Sunday, March 23, 2014

Up, Up and Away

For my 60th birthday last year, my girls and their partners bought me a free trial helicopter flight where you get a go at the controls.With 12 months to use it and my 61st approaching fast, this weekend was the time to make a trip to Palmerston North and get it done.
In the hot seat ready to fly the Hughes 300.
Lift off.
Oops! pilot slightly out of shot shows how low flying along the river is done.
Watch those wires.
Banking to the right at about 700ft.
Wife awaits with the other camera.
About to touch down again.
Made it.

The flight was amazing. First time in a helicopter and I am just awestruck by their manoeuvrability. Watching from the ground doesn't give you the full story. As a helicopter pilot I must admit I'm completely useless.Trying to co-ordinate left hand, right hand, left foot and right foot in a machine which is inherently unstable, was just too much for me in a 20 minute flight. I think it would take me several hours to feel anywhere near confident. Pilot, Chris, was great. Trying to hover just two metres off the ground I got all wobbly and thought I was going to do some ploughing with the rotors, but Chris calmly said "I've got it" and brought it all smooth and level in a split second.
My "crap" abilities aside it would have to be the most enjoyable flight I've ever had in any aircraft.
I would love to go for a longer flight, but definitely leave the controls to those who know what they are doing.

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