Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill - 2008
Westminster-based BiPlane Fun provides scenic rides along the coast in a restored 1943 World War II Stearman Biplane. You can request as many loops, rolls and spins as your stomach can take, as each flight is personally customized to the lone passenger. But this is no inexpensive ride. The cost is $295 for half an hour of air time, $395 for 45 minutes (recommended as just the right amount of time to settle in and enjoy the ride) and $495 for a full hour. Yep, at those prices, this is definitely a special-occasion experience for us working stiffs. But how many times are you going to get a chance to fly in a biplane in this lifetime? The pilot, a fully licensed flight instructor, will even let you turn the stick and control the rudder if you so desire. While BiPlane Fun is a local company, its Stearman is not hangared here: You take off from Compton Airport. Reservations are a must, but generally, if you call midweek, they can squeeze you in that weekend. Weekday flights are also available. Screaming, "Curse you, Red Baron!" is totally optional.