At about 1,200 feet altitude, just above the top of the renaissance building, the helicopter tour soars over the riverfront from the ambassador bridge to the yacht clubs and marinas to the north and back again. Flying into Detroit on a plane, and circling at 18,000 feet is what many are used to but never enjoy the intimacy and immediacy of a helicopter. The ride is surreal.

Unlike passengers looking through a plane window, you're not trying to cram your view into a box no bigger than a tablet. The helicopters are designed to maximize viewing angles, with the nose dipped down and the front windshield rising up above the pilot's head, and the side windows as wide as an office window. There are no obstructions for a view that, on especially clear days in winter, spans across the US border into Canada.

"Everywhere you look is air", said one of my fellow tour passengers. She said she was celebrating her five-year anniversary with her husband. "You have to remind yourself there's something underneath you, holding you up."

So many sights to see. There are intersections and tall buildings, veins of traffic circulate into a knot downtown, the river glints like a gold ribbon binding the entire sprawl. The city, Detroit City, our city, Motown, never looked so real.

From one of three seats either beside or behind the pilot, where on one top-to-bottom side the city rolls into the suburbs into the sun, and the other top-to-bottom side the rive rolls into the sky into dusk, it feels like a movie, as if you're a passive observer watching a complex but well-crafted object; but it also feels like a dream, with an intense self-awareness that despite all the overwhelming sights, sound and sensations, it feels as if you're suspended in disbelief, floating above the city.

The feeling of dreamlike floating is intentional. The helicopters can fly between 0 and 150 mph. By comparison, a landing airplane at its slowest  about 150 mph. Like the best dreams, it goes by in the blink of an eye.

It is a perfect flight, and one of the most breathtaking for anyone who chooses to book a tour. Michigan Helicopters also allows different types of flights, whereby you can either pilot the ship, or can fly as a passenger with the doors off. How unique!  Overall, I would highly recommend Michigan Helicopters again!

Tour route:

May vary per customer request. Anywhere from over the city, to the river, over your house, over your property to look at the wildlife. These pilots take pride in making sure you are satisfied with your flight.

Aircraft I took my tour in: Robinson R44: 3 passengers and 1 pilot

Experience time: 1.5 hours, including check-in, weigh-in (250-pound maximum)

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Do you have property in the Southeastern Michigan area that you want a picture from the air? Or do you just want to take pictures of some of Michigan's beautiful scenery. Well, we have a great offer for you! You can charter your OWN PRIVATE helicopter. We will fly you for that special photography mission or if you want a special sight seeing tour, we can accommodate that too!

Departure location: Oakland County International Airport and may vary per request

Payment: Cash or Credit card (subject to usage fee)

**Weight restrictions apply, total passenger weight must not exceed 800lbs, Individual passenger weight must not exceed 250lbs **All changes to reservations require seven (7) days advance notice to avoid any additonal rescheduling costs. Any Participants or Individuals who have physical health conditions or concerns such as broken bones, pregnancy or other conditions which are considered to be unsafe may be ineligible to participate. All participants must have a valid photo ID (Passposrt, Drivers License, or State ID) Children accompanied by a Legal Guardian are not required to have a Photo I.D. unless they are 16 years of age or older. All helicopter flights may be cancelled by the Pilot due to high winds, heavy rain, fog, or other inclement weather conditions. The flight will be rescheduled at no additional costs if this occurs but there are no refunds.