What is your best flying moment?
Posted 08 February 2005 - 18:50
Was only in the pattern but the WX was great and just having a grand ol time.
Most fun I've had in a while.
Posted 21 February 2005 - 18:29
Posted 22 February 2005 - 20:17
Posted 22 February 2005 - 23:44
Posted 04 October 2005 - 14:31
I had spent 3/4 of a hot summer day doing maintainence on my assigned bird and when it was finally ready it need a post maint. test flight, so I went to the pilots rooms stuck my head in the door as said who wants to do my test flight. no more then I got the words out of my mouth one of my favorite pilots had his helmet and flight bag in hand heading for the hanger. I grabbed my helmet and headed for the SIC seat with a grin you couldn't wipe off my face with a 2X4. flying was and is my favorite thing about helo's. we got airborn and headed east to do the maint. tests these took about 20 mins. to complete, when I finished making the notes in the maint. log book the PIC turned to me and said are you ready to fly her, my eyes were probably as big as sausers, I said where to, I'd never had the controls before, he said east I direct you as we go, he kept his hand close to the controls as I took over he briefed me on the RRPM and speed, he was soon comfortable that I could handle it. spent 20 mins. flying at 1500' AGL part of that was when we came upon a house in the country with a high fenced in back yard, the pilot said put it in a hover here for a moment he assisted me with that then he turns to his flight bag and pulls out a pair of binos you could see moon craters with and scans the ground with them, then chuckles out loud, turns to me and grins and hands me the binos, says I'll take over a minute you look. you guessed it a golden goddess soaking up the afternoon sun. I grin and chuckled as she never even realized we were hovering over her house. i turn back to him with a grin and said great topper to the day, he then said you fly it back and I'll land. I flew back to within 20 miles of the airfield and he took over and made a perfect running landing (we had steel skid plate on the bottom of our skids), picked the craft back up and taxied to the pad and shut'er down. I was on cloud nine for a month ::2thumbsat::
Posted 05 October 2005 - 12:08
-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-
Guinness (For Strength). Jameson (For Courage). Lex (For The Effort).
- Cap't Carrol 'Lex' LeFon, USN, 1960-2012
Fair seas and Headwinds over the deck, my Friend.
Commit to memory Checklist Items:
#1 ...Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses...
#2 No smoking 8 hours before the flight or drinking within 25 feet of the aircraft.
#3 If it can't be fixed with a hammer, it must be an electrical problem. Bend to fit, dent to match.
#4 I don't care about being right, as long as I prove you wrong.
#5 If you can't have a really good laugh, at least provide an entertaining cry.
#6 What the large print giveth, the fine print taketh away.
#7 Anyone who flies lower than me is a moron, anyone who flies higher is a maniac, any one who flies the same altitude is a threat.
#8 A boy makes his girl jealous of other women. A Gentleman makes other women jealous of a lady.
#9 The other vehicle is my crumple zone.
#10 One of the goals in my life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.
#11 America has a long history of dealing with those who stomp on rights. There’s the soap box, letter box, ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box for dealing with these sorts.
#12 Passion is what you do when it’s convenient, commitment is what you do when it is inconvenient.
#13 Never argue with an idiot; they bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience.
#14 It is customary caveman tradition to curse inanimate objects after making a mistake that causes injury to self.
#15 History doesn’t always repeat, but it usually rhymes. Tree. Politician. Rope. Some assembly required.
#16 Always plan for the mission as if you are the wetware that others are trying to liquidate somewhere between Destruction Bay and Explosionville.
#17 A goal too easily achieved is often a disappointment.
"I will not turn my clock back. I will be living one hour in the future. I greet you, The People of the Past. Your ways are quaint."
And sometimes, it just has to be said:
"I rode the short bus and I don't remember seeing you on my bus. But you should have been on it."
Posted 05 October 2005 - 12:09
Ya know, until his eyes started failing him, that SOB could out-fly me on any day of the week. His touchdown autos were a bit of magic. Best longline driver, ever. He and Earl "Mile High" Walker got me drunk for the first time, too.
Second best day? May 6, 2003. Making those same wooden blocks fit a 500 and taking my 6 year old son up for his first lesson. God, I love this job. Thanks, Dad.
Posted 05 October 2005 - 15:12
My uncle bought new in '64.
Daddy got it right,
'Cause the engine was smokin':
A couple of burnt valves and he had it going.
He let me drive her when we'd haul off a load.
