At Sydney HeliTours, this is a question we as a company who specialise in helicopter tours get asked almost every single day.
The answer… there really isn’t a best time! But in saying that every pilot has his or her favourite times of the day to fly.
Different Times of the Day to Fly
Pilots Who Love to Fly at the Very Beginning of the Day
With helicopters that are flown under the rules of daytime VFR (which stands for visual flight rules) then the absolute earliest that a pilot is permitted to become airborne for joy flights is on the stroke of first light.
Now first light is very different to sunrise - first light is generally around 20 to 25 minutes before sunrise!
On a day that is going to be postcard perfect then that time between first light and sunrise is an amazing time of the day to go flying.
With Sydney HeliTours being based out of Sydney Airport we are bound by the curfew hours of no arrivals or departures before 6am so during daylight saving months first light and sunrise can occur before 6am so even if we wanted to go flying to capture this magical time of the day, unfortunately we cannot.
How About Flying Around Midday?
Now not every pilot wants to get up at 4am to get the helicopter ready to capture that first light experience so the next best time some would say is midday. The advantage of flying at midday is on a postcard perfect day the sun is high up in the sky and the way the sun hits objects or landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the majestic Sydney Opera House the high sun makes those landmarks absolutely sparkle. The way the Harbour reflects the sunshine when the sun is high up in the sky is spectacular and is a perfect time of the day to witness this. The other advantage of flying during the middle of the day is not having to get up early and having the morning free to go out for breakfast before your flight and then having the afternoon free after your flight.
And then the other magnificent time of the day to go flying is of course twilight or sunset. This is when the sun is at its lowest over our western horizon and making its way down over and behind the Blue Mountains.
Depending on the type of weather on the day, this time of day can show off some incredible colours in the sky like burnt orange or burgundy reds through to beautiful pastel blues, yellows and pinks just to name a few colours quite often seen this time of day, having some clouds around really accentuates the spectrum of colours. We don’t always get picture perfect skies to watch the sun setting over the Blue Mountains but even on days where there might be cloud around during the sunset, the way the sun manages to find all the gaps in the clouds it really does look amazing, seeing the last rays of sunshine piercing through the clouds. Then there is the twilight time after the sun has actually disappeared over the horizon and now hides below the tops of the Blue Mountains.
It is this time of the day where the light can often be perfect for photography because of the contrasting light bouncing off the ground and buildings and it is about this time all the building lights start to come on along with the lights from all the cars showing off the busy hustle and bustle of the city life now switching to early night mode.
Anytime is a Great Time to Fly!
So, when is the best time of day to enjoy a Helicopter tour with Sydney HeliTours? Well, in my opinion there is no better time other than the time that works for you. Why not give us a call at Sydney HeliTours and let us help you find your perfect time to fly.