People used to come to Las Vegas for one reason and one reason only — gambling. But that has changed over the years.

Las Vegas is now known for its headliner entertainment, fancy restaurants, abundant shopping and a variety of adventures.

Gunship Helicopters offers one of the most exciting adventures of all — a true, helicopter door-gunner once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Gunship offers once in a lifetime experience in Las Vegas

For those who are brave enough Gunship flies thrill seekers in its doors-off helicopters.

You will fly over rugged desert terrain dotted with cacti, cows and the occasional human. You will arrive at a remote range on a rugged mountaintop south of Las Vegas.

Once the helicopter has reached the range, shooters (first-timers are welcome) will fire 50 to 52 rounds of ammo; from a M249 SAW belt-fed semi-automatic weapon at a group of brightly-colored targets perched on barren rocks.

The adventure begins though as soon as you arrive at Gunship, which is located in nearby Boulder City.

How does the process start once I arrive at Gunship

After signing in, which includes checking your blood alcohol level

checking your weight (limit is 300 pounds per person),

Making sure you are not carrying weapons.

You will sit through a pre-flight mission briefing and ground simulation.

What do I wear on the helicopter

Next, you’ll be outfitted with a flight suit; and given eye protection if needed (make sure you check the dress code before you go). Gunship Helicopters takes both fun and safety seriously.

Next, you’ll head out to one of their helicopters.

Their primary and biggest helicopter is an AStar.

This Astar is the same helicopter used by the military; law enforcement, emergency responders and others around the world.

Once you have been buckled inside of the open-door aircraft; you’ll receive instructions on how to move about the cabin safely and how to fire the gun.

You will also be given a noise-canceling, wireless headset; which will allow you to communicate with the other passengers, Range Safety Officer, and pilot.

And then it is time to take off.

It’s also time to turn on and turn up the Vietnam-era classic rock music.

Where is the shooting range

The low-level flight to the privately-owned range just south of Goodsprings; provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the rugged beauty of the Mojave Desert.

Upon arrival at the 71-acre range, the helicopter will activate its warning system.

This is for anyone who might be in the area; and the Range Safety Officer will begin prepping the gun for firing.

Shooting can begin when we get the signal that everything is ready to go!

The helicopter will hover a short distance from the AR500 steel reactionary targets; and the shooter will move into position and begin firing.

Once the shooting has concluded, the helicopter will fly back to its base in Boulder City.

Can I purchase photos

Shooters will have the opportunity to purchase photos and video. (sorry we do not permit cell phones on the helicopters;

I can assure you definitely don’t want to accidentally drop one of those out the door during flight.

The price for the once-in-a-lifetime time experience is approximately $400 to $600 per person; it is all dependent on the package that is chosen.

Non-shooters are always welcome to ride along for $99; children (ages 15 and older) can also fly and shoot.

Group discounts are available.

If you would like more information about the various adventures offered by Gunship Helicopters, click here .

By:Joyce Lupiani