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First Helo lessons today

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by drjohngober, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. drjohngober

    drjohngober Formula 3
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    Jul 23, 2006
    1,935
    Cville and Gbury Tex
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    Dr.John Gober
    Just took my first helicopter lessons today at Epic at Meacham ( Fort Worth). What a blast! I felt comfortable after about 30 minutes able to maintain altitude in turns and that it was going to be an easy transition from fixed. Then , we auto-rotated ( LOVE IT) and I worked on hovering for 45 minutes. That brought me back down to earth, literally. I knew I was supposed to make miniscule adjustments and I really tried but the ability to hover 2-3 ft agl is an art. Rob, you gotta try this. I am very impressed with Epic. Equipment ( 2 R-22 and 1 R-44) are very well maintained. Great operation. Bought a block and planning on flying 2-3 days/week.
    Any other fixed wing guys make the transition here? Any recommendations?
     
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  3. rfking

    rfking Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    785
    Italy
    Why would you want to fly something that has a million moving parts all held together by one big nut on the top of the rotor - while madly trying to tear itself to pieces?

    Seriously - I am not rated, but I have enjoyed many hours tooling around in helicopters. Just be careful out there - lest the ground reach up and smite thee.
     
  4. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Nov 29, 2003
    7,024
    Shoreline,Washington
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    Robert Parks
    I once knew an ex-chopper pilot and he called that fastener on the top of the rotor shaft " The Jesus Nut." When I asked him why he called it that he said, " When that sucker comes off, that's what your gonna' say!"
    I just can't understand why you would want to fly something that hasn't got enough wing area to keep it aloft. Trick photography, that's what !
    Switches
     
  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
    51,784
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    Hey John, congrats! I'm just trying to do one thing at a time now, but that is something I would be interested in.
     
  6. drjohngober

    drjohngober Formula 3
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    Jul 23, 2006
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    Dr.John Gober
    It is definitely a challenge but very enjoyable. Flying high performance planes to me is more of a mental challenge ( auto pilot slaved to GPS) where rotors is more eye-hand coordination. Hovering 2 feet over the ground is very challenging physically-like landing for the first time- remember gripping the yoke so hard your knuckles were white?
     
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  8. planeflyr

    planeflyr Karting

    May 27, 2006
    174
    I can see all the helicopter jokes a-comin' ;)

    Planeflyr
     
  9. ALPO

    ALPO Formula 3

    May 13, 2005
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    #7 ALPO, Dec 17, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
    I held a multiengine airplane rating before getting my rotorcraft-instrument ticket. Transition was smooth, uneventful and I soloed in 3.5 hours. Monkeys are smarter than me; it's all about hand, feet and brain coordination -- and concisously avoiding overcontrol. I soloed in a Hughes TH-55 and eventually transitioned to a Bell Jet Ranger. All you fixed-wing pilots should give it a go -- when was the last time you went vertical, backwards, or did a pedal turn in an airplane? I even landed on Daytona Beach once (long story, related to a mast bump incident).

    Good-luck guys and fly safe!

    BTW - IFR in helos = I follow roads

    When the ceiling and visibility gets really low -- just land on the median strip of a highway :))

    Try that in a fixed-wing airplane
     
  10. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    actually last week in 35 kt. gusts and a Citabria. :D
     
  11. newgentry

    newgentry Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2007
    447
    Johnson City, TN
    Full Name:
    Robert
    I've been flying rotary for 10 years now, I much prefer it to fixed wing. I will never forget the first time I tried to hover. My CFI made a big show of pulling out his wallet, got a hundy out of it, and laid it on top of the glare shield. He said if I could keep the aircraft inside of an area the size of a football field, for 1 minute, the money was mine. Of course, within about 10 seconds I was so out of sorts that I was almost inverted. After he finished laughing he said that he'd been teaching rotary students for 15 years, made that bet with each of them, and had yet to lose it. No doubt.

    To me, learning to hover is like taking the training wheels off your bike when you were a kid. You fall over. Then you fall over again. Then one day something inside of you will just "click" and you've got it. Small movements on the cyclic, don't chase the collective, don't tense up and grip either too tightly. Very shortly you will be wondering what the big deal was.

    And remember this axiom - if something's not broken on your helicopter, it's about to be.

    Have fun.
     
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  13. ALPO

    ALPO Formula 3

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    #10 ALPO, Dec 17, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
    I had an instructor who told me to rest my forearm on my upper thigh and hold the cyclic w/two fingers and make light, small movements. Worked like a charm Then, I flew an F-15 three years ago and was surprised at just how much input you put into the control stick. Like night and day! All said, I prefer the helo!!!!

    I wish I could afford to fly a helo these days...
     
  14. newgentry

    newgentry Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2007
    447
    Johnson City, TN
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    Robert
    Mine told me the same thing. Worked for you, obviously, didn't for me. Guess I don't have enough coordination in my stubby little fingers. But, hey, if want some time in a helo, YOU GOT IT. I can set you up about any day of the week. But the quid pro quo is, of course, some F-15 time for ME!! How about this weekend? :)
     
  15. 10boom

    10boom Karting

    Jan 5, 2005
    157
    WA
    Hovering was by far the hardest part for me to learn as well. Coming from flying big heavy jets where the autopilot was king, learning to fly helicopters was pretty refreshing to me. Every time I strap in and and put my helmet on, I get excited like I did when I first started flying. To me, flying helos is much more physically demanding, where as flying fixed wing is much more cockpit management.
     
  16. ALPO

    ALPO Formula 3

    May 13, 2005
    1,472
    Annapolis area
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    alpo
    Sorry, can't arrange F-15 Eagle flight. I simply sent an email to SECAF (Dr. Roche, fellow Tifosi) and asked for a ride...what's to stop you from asking a DoD airbase commander for a civilian hop, photo shoot w/a Ferrari and write an article for local paper? Worked for me.

    Check this out - me driving to Langley AFB for a ride in an F-15

    www.exhausttv.com/f15

    It’s ~ 10 minutes, make sure to turn the speakers on

    There’s a few minutes of history (boring) but the last segment is worth it at the end

    Make sure to note the 4' flames exiting the red TR (my car was running a wee bit rich that day)
     

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