The AS-350B-2 has a rate of climb in excess of 1,500ft/min, and the pilot seemed more than happy to exploit that. Very quickly we were well above the circuit, looking down on the cars are they pounded around the track.
The most astounding thing was being able to see the speed at which the real big guns of the Le Mans series – the LM P1 and P2 cars, like the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Lotus T128-Pragas – closed up on the slower GTE cars.
Even when there were substantial gaps on straights, the LM cars would get right up behind the GTE competitors, like the Aston Martin Vantages, in no time at all - and then simply drive around them. Passing took but a moment, and then the LM car would be gone, spearing off in to the distance.
Despite knowing how quick some of the cars were, it was still impressive to see that virtually every single one was going notably quicker than the helicopter. We were doing around 100mph in places, yet some cars cruised by on the ground - particularly on the Mulsanne straight - like we were static.
You got a real sense of the speed that the Le Mans cars could carry through the corners too, as from above reference points and the distances involved were much clearer. Being able to see the entirety of the bend also allowed you to watch how the cars braked and accelerated, as well as seeing if they were following the prominent racing line.
As you flew parallel to the track you'd see the cars closing on the corners, the brake lights would sometimes flare, they'd turn in, clip the apex and then be gone again, sprinting in to the distance and easily outpacing the helicopter through the turn.
It's much easier to appreciate the sheer scale of Le Mans itself from above too. You'll get flown over the camp sites, the truck parks, the support areas and the interior of the circuit itself, revealing just how much is going on in and around the 8.47-mile track.
For one thing, I won't ever forget the sight and sensation of being held in what felt like a 60-degree bank, and seeing an R18 e-tron and Toyota TS030 Hybrid flash past through the Porsche curves underneath. They were following identical lines and seemingly inches apart, a seamless and awe-inspiring demonstration of precision and speed.
Admittedly the flights aren't cheap - ours cost in the region of £150 - but if you've come all the way to Le Mans, there are few ways to better understand the scale and speed of what's going on.