The Best Mancations: Learn How to Fly a Helicopter

Winterlake Lodge, Alaska

Winterlake Lodge

Think Dad has what it takes to be a pilot?     Photo: Courtesy of Within the Wild Adventure Company/Tyrone Potgieter

What Dad hasn’t dreamed about launching an alternative career as, say, a heli-pilot in Alaska? Southcentral Alaska’s remote Winterlake Lodge—home to the famous Kings & Corn heli-ski, -fish, and -raft triumvirate—offers a beginner’s course in flying the bird. The Alpine Air Alaska introductory lesson, taught in a state-of-the-art R44 Robinson helicopter, will discern pretty quickly whether Dad has the right stuff to continue on with the rigorous 12- to 16-month training required to earn a private pilot’s license.

Dads who prefer the Kings & Corn Adventure will ski 3,000-foot vertical runs in the Tordrillo mountains, fish on the Talachulitna River, and float on the appropriately named Happy River.

For heli lessons: June 1-15; July 1- October 1; $750 per lesson; lodge rates from $1,395. Kings & Corn Trips run June 14-20, June 19-25, and June 24-30; $9,000 per person.

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