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Bird’s-eye view of the Old Town

25.August 2015

Meeme Luik, a member of the management board of Summukas, talks about the helicopter flights.



Where did you get the idea of providing helicopter flights to the public?
Arno Kütt, a friend of mine and the owner of Summukas, has dreamed about helicopter flights since he was a kid. And he got his chance when he bought a helicopter.


How expensive is it to purchase and maintain such an aircraft?
Arno bought a used Robinson 44, so it cost him ‘just’ half a million euros. The helicopter is seven years old, but quite young if we take into account its total flights. The maximum allowed flight time for a helicopter is 2,200 hours. Our helicopter has flown for just 550. So there’s plenty of time left. We began last spring with flights connected with various events and we quickly realised that people are very enthusiastic about such things. Last autumn we decided to develop the idea. And so this year we’ve started offering organised flights in Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia.


Where is your hangar?
We have one hangar on Paljassaare Peninsula in Tallinn and another in Viljandi.


Are flights on a first-come, first-served basis?
They are. We also offer optional advance registration via e-mail or text message.


What kind of weather can affect your flights?
We can fly when it’s raining, but what matters is that there are no low clouds.


So if people register and on the morning of the flight they hear that it will be raining, they shouldn’t worry that it might get cancelled?
Absolutely right. If a flight’s cancelled, we post about it on Facebook. People should also bear in mind that if they plan a wedding flight for a particular day, we might still be forced to cancel if the weather’s bad.


Are your customers afraid of flying?
I have to say that a lot of people come to us with a fear of flying. But when they get out of the helicopter after the flight, they’re totally positive about it. They say they were only scared at first. You have to understand that you don’t feel like you’re that high up when you’re in a helicopter. It’s not at all like looking down from a balcony on the top floor of a skyscraper. We’ve already taken about 3,000 people on flights and all of them have had truly unforgettable and really fun experiences with us.


What kinds of people choose helicopter flights?
All sorts, from teenagers to pensioners. Recently we took part in a Mother’s Day event. Many mothers got a helicopter flight as a gift and enjoyed it with their whole families. They were on cloud nine.


Can you describe the flight process for us?
The departure point is the Port of Tallinn, next to Balloon Tallinn. Plenty of parking spaces are available in the area. Customers buy their tickets and passengers take their individual seats, including small children, because you’re not allowed to hold a child in your arms on board a helicopter. Our staff help the passengers to their seats, fasten their seatbelts and put on their headphones. The helicopter takes off and rises up to 300 metres. Via the Seaplane Harbour we fly all the way to the area around Town Hall Square. We can’t go any further than that because of the air corridor for planes. So above Freedom Square we make a U-turn and return to the port.


What can passengers see?
The passengers will see the amazing Old Town in all its splendour. Of course, the people walking below will be tiny and you won’t be able to recognise anyone. When you’re on the ground you can’t fully comprehend how our city centre looks in its entirety. Photographs will never give you the complete picture. From our helicopter you’re guaranteed unrivalled views. You might even think you’re looking at an exquisitely accurate scale model of the Old Town. The historic centre of Tallinn is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We should point out that this is the only such location that allows sightseeing flights over it.


Bear in mind:

  • Flights take place when weather conditions are favourable.
  • Our helicopter can take up to three passengers with a total weight of 270 kg.
  • Our helicopter can accommodate a disabled passenger.
  • You can have our helicopter pick you up anywhere in Estonia.

 

www.summukas.ee
info@summukas.ee
+372 5456 6866

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