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Old 06-11-2017, 12:57 PM   #1
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How to Fly a Helicopter in one easy lesson

HOW TO FLY A HELICOPTER...

Although flying a helicopter may seem very difficult, the truth is that if you can drive a car, you can, with just a few minutes of instruction, take the controls of one of these amazing machines. Of course you would immediately crash and die.
This is why you need to remember:
RULE ONE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Always have somebody sitting right next to you who actually knows how to fly the helicopter and can snatch the controls away from you. Because the truth is that helicopters are nothing at all like cars. Cars work because of basic scientific principles that everybody understands, such as internal combustion and parallel parking. Whereas scientists still have no idea what holds helicopters up. "Whatever it is, it could stop at any moment," is their current feeling. This leads us to:
RULE TWO OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Maybe you should forget the entire thing.
This was what I was thinking on a recent Saturday morning as I stood outside a small airport in South Florida, where I was about to take my first helicopter lesson. This was not my idea. This was the idea of Pam Gallina-Raissiguier, a pilot who flies radio reporters over Miami during rush hour so they can alert drivers to traffic problems ("Bob, we have a three-mile backup on the interstate due to an overturned cocaine truck").
Pam is active in an international organization of women helicopter pilots called - Gloria Steinem, avert your eyes - the "Whirly Girls." She thought it would be a great idea for me to take a helicopter lesson.
I began having severe doubts when I saw Pam's helicopter. This was a small helicopter. It looked like it should have a little slot where you insert quarters to make it go up and down. I knew that if we got airborne in a helicopter this size in South Florida, some of our larger tropical flying insects could very well attempt to mate with us.
Also, this helicopter had no doors. As a Frequent Flyer, I know for a fact that all your leading U.S. airlines, despite being bankrupt, maintain a strict safety policy of having doors on their aircraft.
"Don't we need a larger helicopter?" I asked Pam. "With doors?"
"Get in," said Pam.
You don't defy a direct order from a Whirly Girl.
Now we're in the helicopter, and Pam is explaining the controls to me over the headset, but there's static and the engine is making a lot of noise.
". . . your throttle (something)," she is saying. "this is your cyclic and (something) your collective."
"What?" I say.
"(something) give you the controls when we reach 500 feet," Pam says.
"WHAT?" I say.
But Pam is not listening. She is moving a control thing and WHOOAAA we are off the ground, hovering, and now WHOOOOAAAAAA we are shooting up in the air, and there are still no doors on this particular helicopter.
Now Pam is giving me the main control thing.
RULE THREE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: If anybody tries to give you the main control thing, refuse to take it.
Pam says: "You don't need hardly any pressure to . . ."
AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.......
"That was too much pressure," Pam says.
Now I am flying the helicopter. I AM FLYING THE HELICOPTER. I am flying it by not moving a single body part, for fear of jiggling the control thing. I look like the Lincoln Memorial statue of Abraham Lincoln, only more rigid.
"Make a right turn," Pam is saying.
I gingerly move the control thing one zillionth of an inch to the right and the helicopter LEANS OVER TOWARD MY SIDE AND THERE IS STILL NO DOOR HERE. I instantly move the thing one zillionth of an inch back.
"I'm not turning right," I inform Pam.
"What?" she says.
"Only left turns," I tell her. When you've been flying helicopters as long as I have, you know your limits.
After a while it becomes clear to Pam that if she continues to allow the Lincoln statue to pilot the helicopter, we are going to wind up flying in a straight line until we run out of fuel, possibly over Antarctica so she takes the control thing back. That is the good news. The bad news is, she's now saying something about demonstrating an "emergency procedure."
"It's for when your engine dies," Pam says. "It's called "auto-rotation.' Do you like amusement park rides?"
I say: "No, I DOOOOOOOOOOOOO . . ."
RULE FOUR OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: "Auto-rotation" means "coming down out of the sky at about the same speed and aerodynamic stability as that of a forklift dropped from a bomber."
Now we're close to the ground (although my stomach is still at 500 feet), and Pam is completing my training by having me hover the helicopter.
RULE FIVE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: You can't hover the helicopter.
The idea is to hang over one spot on the ground. I am hovering over an area approximately the size of Australia. I am swooping around sideways and backward like a crazed bumblebee. If I were trying to rescue a person from the roof of a 100-story burning building, the person would realize that it would be safer to simply jump. At times I think I am hovering upside-down. Even Pam looks nervous.
So I am very happy when we finally get back on the ground.
Pam tells me I did great, and she'd be glad to take me up again. I tell her that sounds like a fun idea.
RULE SIX OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Sometimes you have to lie.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:08 PM   #2
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Sounds like something Dave Barry would have written.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the chuckles!
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:31 PM   #4
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If you have not heard it before, may I suggest you find a copy of the 1981 comedy recording by a British air traffic controller by the name of David Gunson. The skit is "What goes up might come down" on how to fly a 747 and a helicopter.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
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I spent 4 1/2 years in the USAF as a flight instructor on jet trainers (T-38). I went up in a helicopter once, and it is NOTHING like flying my plane.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctox View Post

Sounds like something Dave Barry would have written.
He did. And I knew him when at Miami Herald .
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
I spent 4 1/2 years in the USAF as a flight instructor on jet trainers (T-38). I went up in a helicopter once, and it is NOTHING like flying my plane.
You know you are absolutely right. Takes much greater skill, intelligence, courage, finesse, good looks, ahh...I know there's more...Oh..dexterity and memory, then a starch wing aviator has.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:20 PM   #8
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Brings back fond memories of Fort Wolters Texas right before the IP jumped out and said practice hover for five minutes then take it around the pattern...woo hoo!!!!!


WORWAC 69-33/35 the Christmas break two number class.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:53 PM   #9
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From someone with a private pilot (fixed wing) and A&P license, I couldn't stop laughing. Extremely well written, I can directly relate to most of it. I've never flown a helicopter, but I understand how they work and I've been airborne in a few of them. Several times with an ex-Vietnam pilot in a Hughes 500, he was good.

Thanks for posting.

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Old 06-11-2017, 02:56 PM   #10
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CH-47 . . . a million rivets flying in "loose" formation.

Helicopters don't fly, they beat the air into submission . ..
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:03 PM   #11
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Airplanes want to fly. Helicopters don't. (-:
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Brings back fond memories of Fort Wolters Texas right before the IP jumped out and said practice hover for five minutes then take it around the pattern...woo hoo!!!!!


WORWAC 69-33/35 the Christmas break two number class.
My Hats off to you old timer Warrant officers, I took my training at Ft Rucker, AL, 1983-84.

Sill flying the R-22/R-44 when I get a chance.

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Old 06-11-2017, 10:47 PM   #13
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Now that was a fun read! Thanks for sharing
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:04 AM   #14
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I know a guy that is a retired army helicopter pilot (Vietnam era), I will be sharing this with him the next time I see him, which may be tomorrow.
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