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Darren Goes To Flight School


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"so whenever I hear a helicopter land, I grab the gas key and go drag the hose out (and there are always helicopters landing"

 

Best part of your first week to start yout life-long networking and reputation . Obviously you are learning everything---- :)

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You picked a good school..and are lucky to get Richard. When I was there I would get home every night and write down all the tiny little bits of invaluable

information/instruction/tips he gave me and then re-read them before each flight.

Also.. study each night and try and get the written done and finished by the 50hr mark so you can concentrate everything on the remainder of your flying..Don't beat yourself up when Richard starts getting tougher on you, he does this to everyone, simply looking for you to maintain a steep learning curve which gets tougher the more skilled you get, and he's a pussycat compared to his partner in crime!!

I remember memorising the start up early on as this is a good confidence builder as its something you can do from the word go, you will still use the checklist, of course, but in the real world its something the customer won't want to see, so why not start now!

I would use the class room upstairs a lot to study, as this is a quiet area away from other students and away from other distractions.

Things to watch out for is Bragg Creek Moose that are waaay heavier than you and your 22 that get pissed off when you suddenly drop in on their nice little clearing in the woods and most importantly not clearing your turns with Richard next to you...probably took 5yrs off my life!

Good Luck and enjoy it.

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Today was upper air autos. Having only seen an autorotation while on the ground and watching from a distance, I was a little unsure - apprehensive, even - of what to expect while in the machine. Turns out they're pretty cool! That's to say, they're pretty cool in a controlled practise situation ( I bet they're not so cool if you have to do one for real when you least expect it). Richard demo'ed one, then we shot about four more upper air entrys. So long as the entry is done right it's just a matter of flying in trim and watching your rotor RPM and airspeed (I still need lots of practise, though...:D). Richard also showed me a 180 auto (very cool!), and on one of them he took full control and showed me a flare.

 

All in all, a great learning day (though a little windy and showery).

 

- Introduced me to autos, which I can't wait to become more proficient on the controls so I can do 'em better.

 

- Highlighted some stuff I need to work on; namely smooth and regular scanning inside-outside-inside-outside. I'm still either concentrating on the horizon trying to keep in trim, or fixating inside the cockpit chasing the altimeter or something like that. I also need to get better at flying while doing "stuff" in the cockpit, such as adjusting carb heat or taking the cyclic trim off. While fiddling with the cyclic trim knob today, I wound up climbing up a couple hundred feet. As Richard put it ---> "Priority #1, fly the helicopter. Priority #2, do everything else".

 

- That said, I'm improving (incrementally... :lol: ) at making small collective and pedal adjustments while flying.

 

 

When I was there I would get home every night and write down all the tiny little bits of invaluable information/instruction/tips he gave me and then re-read them before each flight.

 

Yep, I've got half a page or so from today's lesson.

 

Also.. study each night and try and get the written done and finished by the 50hr mark so you can concentrate everything on the remainder of your flying..Don't beat yourself up when Richard starts getting tougher on you, he does this to everyone, simply looking for you to maintain a steep learning curve which gets tougher the more skilled you get, and he's a pussycat compared to his partner in crime!!

 

I've had my nose in the books every chance I get. I figure if I shoot for the highest mark I can get, then that leaves me a bit of leeway if I flub a question or two. That said, sometimes I need a bit of a break just to let stuff soak in (hence me here typing). After today's flight I couldn't concentrate on the books, so I went out to the hangar, grabbed a broom and swept away while I went over the lesson in my head. Seemed to help put things in place in my brain, and at least the hangar floor's a bit cleaner now :prop:

...and most importantly not clearing your turns with Richard next to you...probably took 5yrs off my life!

 

Second day out he gave me two STERN warnings: "Darren... if you don't clear your turns, I will scare the sh** out of you." So far, the warning has worked - haven't forgotten since (although I'm sure I'll get spanked sooner or later)!

 

Back to the books,

 

Darren (5.3 hours!)

 

 

 

 

 

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This has become a great repeat topic for this training thread. Glad to hear about your training Darren I'm sure everyone will be looking forward to hearing about your progress.

As you progress, the rewards of satisfaction in personal achievement will be a very cool thing you'll start to realize while you train.

You'll make mistakes, but learn from them and others that you hear about or read about in Transport newsletters and make it your mission to not repeat them.

The more aware and informed you are, the better off you'll be. Good luck luck with you training and keep the posts coming.

 

DC

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Congratulations Darren:

 

I really hope that you can maintain your detailed posts as the workload increases. Your a real inspiration to 'Newbs' like me just getting off the ground.

 

Week 1 in the bag ....

 

Tell us about Week 2 when you can spare the time

 

Thanks,

 

J-MON

 

 

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Well, there are good days, and there are bad days...

