Want to read about the entire experience at Gunship Helicopters? Grab your copy of the Ballistic April/May 2020 issue today at OutdoorGroupStore.com! Video above by Alex Landeen.
As a gun writer, I’m always hit with cliché jabs about having the best job in the world. What many people don’t see, however, are the hours of hard work, the constant back and forth with companies and … OK, I do have the best job in the world. That fact slapped me in the face when my editor threw an assignment my way that basically said, “Please drive to Las Vegas, fly in a helicopter, fire a machine gun out of that helicopter and then tell us about it.” After taking about 4.3 seconds to mull it over, I said yes. It was time for a road trip to Gunship Helicopters.
Joining me on this junket would be longtime industry photographer Alex Landeen. The dates were set, the hotel booked and bags packed as we headed out from Phoenix. As a matter of record, the trip to Las Vegas from Phoenix is about five hours and takes us though the beautiful landscapes Arizona has to offer. From bumper-to-bumper traffic in Phoenix, we went through the high chaparral and Joshua tree forests towards northern Arizona. The trip culminated when we crested the final hill and our scenery turned to opulent hotels.
Las Vegas has an almost surreal appearance during the day and gives off an energy like no other city. Regardless of when you arrive, Vegas seems to always be waiting for the sun to go down so it can come to life. We finished the last push, found our hotel and settled in for the night as we prepared for a brisk morning, when we’d “get to the choppa!”
Off To Gunship Helicopters
Gunship Helicopters is located about an hour southwest of Vegas near Sandy Valley. We rolled up as the Gunship team was briefing a couple of gentlemen from Tulsa, Ok. The look on their faces was a mix of excitement and anticipation. They were clearly excited about what they were about to do. In the meantime, we met with one of the range officers and did the unavoidable paperwork that is always connected to an experience like this. We also watched a well-made safety video and talked more with the range safety officer. At that point, a free moment arose and we were able to meet one of the owners of Gunship Helicopters, Matthew Fahnestock. He’s is more than just a title holder. He’s actually one of the pilots that makes the magic happen.
Fahnestock took the time to speak with us about his enterprise for the April/May 2020 issue of Ballistic Magazine. We also hit the air with an M249 SAW and the ground with a Barrett M82A1. Watch the video above for more on our experience. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that you’ll remember the rest of your life, carve some time out in your Vegas schedule to visit Gunship Helicopters. You won’t be disappointed. For more, visit GunshipHelicopters.com.