Down a dirt strip
Where we'd dump trash off of Thigpen Road.
I'd sit up in the seat
And stretch my feet out to the pedals,
Smiling like a hero
That just received his medal.
It was just an old hand-me-down Ford,
With a three-speed on the column
And a dent in the door.
A young boy, two hands on the wheel.
I can't replace the way it made me feel.
And I would press that clutch,
And I would keep it right.
And he'd say:
"A little slower, son, you're doing just fine."
Just a dirt road with trash on each side.
But I was Mario Andretti,
When Daddy let me drive.
Wow I just actually channeled Alan Jackson. (Thatís a good thang.) Thanks ecdoc.
Best flight Ė the next one - (always) - canít wait to get back in that bird.
Or maybe first solo, Or maybe flying with my Dad as a kid, Nope, the next one.
My hat is off to my dad also. (Thank you Dad.) For instilling in me a love and respect for flight, especially, the next one.
"I can't tell."
"You can tell me, I'm a doctor."
"No, I mean I'm just not sure."
"Well, can't you take a guess?"
"Well, not for another two hours."
"You can't take a guess for another two hours?"
Posted 05 October 2005 - 20:31
You got me thinking about some of the great experiences my dad and I had flying together. We were on a job in Washington State, setting transmission towers with a 204B.
For some reason, the template that the concrete crews used for setting the bolt spacing on the bases was not adjusted properly. Some of the towers fit, others did not. So, we would have to sit at a hover while the ground crew slotted the bolt holes with a cutting torch.
We would fly a tank of fuel, change pilots, then do it again. Well, wouldn't you know it. The cutting torch ran out of O2 about midway through a fitting. Dad sat there, at a 2' hover, for 42 minutes while these guys found another bottle of oxygen. Didn't bother him a bit.
I don't know about your dad, but mine is still alive, barely. He's been legally blind for the last 10 years, or so. Sounds sappy, but I really do miss flying with the guy.
Posted 04 November 2005 - 19:14
It was October 30,2004.
The day started out major imc with cold temps and drizzle. Around 4pm I received a call from local law enforcement about a missing person. A 24 year old man had walked away from a party at a rural home around 2am and hadn't been seen since. As the weather had cleared I agreed to help with the search using my old Hughes 269. I took a spotter along that worked on the local ambulance crew just incase.
Well we weren't in the air 10 minutes and we found him, dead.
He died of exposure at least 10 hours before we found him.
He had walked out into a slough with tall grass and 6 inches of water. The ground searchers could have found him only by stepping on him.
After spotting him we set down nearby and waited for the authorities to show up but the first two people on the scene were his dad and brother. Not sure I can or want to discribe the next 10 minutes. It seemed like an hour and 10 minutes.
I still do not know how I flew home.
I received alot of thanks and praise from the community and the young man's family. Knowing I saved countless hours of searching and worrying does make me feel good!
What a GREAT tool these machines are that we fly.
I have had so many fun moments in my helicopters. Taking my grandchildren for their first ride and many others are near the top of the list but this Search and Rescue turned Search and Recovery will always be my most, (not sure what word to use).
Posted 08 November 2005 - 20:54
Taking my step-Father(Dad is clausterphobic) flying, he's a fixed wing pilot(was). Not a man of praise....shall we say. I took him after my PPL, and I know my Mom was worried.....he told her.....you have nothing to worry about....he's a good pilot.
And another time, he was visiting, and I managed to get him on a Saturday....with no meetings to speak of.....so I told him to dress casual, sunglasses, and be ready at 9am. I picked him up, and we did the $100+ bacon & eggs.....I paid for both, and he really enjoyed it.
Flying in Panama, trying to get checked out in the R-44 for tuna boats. Some of THEE most beautiful scenery. Landing at this German guys 4 star hotel, 100 miles NW of Panama City, landed right on the front lawn. Aced my approach to the lawn, with wires to the right, and tall trees to the left......that was cool. Also on that trip...loading up x4 5 gal. cans of gas, and flying 5 hours Hobbs time, and gone for 7 hours....flew on Carribean that day...and the Pacific.....
Soloing.....how BIG that cockpit of the 22 was, once that 190lb..6'1" CFI got OUT!!
Taking my 70 year old Grandma, no doors on the 22...over the Rosebowl.....she would squeeze my leg, if she got scared.....definately a good day.
