The latest extravagant experience that snows off Bali’s natural beauty from the sky...
When I was a kid, just like any other ‘80s kids in Indonesia when there was only one option for air transportation, I was excited every time I heard the roaring sound of a plane crossing the sky in our neighborhood. My eyes rapidly searched the horizon, my fingers pointed towards the sky, following the plane. Oh, how it was such pure joy.
Even as I grew older, I was still awed by the persistent efforts of those pioneers who attempted to and actually “conquered’ the sky; from the Greek legend Icarus to Amelia Earhart – although for me this interest in aircraft is quite ironic since I’m actually afraid of flying.
So when I received the invitation to attend the launch of Bali Adventure Tours’ latest feature, the Bali Adventure Sky Tours helicopter service, I cannot say that I was that eager to fly on the copter, but still I was curious. I was already quite familiar with Bali Adventure Tours as they are the pioneers of white water rafting in Bali and concerned with endangered Sumatran Elephants, and their Elephant Safari Park & Lodge has become one of the top tourist destinations in Bali. But a helicopter tour?
As soon as I arrived at the heliport, I could see that this was going to be “the” experience in Bali...
The red and yellow Airbus Eurocopter B2 landed in their welldesigned heliport as the invitees were enjoying some canapes and drinks. Nigel Mason, the founder and owner of Bali Adventure Tours, officially opened the event by presenting the light single-engine helicopter as the first tourismpurposed chopper on the island. “Not only that,” he said. “This copter can also be used for emergency air evacuation for all Bali Adventure Tours’ guests on pre-booked tours.”
And as a matter of fact, Bali Adventure Sky Tours also provides a range of other services like sky banner advertising, aerial photography and videography, and more. But what I think is most interesting – and should not be taken for granted by couples – is that this copter tour can be a romantic experience as well. For gentlemen, there is nothing grander than proposing to your love while on a helicopter tour – and Bali Adventure Sky Tours can help you with their Marriage Proposal flights. And to top it off, their main attraction is the Volcano and Coastal Flights to destinations in Bali and beyond that will surely be unforgettable, especially if you share it with the one you love.
The Eurocopter B2 departs daily from any one of its fully licensed, owned and operated Helipads – the Adventure House in By Pass Sanur, Ubud Adventure Centre in Kedewatan, White Water Rafting Reception Centre in Payangan, and of course from the Elephant Safari Park & Lodge.
On the day of the launch there were many invited VIP guests invited, but only the lucky draw winners would get a flight in the new chopper – so I kept on reminding myself there was only a slight chance for me to win it.
As the day progressed, the most-awaited lucky draw was held twice, and only five names called each time. The names were called for the first flight, and so I began to think that maybe it wasn’t my lucky day, but suddenly I heard my name called for the second flight. I was one of the lucky guests to fly with the Eurocopter B2!
I was excited, but of course a little bit terrified as well. And before I knew it the first tour was done, and the copter was ready for the second flight. I was then assisted by the helpful staff and stepped into the luxurious cabin – as the other four passengers were already on board. My seat was by the left window so I quickly sat in the beige leather seat, fastened my seatbelts, and put on my headphones.
After a detailed briefing on the safety procedures delivered by Captain Irwan Budiutama, an experienced Indonesian ex-army pilot, I could hear the smooth whistling sound from the Arriel 1D1 engine. And as the chopper’s skids left the helipad, I could feel my anxiety turning into full enthusiasm. That feeling was vigorously pleasing for I knew that the copter was taking me on a journey to the unknown.
Once it reached altitude, the Eurocopter B2 maneuvered northeast towards our destination. As we fl ew from Gianyar to Bangli, I have to say the view was such a feast to my eyes. From the lush forests surrounding the ancient Hindu village of Taro, the Oos Ulu Luh and Oos Ulu Muani Rivers and on to the rice terraces, fl ying high up in the sky gave me the chance to discover this natural beauty from a whole different perspective.
The clear blue sky was accentuated by the picturesque view of Mount Batur as we approached the Global Geopark. It was such a beautiful day for a sky tour indeed! The journey was even more adventurous as the helicopter descended a little bit, then ascended the mountain slope, from the bottom all the way up to the top. The Captain made several great maneuvers, which were welcomed by our “oohs!” and â€œaahs!â€ as he circled Mount Batur and its two calderas – I almost thought I heard John Fogerty singing “Fortunate Son.”
The trip back to the Elephant Safari Park & Lodge once again revealed the breath-taking natural beauty from a different angle. And as we landed at the heliport, our beaming smiles spoke for themselves – it was without a doubt the most exciting 30 minutes of flight ever in my life!
Bali Adventure Sky Tours
Jalan By Pass, Pesanggaran, Denpasar
Magazine issue > Action&Attraction