balloon adventure is Bob Martel, who is FAA certified and has been in piloting hot air balloons since 1984 with a 100 percent safety record.

(Photo courtesy: Skydive New England-Facebook)

(Photo courtesy: Skydive New England-Facebook)


Skydive New England

40 Skydive Lane
Lebanon, ME 04027
(207) 339-1520
www.SkyDiveNewEngland.comImagine jumping out of a plane with your heart pounding and your pulse racing. Skydive New England located in Lebanon, Maine is just a 75 mile drive from Boston and is a popular place to take that leap into the wild blue yonder. The Skydiving Center and School offers skydiving adventures for both beginning and experienced skydivers. Skydiving lessons, tandem jumping and free fall programs are featured.  A typical sky diving lesson starts  with a 30-minute ground school class, and training covers learning how to exit the plane, freefall techniques and learning about body position for landing. The plane ride before the jump lasts about 15 to 20 minutes and offers great views of the dropzone below, including the New England coastline and the New Hampshire mountains. Jumps are made from 14,000 feet up. The free-fall part of the jump  lasts for about one minute with divers flying at speeds up to 120 miles per hour.

(credit: John Medina/Getty Images)

(credit: John Medina/Getty Images)

Skydive Cape Cod
240 George Ryder Road
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 420-5867
www.skydivecapecod.com

Skydiving enthusiasts can enjoy shoreline skydiving at Skydive Cape Cod. The focus is tandem skydiving for the first time skydiver. A tandem jump allows the beginning skydiver to jump attached by a harness to the front of  an instructor for the duration of the dive. Divers jump from 10,000 feet and free fall for about 45 seconds at speeds of more than 120 miles per hour. Halfway to the ground, the instructors will pull the parachute, which lets the diver float for up to seven minutes under the canopy. Jumps at Skydive Cape Cod also feature a 20-minute sightseeing tour of Cape Cod and the Islands, with aerial views of  more than 120 beaches and scenes of  Boston, Cape Cod Bay, Hyannis, Falmouth, Provincetown, Chatham, Monomy Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sound.

Related: Boston’s Best Running Clubs

(Photo Credit: Sky Venture NH)

(Photo Credit: Sky Venture NH)


SkyVenture New Hampshire

3 Poisson Ave.
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 897-0002
www.skyventurenh.com

Thrill seekers who want the adventure and experience of flight without ever leaving the the earth will love “Sky Venture New Hampshire” in Nashua, New Hampshire, just over the border from Massachusetts. The motto of this indoor skydiving center is “No Plane, No Parachute, No Problem.” Sky Venture New Hampshire is actually a unique indoor vertical wind tunnel where participants can experience the sensation of a sky dive without actually jumping out of a plane. A sky dive adventure includes a basic flight training class with a professional instructor. Students learn the basics of body flight and the hand signals used in the wind tunnel. Helmets, goggles, flight suits, ear plugs, elbow and knee pads are part of the package. Sneakers are required but are provided for those who do not have them.

(Photo Credit: A&A Balloon Rides)

(Photo Credit: A&A Balloon Rides)

A&A Balloon Rides
15 Ermer Road
Salem, NH 03079
(603) 432-6911
www.balloonridesnh.com

Hot air balloon enthusiasts may find ballooning nirvana in Salem, New Hampshire, just 30 minutes from Boston at A&A Balloon Rides, LLC. These beautiful multicolored balloons feature rides “for every occasion,” including private and group flights, tethered rides, school events, graduations, company picnics, birthdays and even weddings. Pilot Andre Boucher has more than 23 years of experience and is a member of The Granite State Balloon Association and the Balloon Federation of America.

Related: Boston’s Best Pet Friendly Outings

Mari DeAngelis is a freelance writer covering all things Boston. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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