Prince Harry Takes a Helicopter Tour of L.A.
12/01/2011 AT 06:45 PM EST
While his extracurricular Las Vegas and California activities garnered plenty of attention, the British Army pilot also got in lots of real-life military training while in the States.
"Students have an opportunity to practice skills in a demanding environment with conditions similar to those in Afghanistan," Lt Col Peter Bullen said in a British Army statement about the prince's military exercise.
"The training has ranged from environmental training during the day and night, including dust landings, judgmental training and mountain flying followed by a live firing qualification on the large ranges available here in Arizona."
Harry also made time to be a tourist while in the U.S., taking a helicopter tour on Nov. 23.
"I know he's been doing a lot of flying with the Army, so I think he wanted to chill out and take in Los Angeles from the air," Alan Purwin, the pilot who took Prince Harry and four friends for a ride, tells PEOPLE.
Purwin, who owns Van Nuys, Calif.-based Helinet Aviation, took the group on an hour-long tour, which included Hollywood, Downtown L.A., Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Malibu.
"He was amazed at how extensive L.A. was, how it goes on forever – he seemed to be really enjoying himself and taking it all in," says Purwin. "He took pictures with his iPhone."
Harry spent Thanksgiving at Universal Studios, as well as lounging with friends at a Beverly Hills hotel before leaving and heading back to the U.K. earlier this week.