Actually....my Dad did go up with me......only for 10 min., but it meant the world to me, that I could share my passion with him.
Taking the wife up(girlfriend at the time).....I had a 60 day policy for dating....we had to be dating for more than 60 days, before I took them up!! Hey...it worked! She is a chatty girl.....and she INSISTED, that we fly with her door off.....almost stood there like a 4 year old....demanding that I leave the door off......so, I obliged. I knew how she would be, but.....OK.....she didn't say 4 words the whole flight!!! When we got back, I asked her, will you listen to me next time, if I recommend leaving the door on? She agreed! And she did on the next flight, and she was sooo full of joy on that flight! Quite Chatty...she was!!
So many good times.......it's my happy place in my HEAD!!
Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:11
First was a training mission in February at NS Mayport, FL. While doing pattern work, we got a call from tower to check ut an aircraft down call out in the warning area. We took off to the east and climbed to maintain radio contact wit FASFAC. When they gave us a TACAN fix of the aircraft, we knew it must be for real. We flew straight to the fix and saw a green dye marker in the water. Next we saw a pilot in a raft. We completed our SAR checklist, circled, and setup for an approach. Once in a hover the aircrewman lowered the hoist and the pilot hooked himself up. We brought him back into the aircraft and rushed him to the trauma unit at a nearby hospital. Luckily the pilot, who had been in a midair collision between an F/A-18 and an A-4, spent only 45 minutes in the water. Any longer and he would probably would have died of hypothermia or blood loss. We saved his life. He was the XO of his squadron. The CO ofthe squadron personally delivered a case of beer each (pilot, copilot and aircrew) that day to our squadron. While the beer was a nice gesture, saving someone's life felt great and is what I remember most.
My second best flying moment was landing a helicopter with a hydraulic boost failure on the back of a ship at night. I was totally scared to death. Thank goodness my training kicked in. I don't think I have ever concentrated harder in my life than during the short period of time between crossing the fantail of the ship and hearing the words, "In the trap, trapped." announced by the LSO. After shutting down and walking back into the hangar, I never felt more exhausted in my life. I think it was a great moment because Iproved to myself that I could handle the aircraft in a real emergency. My confidence and my respect for aviation would forever be changed after that.
Posted 27 December 2005 - 15:22
Just so happened that this next one was on the side of the hills.....hammer heads, 0 G's, steep turns........It was so awesome........
Ride was over and I to be quite honest, I never really got out all these years.........I had to get my ASEL-I rating because the Helos were too expensive at the time, but now it's almost time to get back behing the stick.
Posted 29 December 2005 - 00:44
Posted 05 January 2006 - 00:21
Currently I am a part time firefighter, and being such we run alot of medical calls which we sometimes use "Air Ambulance's" for patient transport. On memorial weekend of 2005 I had a fire engine and crew for the weekend and working at a fire station located on a Lake in Northern California. This weekend brings out all the bozo's who drink, get into fights over girls, fall off a boat and get themselves run over by a prop along with many other stupid things, all of which means we get to see some blood occasionally.
The lake is roughly 45mins from the nearest hospital, and some of the accidents require patients to be transported to a trauma center for head injuries or near drowning victims. So the local "Air Ambulance" company staffed one of there copters and stationed it at the fire station for quick response for the weekend. We made quick friends with the pilot and two female flight nurses, and ran several calls with them the first couple of days.
On the last day of the 3-day weekend, there was a lottery held (unbeknownst to me) for a quick flight on the copter to burn some fuel. They did this so they could transport "heavier" patients because of the mountain range to get out of the bowl that surrounds the lake, and the afternoons can get close to 100 degrees F. So just my luck, both my wife (who happened to be out there also) both got a ride in a copter for the first time. I was soooo thrilled with this, I couldn't belive my non-existent luck!
We both recieved a quick safety briefing, where the PFD's were incase we went down over the water, what do to if there is a hard landing etc. Once this was done, we were ready for the flight. I let my wife go first, and it was really cool watching her take off. I have setup and coordinated many LZ's (landing zones for those that don't know) for medical calls in the past for traffic accidents and what not, but this was completely different knowing I was going for a RIDE and deep down was getting butterflys knowing what I was about to do!
