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Daz

Darren Goes To Flight School

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Sloped landings this morning. The "slopes" weren't huge (they just seemed that way to me :D), but it was a good lesson in the techniques involved in landing and picking up on sidehills.

 

I dashed home at noon to check my mailbox, and lo and behold there was my medical! As the weather was really nice, I fired up my motorbike and rode back to Springbank. In no time Richard had finished up all the paperwork, and off we went out to the Bow Valley training area (which is some farmland north of the airport by the Bow River). I did a circuit with Richard, we landed, then Richard gave me some advice and tips about how the centre of gravity would feel without him in the machine.

 

"OK, go do a circuit and come back and land. Have fun!"

 

And off he went to wander around between the cowpies.

 

Other than the different attitude while hovering and the lower manifold pressure to hover, it was pretty much, well, flying. No nerves (I was very relaxed, in fact), no "OHMIGOSH I'M FLYING!!" moment, rather my inner monologue was more like "OK, watch carb heat, keep the strings straight, approaching 4000', so clear left-centre-right and turn, level out at 4200. Downwind check, carb heat full hot....." and so on. I landed, Richard wandered over (big grins on both of us) , opened the door, shook my hand, said "Congratulations! Good job!" Go do two more circuits, and then we'll go back".

 

So, I did. Second circuit was a little sloppy (chasing attitude and speed a bit), but the third was like I was on rails - I was ahead of the machine and everything went very well.

 

The flight was a quick one - about 45 minutes, but I'll always remember it. I'll also never forget the epic soaking I got from the rest of the crew back at Bighorn. :punk:

 

...Darren

Nice work Darren....Happy landings! Wish I could have seen the soaking!!

 

Time for a solo party

 

 

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Nice work Darren....Happy landings! Wish I could have seen the soaking!!

 

Time for a solo party

 

when can I come attend a solo party...heard so many good things :punk:

 

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Sloped landings this morning. The "slopes" weren't huge (they just seemed that way to me :D), but it was a good lesson in the techniques involved in landing and picking up on sidehills.

 

I dashed home at noon to check my mailbox, and lo and behold there was my medical! As the weather was really nice, I fired up my motorbike and rode back to Springbank. In no time Richard had finished up all the paperwork, and off we went out to the Bow Valley training area (which is some farmland north of the airport by the Bow River). I did a circuit with Richard, we landed, then Richard gave me some advice and tips about how the centre of gravity would feel without him in the machine.

 

"OK, go do a circuit and come back and land. Have fun!"

 

And off he went to wander around between the cowpies.

 

Other than the different attitude while hovering and the lower manifold pressure to hover, it was pretty much, well, flying. No nerves (I was very relaxed, in fact), no "OHMIGOSH I'M FLYING!!" moment, rather my inner monologue was more like "OK, watch carb heat, keep the strings straight, approaching 4000', so clear left-centre-right and turn, level out at 4200. Downwind check, carb heat full hot....." and so on. I landed, Richard wandered over (big grins on both of us) , opened the door, shook my hand, said "Congratulations! Good job!" Go do two more circuits, and then we'll go back".

 

So, I did. Second circuit was a little sloppy (chasing attitude and speed a bit), but the third was like I was on rails - I was ahead of the machine and everything went very well.

 

The flight was a quick one - about 45 minutes, but I'll always remember it. I'll also never forget the epic soaking I got from the rest of the crew back at Bighorn. :punk:

 

...Darren

 

You're living the dream. Way to go Darren!!

Looks like I'm not going to get to fly... and reading your posts makes my hearts longing sing. Thanks for posting your experiences in flight school.

 

I read the other day that the there's a big difference between pilots and aviators. The first are technicians, and the latter are artists. My hunch says you're of the latter persuasion.

Best of luck to you.

Sheri

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Disclaimer: The previous and subsequent posts are the the thoughts and opinions of Daz, and do not necessarily represent the views of Bighorn Helicopters Flight School

;):D

 

Back on track here....

 

Thankyou all for the kind words!

 

Congrats Daz.....do it from the sharkfin?? hehehe

 

Yup! :up:

 

Thursday morning was me on my own working on hovering, pickups, and landings - spent an hour over on taxiway Echo just practising. In the afternoon, Richard and I went out to Bragg Creek for some confined area training. These are cool! LOTS going on, though...

 

I like it 'cause it feels like "operational" flying. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy flying circuits or doing hover excercises (it's all flying, after all!), but the confined stuff is a new level of "wow" for me - it represents what I'll be doing in the coming years (hopefully). We also did a few cushioned takeoffs (weeeeeee!)

 

Yesterday morning I was back on Echo for more hover/sideways/rearwards practice. BIG progression from Thursday. I felt relaxed and comfortable at the controls (I won't go so far as to say 'precise', but it's coming along :P ). I set little "goals" for myself, and a couple times I sideways-hovered the entire taxiway from the hold short line to the end. Great practice! There was only 2 to 4 knots of wind, too, so that made it easy. I think part of the progression came from the fact that I was completely on my own - On thursday, Guy came with me over to Echo, we did a few minutes together, then he hopped out and walked back to Bighorn. Yesterday, they basically just sent me out the door on my own. This really reinforces the "pilot-in-command" responsibility, and it felt great! IT was also quite busy around the airport on Friday - airplanes were holding short for me to taxi, lots of radio chatter - and this made me *not* think of it as an excercise, but rather just operational flying. For some reason, I fly better this way when I'm not hyper-obsessing on something. It just happens. I guess this is why Richard keeps telling me "Don't think! Just fly!!"

 

In the afternoon, Richard and I headed back to the Bow Valley training area for advanced takeoffs and landings. We did some no hover takeoffs (I like 'em), some no hover landings (tricky to nail 'em just right, but still fun), and some run on landings. Some of my no-hover landings turned into run-on landings :P

 

Then, I got schooled. Richard directed me to some hoodoos high above the Bow River, then took the controls and landed us on this skinny little finger of land at the top of the river bank - not much bigger than the skids!

 

"OK, no hover takeoff, then come around and do a no hover landing"

 

Well, that squashed any smug ideas I had about my advanced takeoffs and landings! Taking off from the hoodoo was OK, but my approaches were messy - I kept looking at my tiny little landing spot (and the sheer drop to the front, rear and left of the spot) instead of picking a reference in front of the spot (fixation!) and I came in short every time. I managed to get it once, but not without a lot of coaching. The idea behind that excercise was to show me that not all landing spots are a nice flat square in a nice flat field. I hope we get to practice that one again!

 

Then we did some confined work focusing on steep approaches and towering/vertical takeoffs. I like 'em!

 

Back to the shark fin, Richard hops out for a stroll, I do three normal circuits on my own, and then we go home. Nice finish to a stellar week.

 

Going through my pilot training record, Richard noted that aside from instruments and navigation, we've covered most of our dual training excercises. That, and his goal is for us to be at 50 hours by Nov 15. I'm at about 37 hours, so that means that my next couple weeks will be a lot of solo flying. I'm pretty stoked to get out and work on what I've been taught!! It's funny - during the first month or so, it felt like the weekends weren't long enough; now I think that i've got two days to wait before I can go flying again :)

 

First practice exam on Monday, so there'll be a lot of studying this weekend.

 

 

...D

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Awsome posts.

Sounds like you progressing well Daz, and good luck on the practice exam. :shock:

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