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Training Update...


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Good evening everyone! Hope ya all had a great week. Mine was pretty good, and as you guessed, here come the details....

Monday and Tuesday were filled with lots of sitting, reading and chatting about all things helicopter. The weather was far from desireable with visibility about 3/4 of a foot. Even the birds on the taxiways decided it was safer to walk around versus fly.

Come Wednesday the fog finally broke and was exchanged for some very nasty winds and wind shear. But it was still within limits so out we went to do some more Instrument stuff with the foggles on. With that wind shear it was a good thing I have a pretty strong stomach when flying with the foggles on. We were getting thrown all over the place while I'm trying to maintain or change heading and altitude. Every few minutes the instructor would ask if I was still ok and able to carry on. Guess he didn't want me redecorating the cockpit with my lunch, but for the most part I thought it was fun.

Yesterday was pretty much the same but with less wind. Thank God! More foggle work, more confined areas, more emergencies. Then I headed out for some circuits to practice quick stops, both into wind and downwind. The downwind quick stops are great. At least so long as I don't screw it up and crash. I'd hate to mess it up with such a high degree of bank so low to the ground!

Heading out on one circuit I made my call to Tower and just started a nice into-wind towering takeoff. At about 30 feet I heard and felt a very loud BBBRRRRAAAAPPPPP!! come from somewhere in/on the helicopter. It lasted for about a second, but was more than enough to make my eyes bug out of my head I'm sure. I instantly aborted the takeoff. I powered down on the ground and began wondering what the **** made that horrid noise. The controls felt normal, and the engine seemed fine according to my ears and guages. I put the frictions on and hopped out to see what I could see. Nothing. Then a theory popped into my head. I got back in, powered up and got into the hover. Still into wind I pulled up on the collective to full power as if to do another towering takeoff, but without any forward cyclic. So of course the helicopter rose quickly high into the air, but this time no noise or vibrations. I came back down into the hover, got the nose straight into wind and proceeded with another high takeoff. Again within a few seconds I heard the same sharp noise. I guess with the high wind coupled with the towering takeoff produced a quick vibration on the rear engine panel, which has a slight bend that makes it stick out a wee bit. The air caught this little lip and buzzed it for a second. No big deal...phew!

And today was much the same as usual lately. We did a mock flight test and I would have passed had it been the real deal. Nice to know since the real deal will be next week if the weather co-operates. Later I flew around doing confined areas by myself. There is this very very tiny island near Saltspring that I've been dying to try landing on. So today I figured I'd go for the gusto. Made a nice orbit checking it out and all looked ok. On approach I noticed a Bald Eagle launch off the wee light post marking the island to boaters. Cool. Then I saw a big splash on the shore as I was about 100' back. There were a bunch a Seals bathing on the island and I never even saw them. By now they were all dashing "lemming style" into the ocean to avoid the loud contraption heading their way. Two brave ones stayed top side to bark at me as I flew off, didn't want to dice them with the tail rotor seeing how cute they were.

So that's a wrap on yet another week for me. Hopefully next week I can bore you all with the details of my flight test! :up:


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Good call Twinstar. I was wondering about that later that day. Hindsight tells me I should have shut down before checking things out. Sure would have made for a better inspection of everything. Next time I need to have a good look at stuff I'll go the extra mile and do it right. Guess I could have ruined my own day big time had a large wind gust thrown the rotor into translation wthout me in the seat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm. Looks like last weeks entries got erased. Oh well, wasn't much to say about last week really. Same goes for this week. Still waiting for decent weather for the flight test, I doubt 20kt winds and 800 ft ceilings would help much.

On the really bad days we stayed in the zone and practiced more stuck pedals, autos to the ground, and some coordination exercises like Ag-Turns and Pirouettes. At least I think that's what ya call them, when you do a pedal turn while also moving in a straight line over the ground. At times it becomes rather comical to see this little helicopter out there doing all these manouvers, and when a crowd builds up along the fence to watch it feels like a one-man airshow instead of training.

Mid-week we got a marginal weather break and headed out for some confined practice. We headed for some high ground and I finally got to land in snow. Wasn't much to write about though, it was wet and heavy and was like landing on white mud. There were some very strong wind gusts that day too. So strong at one point the collective almost got pulled out of my hand...didn't know until then that this was possible. And then doing steep turns in these winds compounded this effect. At times I almost wanted to put the cyclic between my knees and use both hands on the collective to keep the wind from pushing it to the floor. Slight exageration there, but you know what I mean. ;)

So next Monday I'll be starting the 206 training, and I've decided to go for the whole 10 hours. Only a week away...can't wait! Anothe reason to get the flight test over with, I need to start in on the 206 manual for the type exam.

Well, that should do for this week folks.


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After some advice I decided to get off my butt and go to the US site where this thread also exists and save the lost entry. So erase the above entry from your mind, read this one now and then re-read the above entry. Ok, maybe not. ****.



There's not a whole heck of a lot to report on for this week. I didn't get a chance to do the flight test due to typical winter weather here on the island. I did get my pre flight-test trip out of the way so now I have the recommendation needed for the real deal. I'm not worried about the flight-test at all. It's just another flight really, I just have to be relaxed and I know I'll pass.

