Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Fancy flights over San Diego

A dramatic shift in perspective

San Diego Sky Tours "dogfight"
San Diego Sky Tours "dogfight"

"New Year, new perspective,” I told Patrick. “You’ve never seen your city from above, except through some scratched-up plastic window in coach. What about a hot-air balloon? No windows, scratched or otherwise. Just a balloon, a basket, your baby, and the Big Blue.”

“We offer a daily Del Mar sunset coastal flight,” said Renee Lawson, who owns Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures.

Place

Sky's the Limit Ballooning Adventures

3251 Camino de los Coches, Carlsbad

“This time of year, when it gets dark early, we’ll meet around 2 p.m. at our office in Carlsbad. Our pilot will choose a launch site based on the winds that day. Sometimes, we’ll launch test balloons. About 80 percent of the time, we use an open field in the Encinitas area. We’ll do a safety briefing and get the balloon ready for launch. Depending on the wind, we’ll fly over Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, or Rancho Santa Fe; the flight is usually 45 to 60 minutes. After the landing, usually in Carmel Valley or Rancho Santa Fe, there’s a post-flight celebration with Champagne and nonalcoholic beverages. Then it’s back to our office — usually about three and half to four hours, total.”

Lawson doesn’t usually like heights; but the balloon doesn’t bother her. “I feel secure in the basket, looking out at everything. It’s not like looking down from the top of a building.” She added that, “we’ve been in business for 22 years, and we have a 100 percent safety record.”

Balloon size varies with the number of passengers. Non-private flights may carry as many as 16. “You just pay for the space in the basket ($165 per person). Private flights start at $1250 for two to five passengers and go up from there.”

Corporate Helicopters tour

“There’s also helicopters,” I said.

Place

Corporate Helicopters

3753 John J. Montgomery Drive, Suite 2, San Diego

“The cool thing about helicopters is they can land in such delightful places.” Mandy Patterson, vice president of operations at Corporate Helicopters (858-505-5650), was happy to let me know that “we have the exclusive rights to land at Stone Brewery in Escondido. We’ll fly people from Montgomery Field to the brewery, and we’ll provide them with an empty growler to fill with the beer of their choice after they tour and taste [$875 for two people]. And they can have lunch at the bistro there.” For those who prefer wine, they offer a similar run to Temecula ($1175 for two people). “Then we give them a nice coastal tour on the way back.”

Standard tours range between 30 and 60 minutes. The half-hour Diego Delight “flies you over the Torrey Pines Golf Course, Black’s Beach, Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores, Crystal Pier, Belmont Park, SeaWorld, the downtown skyline, and the Coronado Bridge,” before heading over Balboa Park and Mission Valley. And the full hour “pretty much takes you everywhere in San Diego,” from the ocean to the mountains.

Prices depend on the number of passengers: some helicopters seat up to three passengers, and some seat up to five. “The Diego Delight for two or three people is $324. For five, it’s $749.” Reservations can be made online, and if you’re thinking about Valentine’s Day, think fast. “It’s our biggest day of the year. We do a special 18-minute coastal tour; $199 per couple.”

“Of course, if you want a dramatic shift in perspective,” I said, “you could always try blowing me out of the sky.” Patrick looked up.

Place

San Diego Sky Tours

3717 John J. Montgomery Drive, San Diego

“All our pilots are military or former military by this stage, and we’ve been doing ‘air combat’ for about six months now,” said James Kapenas, general manager at San Diego Sky Tours (619-757-6419) out of Montgomery Field. “You have to have special authorization from the FAA. We’ll start in the hangar and do a brief on World War I–style dogfights. Then you’ll take off in tandem and fly in formation. You’ll do a little tour and then break off and chase each other around. You’re trying to get a better position than the other person for a ‘kill shot.’ Everybody loves it [$499 for two people].”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Three poems for August by Dorothy Parker

With an acidic wit and keen eye for flawed humanity
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
San Diego Sky Tours "dogfight"
San Diego Sky Tours "dogfight"

"New Year, new perspective,” I told Patrick. “You’ve never seen your city from above, except through some scratched-up plastic window in coach. What about a hot-air balloon? No windows, scratched or otherwise. Just a balloon, a basket, your baby, and the Big Blue.”

“We offer a daily Del Mar sunset coastal flight,” said Renee Lawson, who owns Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures.

Place

Sky's the Limit Ballooning Adventures

3251 Camino de los Coches, Carlsbad

“This time of year, when it gets dark early, we’ll meet around 2 p.m. at our office in Carlsbad. Our pilot will choose a launch site based on the winds that day. Sometimes, we’ll launch test balloons. About 80 percent of the time, we use an open field in the Encinitas area. We’ll do a safety briefing and get the balloon ready for launch. Depending on the wind, we’ll fly over Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, or Rancho Santa Fe; the flight is usually 45 to 60 minutes. After the landing, usually in Carmel Valley or Rancho Santa Fe, there’s a post-flight celebration with Champagne and nonalcoholic beverages. Then it’s back to our office — usually about three and half to four hours, total.”

Lawson doesn’t usually like heights; but the balloon doesn’t bother her. “I feel secure in the basket, looking out at everything. It’s not like looking down from the top of a building.” She added that, “we’ve been in business for 22 years, and we have a 100 percent safety record.”

Balloon size varies with the number of passengers. Non-private flights may carry as many as 16. “You just pay for the space in the basket ($165 per person). Private flights start at $1250 for two to five passengers and go up from there.”

Corporate Helicopters tour

“There’s also helicopters,” I said.

Place

Corporate Helicopters

3753 John J. Montgomery Drive, Suite 2, San Diego

“The cool thing about helicopters is they can land in such delightful places.” Mandy Patterson, vice president of operations at Corporate Helicopters (858-505-5650), was happy to let me know that “we have the exclusive rights to land at Stone Brewery in Escondido. We’ll fly people from Montgomery Field to the brewery, and we’ll provide them with an empty growler to fill with the beer of their choice after they tour and taste [$875 for two people]. And they can have lunch at the bistro there.” For those who prefer wine, they offer a similar run to Temecula ($1175 for two people). “Then we give them a nice coastal tour on the way back.”

Standard tours range between 30 and 60 minutes. The half-hour Diego Delight “flies you over the Torrey Pines Golf Course, Black’s Beach, Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores, Crystal Pier, Belmont Park, SeaWorld, the downtown skyline, and the Coronado Bridge,” before heading over Balboa Park and Mission Valley. And the full hour “pretty much takes you everywhere in San Diego,” from the ocean to the mountains.

Prices depend on the number of passengers: some helicopters seat up to three passengers, and some seat up to five. “The Diego Delight for two or three people is $324. For five, it’s $749.” Reservations can be made online, and if you’re thinking about Valentine’s Day, think fast. “It’s our biggest day of the year. We do a special 18-minute coastal tour; $199 per couple.”

“Of course, if you want a dramatic shift in perspective,” I said, “you could always try blowing me out of the sky.” Patrick looked up.

Place

San Diego Sky Tours

3717 John J. Montgomery Drive, San Diego

“All our pilots are military or former military by this stage, and we’ve been doing ‘air combat’ for about six months now,” said James Kapenas, general manager at San Diego Sky Tours (619-757-6419) out of Montgomery Field. “You have to have special authorization from the FAA. We’ll start in the hangar and do a brief on World War I–style dogfights. Then you’ll take off in tandem and fly in formation. You’ll do a little tour and then break off and chase each other around. You’re trying to get a better position than the other person for a ‘kill shot.’ Everybody loves it [$499 for two people].”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Will San Diego survive a fall without classical music?

Just as symphony, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla Music Society were getting stronger
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close