 

Yesterday we started hover practise. During the previous flights, Richard had been giving me the pedals during the hover taxis, so I've got a bit of a head start on those. Yesterday was quite windy (10-15 knots or so), so pedal turns were interesting. Next came the collective with the pedals... I still have to think a lot about keeping my feet and collective hand independent of each other, but it's slowly getting there.

 

Then, on to the cyclic. Considering it was my first crack, I did not bad! A few wild maneuvers, but for the most part OK for a first effort. After taking the pedals on a looong tailwind hover taxi, I finished the lesson feeling pretty good.

 

Then, I arrive home to find an envelope from Transport Canada. Great! My medical certificate finally arrived. But wait...

 

I open it up, and find out that my medical had been deferred pending the results of an audiogram and an echocardiogram. Needless to say, my reaction went something like this:

 

:shock: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!

 

I did my medical back in July, and (after chasing my doctor down) was told that I passed. Healthy and well, the form was signed, stamped, and the "fit" box was ticked off. I even have a copy. My ECG showed a "borderline deviation", so my doc ordered an echocardiogram as a precautionary thing (I have no heart problems whatsoever), but the main thing was that I passed, and the echo would be done whenever and kept as a baseline for future reference. I also gave him an audiogram that I had done a couple years ago (anything within the past five is considered current), so somehow that didn't make it to the Vancouver office...

 

Well, I guess the Vancouver office wants to have the echocardiogram results on file before they issue my medical card. I made a couple frantic calls to my doctor (in Invermere), and he assured me that he felt there was no problem - probably more of a false positive in the ECG (and a borderline one at that) but they want to rule everything out. He was going to make some calls to arrange an echo here in Calgary within the next week and call me back by now, but... no call yet. :rant: It's not a medical issue, it's a bureauocracy issue.

 

So, although I'm pretty certain the echo will reveal nothing - I'm an avid cyclist, and my last job had me on ski touring gear in the mountains every day so one would think that if I had issues, I'd know - I'm still worried. I won't be soloing for a few weeks yet, but considering the speed of bureaucracy, I won't be satisfied until I have the medical card in my hand. Note to anyone considering heli school - get this all out of the way well in advance!!. I thought I had lots of time, and I thought I had passed, but there you go.

 

So, I went into today's hover practice with this in the back of my head. And it showed. All the good stuff I had yesterday was gone. Mostly gone, anyways. I was very tense, and then any confidence I had was gone, and the whole thing went in the pooper from there - except the last ten minutes or so.

 

I was moving the cyclic too much, then my corrections were too big and too late. I was also target fixating a bit - I'd focus so hard on my reference point on the horizon, that my head would stay fixed on it while the helicopter swiveled away from it. I also had a tendency to pull back on the cyclic or up on the collective when trying to correct. Bah.

 

Finally, Richard gave me a really good tutorial about applying corrections and counter-corrections, and with that in mind, I finished off the lesson on a bit of a better note. I could at least hold the cyclic still, anyways...

 

We had a good chat afterwards too, and I've got a big list of stuff to think about tonight (aside from my stupid medical stuff).

 

Darren - 7.3 hours (and pacing the floor over the medical stuff).

 

 

 

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...and some days are good again. Just a quick post; my folks are on their way through town so we're on our way out for dinner.

 

First up - my local doc referred me to a doctor here in Calgary, so the echocardiogram should be out of the way in the next few days.

 

Next - today, I hovered on my own with all three controls! It's far from rock solid, but I could hold it steady for several minutes at a shot, and could recover from many of my "whoooaWOW" oopses. Now that I sorta "got" it, I need to work on precision, transitioning to hover taxiing, etc.

 

Feeling MUCH better about things today!!

 

Darren (8.2 hours)

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I was reading in a Transport Canada Instructors manual today that three things interfere with learning, and emotional & psychological factors were two. You're learning a lot all at once. Especially in regards to control. Having control, maintaining control. I'm thinking that having this medical stuff pulling at your coat tails would be potentially very distracting. Especially because it is something you don't actually have full control of. Hang in there Darren. Sounds like you have a lot of people behind you. Stay positive. Keep posting.

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The medical thing sucks eh! I got the scare of my life just 2 weeks ago too. I dont start my training until november, but i did my medical early. The doc looked me over,did my ecg, said all looked good. then i get a call from my doc saying i show a "slight abnormality" in my ecg (slow pulse) and that i should not put my money down (2 weeks late) for training because it would never get approved! Now, im the 22 yr old 135lb OIL RIG pig that can put out like an ox for 12hrs a day, 45 in a row! and i cycle and stay active in between. Needless to say i can understand how nerve racking your situation is (if they had done an ecg that day i would have been declared dead). To my relief though, my cat1 was sitting in the mail box when i got home, wtf? a few confirmation calls to the doc/TC/School confirm that im likely just a little healthier then most. yay!

Its crazy how things can go from bad to great. best of luck, we'll see who can sweep hardest next summer m'kay? (3 yrs of hard scrubbing under my belt, i'll give you a run for your money :prop: )

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