@andrewoptics-monterey-6-WEB-OPTIMIZED.j

We have 2 locations

Remember to check your departure airport.

San Francisco Bay Area - Hayward Airport

Monterey Bay Area - Watsonville Airport

FAQ- DISCLAIMERS- INFO

Please read this page before booking - If you still have questions, we encourage you to call us.
When it comes to flying, we want to talk with you and make sure all your questions get answered, so feel free to use chat, phone or email anytime. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Aerial Photo

Is it cold, what should I wear?


On a cold day, dress extra warm with tight fitting clothing and beanies. If the weather is warm, dress in pants and regular clothes.
* Tie back long hair
* No loose shoes or sandals
* All gear must be secured or have a lanyard attached.
The experience is like riding in the back of a pickup or like going along the freeway at 70 MPH with all the windows down. We are flying over the ocean most of the time and conditions can change from cold to warm quickly as we are climbing and descending throughout the flight.




Is flying with the doors off safe?


The Short answer is YES, but we should point out that your doors are off and we are flying! We ensure that each passenger has a complete briefing prior to boarding and all items are secured to prevent issues with the associated wind. Your comfort and safety is our top priority.
Due to the additional risks involved with taking pictures from aircraft, these flights are not flown with the same safety standards applied to our Charter or Tour operations. This allows us some additional flexibility such as taking the doors off and flying more closely to your requirements. During the check-in process, we will explain our conditions, restrictions and answer any questions you have at that time. In the event you decide not to board, you can either reschedule or request a refund less a $100 late cancelation fee at that time.
Flying is a safe activity like driving, walking or riding a bike, but like many things in life, we take on certain risks in order to enjoy an experience. In the event anything is not going along as planned we can always return to base, land at any of the surrounding airports or even on a beach if necessary.
Our aircraft have many redundant and early warning systems that give us additional levels of safety. Our traffic avoidance, engine monitoring, weather and ATC communication systems give us plenty of information on trends that we can account for and react well in advance before something becomes a problem.




What are the restrictions while flying with doors off?


-All loose items must be secured, no loose shoes or sandals, purses, backpacks, long hair should be tied back, no hats,

-Cell phones and cameras require lanyards (we have rentals available if needed - $5)

-At the time of check-in, you will be weighed, checked physically for loose items and offered any loose item options available depending on circumstances.

-All passengers get their own seat and open door position, any person can choose to have a door put back on for their seat prior to departure if they change their mind at the time of check-in.

In the event you choose not to fly, are unable to fly due to loose items or any other personal issue or concern, become uncomfortable with doors off flight (after the briefing, some people change their mind), no refund is available, so please make sure you are aware of the intensity of this type of flying.




What are the limitations and route restrictions to our flight?


The FAA and our fly neighborly policy have limitations to our flight path and altitudes. We are unable to loiter for more than 2 loops at any location or fly lower than 600' over any building, structure, or populated areas. Our photo experiences give you the best of what a helicopter can legally and safely offer. If you have questions or require a unique flight, just call or message, and one of our pilots will go over details and answer any questions.





Wine Lovers

How should we dress for this?


Our wineries recommend you dress as you would for a nice restaurant. Each winery prefers closed-toe shoes as you walk the grounds but other than that and in most cases, dress appropriately for the weather at the winery for that day. The helicopters are climate controlled with heat, air-conditioning, or fresh air as your comfort desires.




*Covid-19 / limited space at winery*


DUE TO COVID -19 THERE IS LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE AND IN THE RARE INSTANCE YOUR DATE AND TIME IS FULLY BOOKED AT THE WINERY, WE WILL CONTACT YOU WITH YOUR OPTIONS OR OFFER A FULL REFUND. CALL OUR OFFICE FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO CHECK AVAILABILITY. (831) 763-2244




Are these private flights?


YES, all our flights are a PRIVATE flight experience- no other couples will be with you on the flight. You choose the music, the mood, and keep the conversation between you.




Can i add more time at the winery?


Yes, we are here to make your trip amazing, and often people get carried away while enjoying themselves and loose track of time. Your friendly pilot will discretely let you know when it’s time to get back in those cases. Yet, in the event you need a few more minutes, just let them know, if we have a little space in our day we will do our best to accommodate. For those that want to guarantee additional time, we charge $200 for each additional block of 1 hour, please be sure to make the request at booking.





SightSeers

Will we see whales or other animals?


The Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas are unique and ever changing. Although we do not guarantee that you see anything specific, we assure you that even if no whales, sharks, dolphins or seals show up for your trip, you will have an amazing experience. The sceary is world class and flying in a helicopter offers views like no other.




Is the experience better in an airplane or a helicopter?


Both are great, most people prefere the helicopter for its view and excellerating flight charachteristics. For those wanting more flight time at the same price point, airplanes might be a better fit.





All Flights

How early should I arrive for my flight?


10-15 minutes early is fine. You will be check-in, weighed and briefed at your reserved time, so arriving too early is fine but not required.




Why are their weight limits?


All our flights are weight dependent. The booking system will notify you if the max weights are exceeded.
We have several types of aircraft we use:
- R44 Helicopter holds 3 customers and has a max per seat weight of 300 pounds including gear. Max total combined passenger weight is 550lbs. in most cases.
- R22 Helicopter holds 1 customer and has a max seat weight of 220 pounds including gear. Max total combined passenger weight is 210lbs. in most cases.
- Diamond Airplane holds 3 customers and has a max seat weight of 270 pounds with a maximum of 560 pounds combined. - Baron 55 Airplane holds 4 customers and has a max seat weight of 300 pounds. The maximum group weight is 800 pounds for this airplane. Please note: The required passenger information you enter will be verified during the check-in prior to the flight. Any passenger + camera gear weights that are incorrect could jeopardize the flight and accommodations must be made in order to board the aircraft. In the event that a passenger weight exceeds the max allowable or any passenger weight combination creates an issue that cannot be resolved during check-in, then a full refund will be issued.