Yesterday while doing more confined landing we shut down and got out to have a better look at where we'd just landed. At first I though I'd done something wrong, but the instructor just wanted me to have a look at a spot from the outside to see it from another view. It put into perspective just how far student heli pilots come in such a short time. Looking at where I'd set down I thought, Jesus that's a tight little spot! I felt some pride in knowing that I put it there. A movement of a few feet in almost any direction would have the main or tail rotor into either the trees or the rocks. It also really hit home the fact that you can't let the machine go anywhere you don't want it to unless you're into taking a long walk out of the woods. Plus, it was great to just get out for a break and enjoy the wilderness and a stunning view most people never get to see. Also in the back of my mind was the hope that the noise of the helicopter comming in scared away any cougars in the area.

So hopefully next week will allow my flight-test if the weather permits. I can't believe it's December already. That means I should be done and have a license in my hand come Christmas. Again that depends on the weather. And once the flight-test is outta the way I can get cracking on the type exam for the 206. Everytime I think about the 206 I feel like Homer Simpson thinking of Duff Beer.

Mmmmm.....Jet Rangerrrrr. :up:



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Ok, so it's not Friday but here I am posting again...but for good reason. I did my flight test today at long last! About time too. I'm just too pumped up about passing to be able to wait till Friday.

At first the day looked like she was gonna be a beauty for a flight test. I got my mission, drew up a plan and got all ready and then the weather crapped out in typical island style. So we waited and waited, before deciding to wait some more. Another student figured he'd use the time for some solo circuits, but that thought lasted all of two minutes once he got out there. The winds were pretty high and all over the place at that time. So I took the time to triple check my plan, go over the flight manual a bit more, and just goofed around a bit to help take my mind off the up coming task. No way was I gong to screw this up by making myself nervous.

About 2:30 it looked decent enough to give it a whirl. If it didn't work at least I'd get up for a little bit today. The ceilings were fine near the airport, but came down where we were planning on going. It was still good enough for what we needed to do so we pressed on. Everything went pretty well, and just as I'd hoped the flight wasn't all that different from any other flight. I scored mostly 5's and 4's with a handfull of 3's. I'll go out on a limb here considering the amount of chief pilots that must visit our site. The only thing I did poorly on were the 180 autos. Not that I screwed up the flare or would have killed us, but for some reason I just couldn't enter them at the right place to make it to my spot. I kept on coming up short. I'd like to blame the 15kt wind, but I know better than that. Not sure why, but today I just couldn't enter them correctly. The straight-in auto I did was great and worthy of a 5/5 which was a nice surprise. I just planted it right in place without hardly any slide....sweet!

So yeah, the last big obstacle in getting my license is out of the way. Just 13.5 hours left and I'm there. It's really quite depressing when I think of it. Means soon no more flying everyday. No more hanging out at an airport everyday.

At least for a while.... ;)


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Well done, soon we get to call you Captain.


Don't worry about 'where' to enter autos......having you chop the throttle is something the MoT does...(I heard it's because of liability, more than anything else. Whatever. It doesn't matter).

Of course, in the real world the engine decides on when it will quit, not you, and then you have to get the machine to the 'spot'. This could involve a 180, steep, stretched, S-turn or "all-of-the-above" auto to make it there.


In the few hours left, ask your instructor to bombard you with surprise chopped throttles, but always going to the same spot......this will teach you to really 'fly' the machine without an engine. I found this taught me to get my eyes out of the cockpit more, and to put the RPM and airspeed guages into my peripheral vision, which is the reverse of what I had been doing. (A common mistake apparently).

Then have him do it in unfamiliar places....that way you will have to find a 'spot' on your way down....and then make it to that spot !!. (Hopefully he has been teaching you to always keep a 'spot' to go to in the corner of your eye already, "just in case...").

You will learn how to adjust for whatever wind is affecting your descent at that moment etc. etc.

Here's the interesting part.....once you've got proficient at these.....even if you 'enter' an auto in the same 'wrong' place you did today......you will know how to correct for that, and make it to the 'spot' better than you did today.

So, did you really enter the 180 auto in the wrong place, OR did you follow that entry with a "perfect" looking 180 and subsequently miss the spot ??

In the real world there are no more "perfect" looking autos. The engine quits at the top, and you land at the bottom....the auto in-between can look like ****......as long as you get to the spot.

Having 100% rotor speed and exactly 60 knots all the way down until you miss the only clearing in the forest by 50 metres is no good !!


You will probably never do as many autos in your career as what you are doing now (unless you change seats and become an instructor)......make them count.


It sounds like your test went well. Don't worry about not being perfect at everything at this stage in your career........that will come when you've got about 600 hours !!

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congrats, ryan on passing!!! :up: :up:


O/T, i think you said it all very well... there is nothing in training that compares to the feeling of when the stove quits or partially quits for real... i had it happen when i was checking out on a 172 with the flying club i belonged to once... 500' agl off the departure end of the runway... the 4 bolts that hold the carb under the stove were improperly installed and i missed it on the preflight... owner in the right seat played with throttle and mixture to keep us with some power while i set up a downwind landing on the cross runway...


lessons learned... 1) always fly the aircraft

2) when there's another driver in the right seat, use him

3) don't be afraid to check unusual areas under the cowling

when the bird has recently come out of its annual and

you have never flown it before... for that matter, even

if you have!! B)

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