Who wants to go for a helicopter ride? (Boston area Dutch auction)

I seem to have inspired myself with that last posting.  This blog posting and its comments section will serve as a Dutch auction for a helicopter ride.  The terms of the ride are as specified in


with the exception that I need another 45 hours or so before I can take students to satisfy an insurance requirement in this particular Robinson R22.  I.e., I can do a photo flight, I can and have instructed in other helicopters, I can take friends around, but I can’t leave the left side controls in and let you fly.  (I do have a commercial helicopter license, a helicopter instructor license, and about 255 hours of total helicopter time).

Let’s do this as a Dutch auction, with 100% of the donations to www.sarasanctuary.org.  People bid in the comments section (include email address please in the cleartext of the comment; this wonderful Manila software does not provide any way for me to recover your email address from your registration info).  I will give people rides in descending order of bid amount.  Students, bless their impoverished hearts, will get a 2X factor applied to their bid (so a student who bids $100 will go before a working person who bids $199).  When I hit the magic 300-hour mark, I’ll stop giving rides (will be busy instructing customers of East Coast Aero Club then), unless there are unsatisfied bids of at least $250 ($125 for students).

I will pay for all of the gas, maintenance, and other expenses of the helicopter.  The dogs at SARA will get all of the money that you donate (give it directly to them via their Web site please; I don’t want to handle any checks).

So… for the comments section… please provide your name, phone number, email address, amount of bid, good times to fly (if you are a 9-5 slave, say so).  If you want to bid anonymously, send me email with the same info with the subject line “helicopter dutch auction bid”.

6 thoughts on “Who wants to go for a helicopter ride? (Boston area Dutch auction)

  1. Phil,
    I bid $250.00. Name is Jim Harrington, Saugus MA. Tel, 781-244-5655 (wireless) 781-233-2996 (home)
    I work full time days (7-3) at GE Lynn. Will take a day off for the trip if you can let me know the night before. I want the trip to be a photo trip with the door off. Early April, warm enough, but before leaves bloom on trees (for better pics) Boston, up & down the coast sounds great. If we can spend some time over Saugus, even better. I’d meet you early at Hanscom. Not sure how your auction works but If I need to bid higher, I will. Let me know. I’ll bring my 10D and the new 24-105L IS.

  2. Jim: Early April will be perfect for me and thanks for the generous contribution. I will just be returning from California (ferry trip of a Diamond DA20). We can loiter over Saugus. Let’s hope for at least 70 degrees or you are going to miss that door 🙂

  3. Can you add a little more info on this condition: “If the underbid is at least $500, feel free to “split the donation””?
    I’m assuming that people put in the highest bid they’re comfortable with (or, if they want to game it, put in multiple escalating bids).
    But what is the underbid?

  4. Paul: The underbidder is the person who bid the 2nd highest amount. So he lost the auction to the high bidder. If we were auctioning a Chinese vase, only the high bidder gets to walk away with the vase. But we are auctioning my time, so if the high bid is $700 and the 2nd highest bid (from a different person) was $650, the donation may be split and I give rides to both people, one of whom will donate $700 and one of whom will donate $650. I think this is well understood by the auctioneers, but I guess I should explain it a bit more carefully.

  5. Phil, How would we know if we win the auction, since there are many rides to be given before you reach 300 hrs? Should we assume you’ll contact winners when their ride is available?

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