I cleared the copter for take off via the radio and they took off on there first "fuel" burn. It seemed like an eternity until the ship came back into view with my wife, so I could go on my adventure. I spoke with the pilot on the radio and directed him in to the LZ where he landed and my wife jumped out and walked over to the safe area of the LZ where we swapped roles, I then walked up to the ship and instead of sliding a patient into the side, I got to jump in and buckle up. The pilot never shutdown, so as soon as I could get buckled back in and the headset settled on my little blonde head, he applied some magic and we were no longer touching the ground. I couldn't believe what was happening, what people have to pay for money, I was getting for FREE! What more could someone ask for, well maybe to be the pilot-in-command hahaha. Before I know it, were several hundered feet over the tree tops and heading towards the lake.
As we get higher, more radio traffic is being picked up on the fire channels and VHF-AM radio, this is the second thing that tells me we are no longer on the ground, what a wonder elevation does for radio signals. The pilot takes us over and we fly over one of the resorts on the lake and check out the views, and then one of the flight nurses chimes up that her house is just a few miles away, so off we go in search of her pad. We soon find it and do a few circles over it. The pilot ask me about a local spot called "Party Cove", towards the north end of the lake. He has not had a chance to check out the sights. I pass on to him that its not a bad place becuase of the young skinny females that like to hang out on the boats and bridge at this particular sight (in my minds eye I am watching certain clips from the advertisements from the "Girls Gone Wild Videos" you see on TV). So off we go in search of Party Cove, mean while both female nurses are chatting back and forth hoping for a view of some hunky guys I think, but I was not paying attention becuase of everything else that was happening.
On the way to Party Cove, we are flying over the edge of land and water, looking out over the lake and for what seemed forever up the Valley that brings in the water to the lake, nothing can compare to this I think to myself. All you see is cars, boats, jetski's and a gorgoues day on the lake straight down, but looking out its different, anything I see can be touched by this copter within a few minutes. Before long we arrive in the vicinity of Party Cove, and I gave some verbal direction to the pilot as to where to buzz the crowd and so we could get the best view. Sure enough, the copter got a rise out of the crowd, from here I will edit out what we saw, but we could have made our own videos and sold them possibly. After a few minutes of checking out the local population in the man-made city on water, onward we continued on our flight knowing that we were going to be picking up some of these fools with in the next few hours. The pilot decided that he had burned enough fuel and was time to head back to the station, and off we went on the last leg of the flight. This time he took us over the mountain ridge and gave us a really good view of the forested valleys and landscape's unscene by most from the ground. He circled the LZ a few times and settled right in on the pad where he did his shutdowns. As you can see, I was not ready for this flight to end, but I guess a 20 min flight was going to have to be enough on this day.
I have top say, this flight did me in and I was hooked. I loved every minute of the flight, and can't wait to go back up again if my cards play out. True I am not a pilot, but sometimes being wowed and finding something you love and not even knowing about it until the experiance happens is what made this so special. I hope you enjoyed and didn't fall asleep reading this! Keep up the good work folks, and I am reading everything I can so that the decisions I make are the best for trying to become a pilot myself. Peace All!
Rotor side up is the only way, be safe! Roger
"Quid Clarius Astris"
Posted 03 March 2006 - 15:35
wind less than 5 kts, visibility more than 10 miles...
Posted 09 March 2006 - 21:04
Posted 26 December 2006 - 23:34
<font color='#000000'>What was your best moment flying helicopters (or working on them)?</font>
My very best flight was just before I got my commercial ticket. I was doing a solo night cross country in an R22. Mostly just for the time because I had already met my minimums other than hours. Anyway on this particular night I took off from kogd and headed south. My plan was to fly through the slc bravo down to Spanish Fork. Fuel there and return to kogd.
Winds were fairly constant at 9 out of the south so the tower told me to just take off from the ramp and continue south. It was a great night. A storm earlier that day had blown away an inversion and the air was crystal clear. It was also around the holidays so there were Christmas lights to look at in every direction and you could see for miles.
As soon as I cleared the D airspace the tower told me to contact Hill Air Force Base for an I-15 transition. I no sooner switched the frequency when I noticed a huge flame reaching a couple hundred feet into the air about 8 miles south and 3 miles east of me. I contacted Hill Tower and the first thing he said was "Man! can you see that fire?" I told him that the space station could see that fire and he asked me to go check it out for him. I got within about 3 miles of it and could see news copters circling it about 1000' AGL. I was flying at 500' but I didn't want to get close enough to interfere with anything so I called the tower back from about 2 miles away and told him it looked like a crash on the Mountain RD. (Highway 89) He thanked me and cleared me to contact Salt Lake approach for the Bravo transition.
