As a photographer who generally stays on the ground, I’ve always been fascinated by the so-called “daredevil Instagrammers” who climb atop bridges and dangle their feet out of helicopters just to get jaw-dropping shots for their thousands of followers.
So when Blade, an on-demand transportation startup that’s been dubbed the “Uber for helicopters,” offered me the opportunity to fly in a doorless helicopter over Manhattan, I jumped at the chance without a moment of hesitation.
Blade’s specialty is in shuttling well-heeled travellers on helicopters and seaplanes between New York, the Hamptons, Nantucket, the Jersey Shore, and Miami. But Blade’s newest flights — which they’re offering for $395 a person as part of a partnership with the aerial photography company FlyNyon — are more about the journey than the destination, with unforgettable sightseeing of events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as tours of fall foliage from above. I went on November 13, the night when the supermoon was at its brightest since 1948.
I had never flown in a helicopter before, so riding in a doorless one, at night, with my feet dangling out over the Hudson River, was like jumping into the deep end. Keep scrolling to see what it was like, and learn the tips you’ll need to know when you’re ready to become an Instagram superstar.