Visitors to the York Fair might notice that this year, one attraction has caused a lot of buzz - literally.
With blades ripping through the air, kicking up grass in a whirlwind of speed and sound, East Coast Helicopters has made its presence known.
The company packs fairgoers into black helicopters that soar 1,500 feet into the air and take them on a six-to-eight-minute aerial tour of York, said co-owner and chief pilot Tyler Sigel.
"So you're covering some serious ground," he said. "It's a unique experience."
Once helicopter passengers lift off the ground and reach speeds of about 100 miles an hour, they get a bird's-eye view of York's sports fields, Three Mile Island's smokestacks, the Susquehanna River and York Hospital.
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And business has been great: From 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sigel estimates his business dished out 200 rides using two helicopters.
"(Saturday) was an awesome day for us," he said. "We actually had to turn people away because it was so busy."
Ready to fly: Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, he said.
"So far, everything's been 100 percent A-positive," Sigel said.
And it's been a great turnout at the fair, said co-owner Brian Klinger, even though most riders have never ridden a helicopter before, he said.
"Everyone comes off with a big smile on their face saying it was worth it," he said.
Glenn Rock, 55, of North Codorus Township took his 5-year-old granddaughter, Carmela, out for a ride.
"It was wild," he said. "We got some nice pictures."
Particularly eye-catching was the quarry that borders Route 30, he said.
"I never knew that place existed," he said. "It's monstrous."
Rock, who last rode a helicopter when he was younger, said he went on the ride for his granddaughter.
"I went to give her the experience," he said.
Carmela enjoyed the ride, but she said she preferred the fair's exotic petting zoo, complete with a zebra, camel and giraffe.
But so far, it seems that helicopter rides are a good fit for the York Fair, Sigel said - and they could be here to stay.
"We would love to be back," he said. "They're happy to have us."
East Coast Helicopters will be hosting family-friendly rides every day till the end of the York Fair. Rides are $40 per person and run from about noon till dusk. The business hosts rides at other fairs, private parties, weddings and other events. For more information, call 717-676-8745 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Reach Mollie Durkin at email@example.com.