My NYONair/FlyNYON Experience / by Christian Hernandez

It was April 29, 2018 when my brother Mervin surprised me with an 'above NYC' flight on Fly NYON as a going away present. I had lived in New York City for the last 5 years and on May 1, I was moving back to Florida. Ever since I found out years before that one could take a helicopter photography tour above NYC, I became interested - and he knew. He took this as an opportunity to gift me this experience that I had wanted but never came around to.

As a photographer, I was interested in capturing shots of the city from above. A new perspective and a new experience.

Leading up to it, I was super excited. I had never flown on a helicopter before and the anticipation inside me was bubbling up. We were daring and opted for the "No Doors" 30-minute flight experience. They provided training for us, had us securely hook up our camera gear, and informed us about everything we'd need to know.

After a short ride on a van to the landing pad, we had to wait for the pilot to re-fuel our helicopter and off we went. We shared our copter with 2 other passengers who were a mother and daughter duo who had also not been on a helicopter before.

I'm really glad my brother let me borrow his jacket because it was SUPER cold and windy at the altitude we were at. Similarly, I'm glad I didn't capture the experience on my iPhone because the battery would have died from the low temperature above. Seriously - the team warns people that their phones may die before they get onboard due to the cold.

I can't say enough positive things about our experience on the flight and with the company. The flight was smooth, equipment very clean, staff professional. I loved it and would definitely recommend it. I'm thankful to my brother for this going away present - it was the best send-off.

Here's what I captured.

GEAR USED: Canon 7D Mark II | Tamron 18-200 f/3.5