In The Hot Seat
Who needs a Grand Canyon helicopter tour when you can just fly yourself there on a private joy ride? Las Vegas–based flight-training academy All In Aviation in the US has launched a new experience that lets pilots of all levels—even first-timers—soar over one of America’s greatest natural wonders in a new Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.
The single-engine SF50 jet is billing itself the world’s first personal jet, specifically designed for the pilot/owner and filling the gap between the piston plane and business jet. More powerful than a prop plane, it can reach speeds of 300 knots, which comes in handy when you’re taking off from Las Vegas’s Henderson Executive Airport (HND), passing over the Hoover Dam, and then flying through Grand Canyon National Park, all in a couple of hours.
Offering the experience is All In Aviation, one of the top flight schools in the country. The full-service aviation company specialises in Cirrus Aircraft flight training, aircraft rentals and sales. Flight lessons in the SF50 Vision Jet begin at US$1,500 (about RM6,220) per hour—and your first flight lesson can take you right over to the Grand Canyon. The jet aircraft fits up to five adults and two children, so you can also take friends along for the ride.
Before your flight, the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet will guide you through a thorough digital checklist of pre-flight safety items. You’ll also have an instructor in the co-pilot’s seat to answer any questions, and like Cirrus’s prop planes, there’s also a red handle you can pull from the ceiling of the cockpit that releases a parachute to float the plane to safety (just in case of emergencies).
There’s often a little turbulence as you fly over Black Mountain, but it’s smooth sailing to the Grand Canyon from there. Las Vegas has some of the best flying conditions in the US, so it’s the perfect place for first-time pilots to practice. And once you’re in the air, the plane can literally fly itself in autopilot mode, so you’ll be freed up to take photos, play DJ, or even make a call with the satellite phone—all while sailing over the most beautiful views you’ve ever seen.