Helicopter tours business sees steady stream of customers this summer

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While most tourists explore the area from the ground, Black Hills Aerial Adventures takes people sky-high.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim buckles up for a first person perspective of their helicopter tour.

Pilots with Black Hills Aerial Adventures can give customers a bird's-eye view of Crazy Horse Memorial, the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The owner says they see a slight increase in customers whenever the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally's in town, and his business has been around for decades.

Black Hills Aerial Adventures Owner Michael Jacob says, "It was just a love of flying and a love of helicopters and the opportunity arose so I picked the location. I met with Ruth with Crazy Horse. We came up with a business plan and started doing rides 26 years ago."

Katrina Lim says, "Some people are afraid of heights so a helicopter tour is definitely out of the question, but for others, it's worth the view."

Customers Tom and Barbie Bruno stopped in Custer on their way to the Rally.

Tom is a helicopter pilot, and he says he and his wife go on helicopter tours every time they're on vacation.

Customer Tom Bruno says, "It's beautiful. It's definitely the way to see the Black Hills and the Needles and the Spires and all that kind of stuff as well as Rushmore for the first time."

Barbie Bruno says, "It was spectacular and stunning."

My pilot took me to Sylvan Lake and the Needles.

Customer Cheryl Jacobson flew over two iconic sculptures of South Dakota.

Cheryl Jacobson says, "It was an experience, an awesome experience to be able to see the presidential monument. And Crazy Horse from up in the air is really different that just going to the museums themselves."

I flew 7,500 feet in the air, but their tours can go as high as 8,000 feet.

Katrina Lim says, "If someone's a little bit afraid of heights, what would you say it convince them to take the chance?"

Customer Tom Bruno says, "I don't think it's about fear of heights when you're in a helicopter. To me, it's a closed environment and pilots typically take the fear of heights out of it for you."

Customer Barbie Bruno says, "You only live once."

Anyone who wants to discover the Black Hills from the air can make a reservation at coptertours.com.