It’s only natural to dream of flight, to leave the ground, break the bonds of gravity and soar high above it all. The thrill, the rush, it’s what drives mankind to acts like base jumping, parachuting, hand-gliding and para-sailing. It inspired innovators throughout the ages, everyone from Leonardo Da Vinci to the Wright Brothers. Believe it or not, there are a number of ways to experience soaring through air well within the city limits. For those with an adventurous spirit and without a fear of heights, here are the best flying adventures in Pittsburgh.
Grove City Airport
496 Old Ash Road
Mercer, PA 16137
“Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” Because it’s fun; because it’s one of the most pulse-pounding, adrenaline-filled experiences known to man. A short drive north to the Grove City Airport and you too can be on your way to your first sky-diving experiences. The team at Sky Dive PA will instruct you on everything you need to know for your first jump and they’ll even strap themselves into the very same parachute since tandem jumps are required for all beginners. For an experience you’ll never forget, contact Skydive PA today and transform your dreams of flight into a reality.
Kennywood Park’s Skycoaster
4800 Kennywood Blvd.
West Mifflin, PA 15122
For those looking for a more gradual transition to flying, look no further than your favorite Pittsburgh amusement park, Kennywood. The skycoaster, is basically an enormous pendulum. Groups of three “riders” are strapped into harnesses that are secured to a large cable and then hoisted more than 180 feet into the air. When the skycoaster operator gives you the signal, pull the rip cord and scream. Reaching speeds in excess of 75 M.P.H., the sky coaster is one of the safest and cheapest ways to experience flight in Pittsburgh this summer.
Carnegie Science Center Highmark Sportsworks
1 Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Simulating flight at the Carnegie Science Center is not only fun, it’s educational. The Highmark Sportsworks “Physics of Sports” exhibit is designed specifically for daredevils. There is a 25-foot rock wall to climb, a bungee bounce and the always popular human you-yo. The You-yo is designed to illustrate the principals of potential and kinetic energy as you transition from falling to rising, much like a yo-yo. For more information on the Physic of Sports exhibits click here.
Pittsburgh Flight Training Center
Allegheny County Airport
Lebanon Church Road
West Mifflin, PA 15122
If controlled flight, as opposed to free-fall, is more of your style then enroll in pilot school at the Pittsburgh Flight Training Center. Located at the Allegheny County Airport in nearby West Mifflin, PTFC is more than a place to seek thrills; it’s also a place to find a profession. In conjunction with the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), the training center is one of the best ways to get started on your path to becoming an airline pilot. Whether learning to fly is a bucket list item or your dream career, be sure to contact the experts at the Pittsburgh Flight Training Center today.
Emerald Shazam Hot Air Ballooning
Floating gently across the sky in hot air balloon can be many things, romantic, peaceful and exciting all at the same time. For the best hot air balloon service around contact Pittsburgh Balloon and schedule a trip on “Greenie with the dark blue stripe.” Much like the balloon’s name, everything client knows exactly what to expect when they contract a ride with Emerald Shazam. Contact owner Roy Weil by telephone or through the website listed above for prices and additional information.
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Marcel Tourdot is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.