Month: December 2016

adventure gifts

5 Perfect Adventure Gifts for the Holidays

Looking for the perfect gift of adventure you know will be used and loved this holiday season? Give the adventure gift of helicopter flight as an experience your loved one will never forget. Here at Group 3 Aviation, we have a number of unique and unforgettable options, and we offer gift certificates for them all so the flight can be booked anytime.

  1. Private hilltop picnic in Malibu and helicopter tour

For the perfect pairing of adventure and solitude, consider a Malibu Peak picnic landing and helicopter tour. On this special trip, you can choose morning, afternoon or evening and we’ll cater accordingly. In a morning flight, we’ll whisk your gift recipient and up to two additional people off to our exclusive Malibu Peak landing site where they can enjoy coffee or mimosas and pastries before heading out for a special tour of the coast and Hollywood on the return trip. Our early evening trip includes wine or champagne, cheeses and other tasty treats, and a view of the sunset before taking the tour.

All tours include 30 minutes to enjoy the view and solitude of our grassy pad. Want to increase the adventure? We can add a longer Grand Tour after the private landing to make it the ultimate gift of adventure. Prices start at $380 per person.

  1. Helicopter ride and wine tasting

Pair wine and adventure with a flight for two people from Van Nuys to Santa Ynez for a private tasting tour with Sustainable Wines. After being swept away by helicopter, enjoy a private four-hour tasting tour around Santa Ynez, visiting vineyards and tasting wines based on the tastes of your gift recipient, before flying back home. This whole day adventure includes helicopter flight, private tasting tour for two, and transportation by one of Sustainable Wine’s own owners in a Tesla Model X SUV. The price for this package is $3,070.

  1. Evening Helicopter tour and dinner for two

If your loved one is an avid aviation buff, consider our fly and dine experience. We’ve partnered with the famous 94th Aero Squadron to offer dinner and a view to be remembered. Decorated with World War I and World War II memorabilia, the 94th Aero Squadron offers sweeping views of Van Nuys Airport and wide range of lunch and dinner selections specializing in prime steaks and fresh seafood entrees. Our fly and dine experience begins at the restaurant where our Group 3 Aviation driver meets your gift recipient and friend and shuttles them to the helicopter for a helicopter tour of their choice. Upon landing, we’ll bring them back to the restaurant where they’ll enjoy a delicious meal and reminisce about their flight. Prices start at $735 for two.

  1. Helicopter tour of your choice

For something a little less grand, yet no less memorable, we also offer a number of tours from Van Nuys Airport (ranging from $150 per person), including our Hooray for Hollywood, Hollywood and the Beach, California Coast and Canyons, Valleywood and Grand tours. Give the gift of a higher perspective of Los Angeles. Our tours are great for sightseeing visitors, natives to Los Angeles who’ve wanted to see the sights a new way, and even photographers looking to capture that unique shot. A gift certificate for a helicopter tour can be used anytime of the year.

  1. A first helicopter pilot lesson

helicopter pilot training

For a truly once in a lifetime experience, why not give the give of being a helicopter pilot for a day with a first helicopter flying lesson. We’ll provide a quick introduction to helicopter flight talk, then go out to the aircraft and fly. Your gift recipient will take the controls of a helicopter, learning to fly, climb, descend, take off, land, and the king of all helicopter skills, hover. Who knows, you may spark the next big career move! Introductory flights start at $450 and include 60 minutes of hands-on flight training that count toward an FAA pilot certificate and logbook to log that hour. If you’d like to go along, we can take up to two additional people in the R44 for $610 total.

Don’t go for a gift that might end up in the closet or garage. Give the gift of adventure this holiday season. We provide gift certificates for all of these adventures and can take a credit card over the phone to mail the certificate to the person of your choice. Call us at 818-994-9376 to learn more or email us at We look forward to talking to you!

giving back

Giving Back to Our Community

Here at Group 3 Aviation, as a family-owned business for more than 20 years, we believe deeply in giving back to our community. As the year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our favorite charities and encourage your to consider giving to a cause that moves you.


Since opening its doors in the 1970s, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) has been transforming the lives of the neediest residents of the San Fernando Valley – poor children and their struggling families. More than 94 percent of the support and donations they receive goes toward providing emergency food, clothing, job training and placement assistance, English as a Second Language classes, youth activities, a Christmas program, and medical, vision and dental care.

MEND is located just across the street from the runway at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, Calif., making it the perfect location to watch Santa arrive by helicopter. For many years now we’ve donated our time and helicopter to bring St. Nick in to visit families at MEND for their extremely popular Christmas Program.

From across the runway, eager young faces watch in anticipation as we fly by MEND and orbit so Santa can wave down to the crowd. When we land, he waves again before getting into a red Cadillac and is chauffeured to MEND where he greets the kids, poses for photos and gives out gifts. Seeing the magic and light of the season in each of those young faces is priceless.

If you’re looking for a good local charity this season, a donation or volunteering for MEND has immediate positive effects on people here in our community.

And if you’re around this Saturday, Dec. 10, stop by MEND to see us bring Santa in for his annual visit!

California Wildlife Center

The California Wildlife Center (CWC) provides emergency care, medical treatment, and rehabilitation to sick, injured, and orphaned California native wild animals throughout Los Angeles and Southern Ventura Counties.

Serving more than 4,300 animals annually from sea lions and seals to songbirds and coyotes, CWC has cared for more than 44,000 animals since it opened in 1998 while staff and volunteers have responded to more than 30,000 calls every year about injured wildlife, coexisting with wild neighbors, and general wildlife questions.

Relying on donations to support operations, the center receives no sustaining funding from the government. Each year we make not only cash contributions to the CWC, but our owners have also donated volunteer hours to care for injured animals. We feel it is our solumn duty to do what we can to help our native animals thrive. They were here long before the large populations of people.

You can learn more about the CWC at their website and please consider helping protect injured and orphaned native California wildlife.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Dedicated animal lovers and believers in sharing our world, we’re deeply concerned about elephant and rhino poaching. With close friends living in Africa and having visited several times, we’ve seen the damage first hand and the devastation of orphaned elephants and rhinos.

We did a lot of research and determined the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was one of the best investments to help not only injured and orphaned elephants and rhinos, but also to help put an end to poaching.

This amazing organization runs a full nursery and recovery center for the animals while at the same time educating the community and operating mobile veterinarian units and a full arsenal, that includes airplanes and helicopters, to fight poaching in hopes of stopping poachers before the damage is done.

Every year we adopt orphaned elephants and send financial support to help bring an end to the decline of these magnificent animals at the hands of poachers.

If you’ve been wondering what you can do to help these animals, consider looking into the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It is money well spent.

However you choose to give back to your community this season, we encourage everyone to share their good fortune. It is truly better to give than receive. Happy Holidays!

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