Saturday, 17 April 2010
Yesterday I flew an R22 helicopter and I am now a convert.
It was only to have been an experience, a reward to myself for having passed my RT exams, but now I am trying to think through my finances and think of what I can sell....so that I can go for my helicopter licence next! After the summer I think I will sell the Dragonfly and buy a cheap second hand trike at about two grand, and put the rest into the helicopter fund, so if anyone is interested in a Dragonfly (along with all my ground handling kit) you might want to get in touch.
Here are some rather poor shots with the R22 taken with my phone.
I wish I could have filmed the flight, but my hands were far too busy. Mike, the instructor, put his hands out in front so that I could see that I was the one flying the thing. My left was on the collective, my right on the cyclic and my feet on the pedals controlling the rear rotor for yaw. I took off and with help got the thing to hover, move forward, climb and descend and fly along following a ditch, perhaps a hundred feet below. Absolutely fantastic!
When Mike took over he showed me a dramatic trick where we hovered and "floated" around a tree, the top only just missed by the rotor. Then he demonstrated an autorotation for a quick but safe emergency landing and then took us towards a line of trees. We hovered there and he reassured me that he knew they were there, then we flew at them, climbed, nose up, and then harnessed the effects of rotor torque to turn on a sixpence, then swoop back down to the field.....which he did several times. Afterwards, Mike showed the full effect of torque by taking pressure off both pedals so that we spun on the spot.
I am hooked!