What is your Cancellation Policy?


* Weather, ATC, FAA or other unexpected delays or cancellations from our end are not subject to cancellation fees. If you arrive willing and able and we just can’t fly, there will be no charges to you and you will receive a full refund or credit. * More than 3 days notice – Customer cancellations received (must be validated by a real human) more than 72 hours from departure time receive a full refund. * Less than 3 days notice – Customer cancellations or changes (must be validated by a real human) with less than 72 hours notice from time of departure receive a refund less $100 cancelation fee. * “Oops, I forgot my appointment or can’t make it”- No-refund for no-show or late arrivals past 10 minutes from the time of departure. * “I just booked and need to cancel” – If you made your booking less than 72 hours from departure time and cancel within 24 hours of making that reservation, a full refund will be issued or full credit given to a re-schedule.




What are FAA & Hazardous Materials?


Please keep in mind that you are flying in federal airspace and just like an airline, we have restrcitions on what can be brought aboard. Simple things like small water bottles and your average personal belongings are usually aceptable. Guns, explosives, weapons of any kind, pepper spray, fingernail clippers and other such items are not allowed on our aircraft. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and TSA (Transportation and Security Administration) require that we check all carry on luggage in accordance with Federal regulations. Please be aware of these limitations on what you can and can not carry on our aircraft. Any items found to be in violation will need to be removed from your person and luggage prior to boarding. For a complete and current list of items that you can and can not carry please visit these two websites –
https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/
TSA – https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all
You can also, contact us with any specific questions about items you will be bringing with you.




What are your age requirments?


Yes,
- All passengers for the doors-off experiences must be 18 years or older.
- Babies under 2 years old must ride on a parents lap. We do not advise on bringing younger children do to the high noise environment and the fact that most babies will try and take off any hearing protection.
- Any passenger under 13 must ride with at least 1 adult. -Any passenger on a wine flight must be at least 21 years old.




What are your ID requirements?


The required passenger information you enter will be verified during check-in prior to the flight. At least 1 passenger for each group must be over 18 years old and bring a valid form of ID that matches the information you provide.
We can only accept Government-issued ID’s (Passport, Driver’s license, State ID card, etc.). for a complete list of valid ID’s, please contact our office.




Where do we depart from?


- For flights around the San Francisco Area you will go to the Hayward Airport.
- For flights around the Monterey Bay area, you will go to the Watsonville Airport.
- We also have the ability to pick you up at various other airports for additional fees. Contact reservations for more details. HAYWARD AIRPORT - We are located inside the MERDIAN building- once on Tuskegee Dr. , this is the only building on that street. Park your car (free elec. car charging spots if needed)
1 Tuskegee Way, Hayward CA. 94545 WATSONVILLE AIRPORT -
From Hwy 1, take the Airport Blvd. exit to Aviation Way.
turn left into the parking lot with all the large yellow and white hangers. Follow the signs, we are next to the Sky Diving office. 150 Aviation Way, Watsvonville, CA 95076




Are these private flights?


YES, all our flights are PRIVATE flight experiences- no other people with you on the flight. You choose the music, the mood, and keep the conversation between you.




What if there is fog or bad weather?


Fog, wind and weather is a constantly changing scenario around this region. The expression used " if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change" is not too far from the truth!
In the event we have fog or other issues that will limit your experience, our staff will give the option to fly as it is, reschdual the flight or cancel your reservation for a full refund. Our flexability is your gain in this ever changing envionment.
It is important to note that weather changes fast and it is not all that uncommon to have to cancel a flight due to weather being below our comapny minimums. These are designed to keep everyone safe, fly in a noise frinedly manner and give our customers the best experience possible for a given day.
Our Minimums:
HELICOPTER TOURS - Cloud bottoms at 1,000 and visibility at least 5 miles. AIRPLANE TOURS - Cloud bottoms at 1,500 and visibility at least 5 miles. Weather reports can be misleading as we fly over a large area and reports can not cover every location along the route. The pilots decide if the weather conditions are more than our minimums throughout the entire flight.




Is flying uncomfortable?


Aircraft can create an uncomfortable experience for some people, like that of a boat, airplane, or other type of vehicle. Please remember this when purchasing your flight, once the flight begins it can be upsetting to the other passengers if the flight needs to be shortened due to motion sickness or discomfort. That said, we have only had to turn around once in all of the years we have been touring this area. We do not offer a refund in the event a passenger in your group gets sick and we need to return to land. We do offer members of another tour group on the same flight the opportunity to return and continue the tour. For your convenience, we provide sick sacks on every flight just in case a passenger's stomach gets upset.




What is the Satisfaction Guarantee?


If your flight was less than what we promised and everyone on the flight truly felt that this was less than what was offered in our advertising, we are happy to refund the ticket price for each passenger that fills out our simple customer Satisfaction form. This Guarantee is not valid in the event you or any of your passengers experience motion sickness or any issues that arise outside of our control such as camera malfunctions, motion sickness, poor photography conditions, air traffic delays, flight restrictions on altitudes, limitations on loiter time in specific areas or other flight route limitations. If you have any questions about our flight restrictions and limitations to each flight, be sure to ask before booking.