The second I contacted Salt Lake the controller asked me if I knew what the fire was? I thought that was odd since the news copters mostly originate out of Bravo and I would have thought that they would have already communicated with the tower. Anyway I told them what it was and for the rest of my flight Salt Lake ATC was the most friendly I had ever seen them. I requested a low level circle around Salt Lake City to "photograph" the Christmas lights and they approved it. After making my fuel stop in Spanish Fork I returned by the same route and lucked out to get the same controllers. I told them that I was a low time pilot about to get my commercial and wondered if I could do a quick touch and go on 35 for the experience "approved as requested" All in all with the clear air, fair winds and a friendly ATC it was the most awesome flight I've taken yet.
Posted 21 January 2007 - 02:59
The stage is set for my first truely hard IFR day.... Christman Eve. Being a quasi-holiday there were few flights booked so it was just me and the Captain in our lone machine that day. We'd been joking days before it would be an easy, slow day. We only had 4 round trips to make. Maybe we could go home early!
On the first departure we knew we were in for a rough day. It was IMC, but not solid the whole flight. Climbing thru 700' it started. Turbulence, lots of it. I was in the flying seat so the Captain was busy dialing up our LORAN (if you don't know what it is, you don't wanna!) to give me a track. I was trying to hold our cruising altitude of 4000', but it was an exercise in futility. Head down and focused on my guages I tried my best but my altitude was all over the place, with the VSI showing 500' climb on second and 1000' descent the next. My shoulders began to hurt from the 5-point harness. A ground speed check showed up crawling along at 85 kts, but indicating 160 on the ASI. Thanks god we tanked on fuel, cause we had a fair stretch of water ahead of us. About 15 minutes later we were thru the worst of it... for this flight. But let me tell you, turning downwind at 500' was like getting kicked in the ass by a giant. We went from 85 kts ground speed to just over 200 kts g/s in seconds. Heading back an hour later we encountered a bad patch of turbulence so rough it blurred my vision for a good 20 seconds. Glad I wasn't a Beaver pilot that day... cause the crazy buggers were out flying in this too.
The next flight was 3 hours later. While running up we were listening to ATC talk the same Beavers (on floats) into the harbour. It was still rough up there... at least one Beaver had lost momentary control on final. Fun times. We lifted off and were happy to see the winds had at least thinned out the clouds some, not that it mattered much. As we lifted, we heard a 747 taking off from Vancouver reporting severe turbulence thru 5000' and seconds later a Dash8 reported seeing multiple water spouts about 50 miles west of us. It's was armageddon.
And such was the rest of the day, and into the night. The last flight found me in the left seat with the Captain at the controls. This would turn out to be a good turn of fate. Lifting off from Victoria we half expected a fairly nice flight. The winds had died down and the turbulence was almost non-existant on the previous flight. So thru 100' he called for post checks and I was busy going thru the checklist. All of a sudden I heard the engines and transmission shreak and whine in unison. At the same time the Captain's voice filled with tension and he managed to spit out a quick "Oh $h!t!" We didn't know it then, but we'd just flown thru a squall-line at about 200'. It was over in seconds and we were out of it, but damn if we didn't both almost fill our shorts. His quick hands and experience kept the guages in the green and us in the air.
We made it home to base without further incident. It was by far the most unreal weather I think I'll ever see, and am proud to have been there to experience it. It gave me new respect for the world of IFR, and just what a purpose-build IFR machine is capable of flying thru.
That being said... summer can come along any time now!
Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:50
A young woman wanted to lease a helicopter (206B3) in order to sprinkle her moms ashes on top of the mountain (8,000 ft) outside of town. The weather was high overcast so I told her I wasn't sure we would make it all the way to the top of the mountain. She asked if we can't get there would there be other nice places where she could lay her mom to rest. I told her I was sure we could find a good spot so off we went. Followed the river valley that led up to the mountain just about as far as we could and we started to pick up some big holes in the overcast. I picked the biggest hole and popped up through and there was the top of the mountain right in front of us with crystal clear, calm blue skies all around. Flew to the top and did a slow circle while she opened the window and left her mom on the mountain top. Back down through the widening holes, a quiet peaceful flight back home. Now whenever that young woman looks at the mountain she knows her mom is at rest. Very rewarding and fulfilling.
<font color='#000000'>What was your best moment flying helicopters (or working on them)?</font>
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