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Training Update...


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Well, I figured I'd start a new post for these. Hope no one minds.

So I'm half way thru week two and man it's going by fast! Circuits has become the order of the day for the most part and that's fine by me. Gives me a chance to improve my transitions into forward flight, and approaches into the hover...and pretty much everything in between.

I'm starting be able to fly the approach right to my landing spot. Well sometimes anyways. That's a great feeling of satisfaction. But ****, for now I'm happy to come within 10 feet of my aim point hehe.

The last two days have also introduced me to mild heart attacks. Yesterday I was given a slight intro to LTE. I had a decent quartering tail wind from the right while hover taxiing. I was trying to stay over the centerline of the taxiway so of course had to crab a little. Well you know what happened when I did that. I had that left pedal **** near floored and was barely able to keep the R22 in line. I did not like that at all! Then today we almost had 2 bird strikes during the same circuit. Christ!! First was a little sparrow that almost went into the mail rotor... no big deal. The other was a much larger hawk. We came so close Bob had to take control and do some funky evasive turns to avoid the thing.

The last heart attack was induced by Bob intentionally, and I'm glad he did. We were flying at about 2000 AGL and things were all nice and smooth. Then in an instant the tail rotor started to act very odd to my inputs. I had enough time to say "WOAH!!!" before the low RRPM horn began to scream. I though that this was the real thing....we were going down! I looked at Bob who seems way too relaxed over the whole situation. He just looked back at me and said, "Well YOU better fix that pretty soon eh?" The sneaky bugger had slowly rolled the throttle off on me. After I entered the auto rotation and got my heart outta my throat I realized what a good lesson I'd just learned. Always be ready!

Well, that'll do for now. **** near wrote a mini novel there.

Take care gang.


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Today is a milestone for me. I did my very first solo flight in R22 FHSC! Man what a rush!! I was doing circuits with Bob and after a few he said he felt a bit redundant. He hopped out into the grass, and I suddenly noticed how quiet a R22 can get. Not because he talks too much, but because I knew he wouldn't be there to talk at all.

I gently lifted off into the hover and noticed instantly how much more responsive EVERYTHING got. After a few seconds relearning how to hover with the new inputs needed for the reduced weight, I was ready to go for it. Called the tower, got my clearance and was off. And I mean off!! The little ship took off like a bat outta ****! And man can that thing climb with just one person in it...not that anyone here doesn't already know this hehe. And then comming around on my approach I felt like a cowboy riding a horse....."WOAH GIRL!" It just did not want to slow down. I overshot my landing by quite a ways, but got back in one piece. Then I looked at Bob out in the grass and he waved me on for 2 more circuits. The last 2 approached were much better when I knew what to expect.

All in all it's been a great day! I thought I might be ready for a solo flight by the end of the week, but it's assuring to know I'm trusted enough to have at it with only 13 hours.

Too bad all educations aren't this much fun! :up:


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Congrats Ryan,

Its amazing isnt it. After reading your post and thinking back alot of years its funny how those moments never leave you. You are well into the learning curve and the only way is up. ( Excuse the pun) Its good to hear the excitement and achievements of a new pilot. I think some of us get a little complacement with what we do. At the end of the day we have the greatest job in the world. Hands down. Apart from Hef of coarse. Cheers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, time for another one!

Well so far I've racked up 6.6 of solo flight with 17.5 dual. My solo stuff is still confined to circuits with hovering work in between. My approaches are far better now. I'm even able to put the skids right where I landed the pervious circuit. Poor little patch of weeds there has been killed by the exhaust....oops hehe.

To mix things up I've begun varying the approaches from normal to steep and shallow ones. Towering take-offs are quite fun as well, though the danger is always foremost in my mind. I have also started trying off level landings by myself which I really don't like. I'm fine once that first skid in firm on the ground, but getting it there makes me sweat.

The dual flights are getting much more exciting too. We've begun doing confined approaches and it's great. Gravel pits, abandoned logging roads, and river sand bars all present different challenges. We did one auto into a small field only to find two black bears enjoying some left over corn from the harvest. It was quite a surprise to all involved I think! Man those things can make a big hole in the forest when they take off running haha.

