What days/times can air tours be booked?

In general, winter operating hours are as follows:

Monday thru Saturday: 10AM – 5PM
Sunday: By appointment only

A real time booking calendar is shown during checkout (prior to payment) where you can see available days and times.

How far ahead of time do I need to schedule?

Often you can book a tour for the same day. Popular days and times will book out further in advance. You may see current availability online by choosing a tour and clicking the “book now” button. You may also call our customer service line (910) 477-1926 to check availability or to book same day flights.


What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my tour? 

High Tide Aviation staff and pilots are constantly assessing the weather to ensure a safe and enjoyable tour experience. High Tide Aviation will not fly if the conditions are not safe or if we feel the weather conditions are not good enough to allow for a pleasurable tour. If a tour has to be cancelled due to weather, then we will generally attempt to notify you by phone at least two hours prior to your flight. In the event of a weather related cancellation you will be given the choice to reschedule for a new date or receive a full refund for the cost of your tour.


Where do tours depart from? 

All tours depart from the Cape Fear Regional Jetport at 4345 Airport Rd, Southport, NC 28461.

Occasionally, however, High Tide Aviation will fly at events or festivals in which case flights will depart and return to the address affiliated with the event.

What is the minimum number of passengers needed to fly? 

A minimum of 2 passengers are required for any of our helicopter tours. Airplane tours are available for single passengers. Groups of 2 or more people can freely choose their departure time and date using our online booking system during checkout or by booking over the phone. Keep in mind that tickets are sold per seat and High Tide Aviation reserves the right to fill all seats on a given flight.

What about single passengers?

As 2 passengers are needed to fly on any helicopter tour, single passengers will be combined with other groups or singles to meet the minimum passenger count. Single passengers may also choose any airplane tour. If you wish to purchase a single ticket for the helicopter, please contact High Tide Aviation customer service by phone at (910) 477-1926.

What ages are appropriate to take a flight?

All ages can fly: from babies in arms to seniors, helicopter and airplane tours are fun for everyone. Kids love it and in our experience are not bothered by the noise, however, you may wish to bring your own hearing protection for any children under 2 years, as we do not have infant sized headsets or hearing protection available.


Is there an age limit/minimum age?

No. Any child under the age of 2 is required to sit in an adults lap. Over the age of 2, the child must have their own seat.


Can I hold my child in my lap? 

Like the airlines we are governed by the FAA. By FAA rules children less than 2 years old may ride in an adult’s lap. All passengers 2 years or older must have their own seat. 


Are headsets provided?

Yes. We provide noise reducing headsets to protect your hearing and also so passengers can communicate with each other and the pilot. These headsets fit most adults and children that are old enough to occupy their own seat. One headset is provided per seat. 

How many people can fly at one time? 

We have airplanes and helicopters that can take up to 3 passengers at a time.

Are the prices shown per ticket or for the whole aircraft? 

Prices shown are per ticket, per passenger. 

Will I fly together with the other people I booked with?

Generally, yes. If your party is greater than 3 passengers, we will need to split your group into multiple flights.

Why do you ask my weight when booking a flight?

For your safety, the aircraft we operate have a maximum weight limitation for passengers. Specifically, that is not more 300 pounds for any one passenger. We also need to know weights to calculate the weight and balance distribution in the aircraft.

What is your cancellation policy?

Tickets can be fully refunded or rescheduled with no penalties or fees at any time for any reason up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled flight time. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to your tour time are charged for the full cost of ticket to the credit card provided at the time of booking.

What about cancellations due to weather?

Tours cancelled by High Tide Aviation for either weather or mechanical reasons are fully refunded or rescheduled, whichever you prefer.

Can airplanes and helicopters fly in the rain? 

Yes! Airplanes and helicopters can fly in the rain and tours are generally not cancelled simply because it is raining. However, fog and limited visibility may cause weather related delays or cancellations.


What should I wear/do I need a jacket?

Our helicopter does not have air conditioning. For the summer months we suggest wearing light clothing. We do have cabin heat for the cold winter months.


Can I bring my phone or camera?

Absolutely. We hope you do! And we hope you will then share a few with us on our Facebook page @high tideaviation and our instagram account @high_tide_aviation.

Will the pilot explain to me what I see on the tour?

Yes. The pilot will narrate the tour and explain the history and significance of the sights during the flight.


Are gift certificates available?

Yes. Gift certificates can be purchased on site or online.


Do I need to make a reservation?

We offer tours on a walk-in basis, but we do recommend making a reservation online using our online booking service.


Will I get to see the ocean and the beach?

Yes. All of our tours fly over the ocean and the beach. It is very likely we will see a variety of sea life, such as dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles.




Do you need to have an airplane license before learning to fly a helicopter?

No. In fact, previous flight experience is not necessary to obtain a either an airplane or helicopter pilot’s license. Many airplane pilots choose to cross-train and get an ‘add-on’ rating in helicopters and vice versa. Much of the book knowledge between the two aircraft is transferable while several of the specific aircraft maneuvers are different.


Is a helicopter harder or easier to fly than an airplane?

Trainer style helicopters cannot fly themselves or be trimmed-out. Because of this, a helicopter pilot is always working the controls to keep the machine in a safe flight attitude. Once airborne, an airplane is more stable in flight. Flying helicopters is a ‘hands-on’ task as soon as the engine is started. Though stabilized hovering is one of the hardest maneuvers of helicopter flight training initially, once it is accomplished and combined with other maneuvers, there is no aircraft that can equal the freedom and maneuverability of a helicopter, which is capable of flying forward, sideways, backward and straight up!


How long does it take to get a pilot's license?

The FAA requires a minimum number of 40 training hours to apply for a private pilot certificate. Each student progresses at their own pace. Visit the Flight Training page for more details. 

Can a helicopter continue flying if the engine quits?

Yes. Even though an engine failure is very uncommon, the maneuverability of a helicopter during an engine-out situation is excellent and unmatched by any other type of aircraft. The Robinson R-44, like most helicopters, is equipped with a “free-wheeling clutch mechanism”. This belt-driven clutch assembly allows for separation of the transmission and engine. In the event of an engine problem, the pilot can adjust pitch in the main rotor blades such that they continue to spin while the helicopter descends to the ground at a safe speed. The landing area required in these situations is much smaller than that required by an airplane.


How often should I fly?

We’re flexible to work around your schedule. It’s not a problem if you would like to take your time and pursue your training over several months. Want to get it done as quickly as possible so you can begin your career as a pilot? We can work with you. It’s up to you and your instructor to decide how to best accomplish your goals.


Is flying fun?

There is no other recreational activity available today that offers the freedom of flight. Flying gives you a unique perspective of the world below. The views are breathtaking and the experience of piloting your own airplane or helicopter is very rewarding. Not to mention the convenience that private aviation can add to personal travel. In the helicopter, the ability to stop and hover and/or fly at lower altitudes are all a part of a pilot’s dream. You too can be a part of that dream. So come on, let’s go fly!!!

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Cape Fear Regional Jetport (KSUT)

4345 Airport Rd. SE,

Southport, NC 28461

 (910) 477-1926

© High Tide Aviation • High Tide Helicopters 2020

All rights reserved