On a side note there's a chance some of my flight today may be on TV tonight. I was taxiing back to land as a camera crew was out getting ready to film Bob doing a local charter flight. The camera guy saw me comming in and shot my taxi and landing. He said he'll probably use it when the story airs tonight at 6:00 on CH (Chek 6 I think). Hope so since I managed not to blow my touchdown infront of the camera!

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Ahhhhhh....and a movie extra also. Don't forget to charge union rate for your performance Ryan......and the going rate for meals is $135/day. :D:D:D Don't let Bob take your share of the pay either just because he's the instructor and technically the pilot-in-charge. :D:D

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So I ended up missing the news story that night and emailed them asking if I could have a copy of the footage as a momento. They said ok, to the tune of $200!!! Hmmm, 1/2 hour in the Robbie or 2 minutes of video tape.....wasn't a hard decision.

This week I've started some solo flights away from the airport. The first one was almost as nerve-racking as my first solo. Then the second one, yesterday, was into the worst winds I've flown in to date. The fact I was alone didn't help matters. Nothing quite like flying straight and level at 2500' with 23 inches of power and still decending at 800'/minute. Just a wee downdraft I'd say. Needless to say I cut the flight short and got the **** outta Dodge!

Then comming back I flew into a scene right out of some Hollywood movie. I'd decended to 1400' and found some stable air there. I tune ATIS, but since there's still a small mountain between me and the A/P it comes in all garbled and broken and full of static. As I'm straining to listen to it I notice to water just in front and below is very rippled at one spot. Nothing too bad compared to the crap I'd flown out of earlier, but I still got tossed around. So you can picture this rookie student pilot getting booted around with the radio cutting in and out and full of static. It's usually the part in the movie where the aircraft goes down in a ball of flames. But movies are too full of drama. I cleared the choppy air, the mountain passed and the ATIS came in crystal clear and I made it back and kissed the ground lol. Have to say though after fighting the wind for 30 minutes the airport was totaly calm and I flew the best, smoothest approach so far.

One month down, three to go! :up:

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It's Friday, end of another week and time for another update!

At long last I've started working more on confined approaches and landings. The first half of the week was spend wondering about with the instructor looking for holes in the trees for me to put it down in. We started big and worked our way down from there. The first place was about 100' x 40' and tapered off at the ends. Bob was on the controls first to show me how it's done, then we flew back out so I could try. The 1st approach was way too high. I was too concerned with trees and didn't want to begin much of a decent untill they were cleared. So of course comming in too steep near max gross over tall grass....hello Manifold Pressure red-line!

After a few more approaches things were looking better and I wasn't quite as nervous about the trees being so close to the helicopter.

We moved on to a different spot that's a little smaller than the first. Again Bob showed me how it should look, then let me at it. They weren't pretty, but the job got done. It was in this hole that I found my first outdoor grow-op! It was quite funny...a little mesh fence around about 20 big pots full of dirt. Too bad they'd already been harvested, those plants could have helped fund my training! :lol:

Bob also showed me just how small a spot a helicopter can fit into. It scared the crap outta me! Not because he did anything foolish, but because I know I'll have to be able to do that one day...cool. He also took me out to a few old log pads on mountain faces just for a demo of what that's like. That was amazing, but scarey for the same reason stated above. Well, scarey and exciting is more like it. I really loved the departure method for the log pads...full power, let the nose come about and get a little forward speed, tuck the nose down when clear of the pad and let er fall!!

Yesterday he let me loose on the Island by myself and go practice what we'd been doing all week. It was great! All this time whenever I've flown around I always think to myself, "I wonder if I could land it in there?" Well now I can go find out. So far I've managed to get in and out of every spot I've picked. I know that's not saying too much though since these spots are still fairly large. Things like small gravel pits, logging road junctions and river sand-bars. It's as much fun as it is challenging.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!


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