How to fly a helicopter
Posted 01 July 2008 - 18:40
> RULES OF HELICOPTER FLYING
> Written by: David Berry
> Nationally Syndicated columnist
> TODAY’S AVIATION TOPIC IS: How to fly a helicopter.
> Although flying a helicopter may seem very difficult,
> the truth is that if you can drive a car, you can,
> with just a few minutes of instruction, take the
> controls of one of these amazing machines.
> you would immediately crash and die.
This is why you
> need to remember:
> RULE ONE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Always have somebody
> sitting right next to you who actually knows how to
> fly the helicopter and can snatch the controls away
> from you.
Because the truth is that helicopters are
> nothing at all like cars.
Cars work because of basic
> scientific principles that everybody understands, such
> as internal combustion and parallel parking.
> scientists still have no idea what holds helicopters
"Whatever it is, it could stop at any moment," is
> their current feeling.
> RULE TWO OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Maybe you should
> forget the entire thing.
This was what I was thinking
> on a recent Saturday morning as I stood outside a
> small airport in South Florida, where I was about to
> take my first helicopter lesson. This was not my idea.
> This was the idea of Pam Gallina-Raisstguier, who
> flies radio reporters over Miami during rush hour so
> they can alert drivers to traffic problems ("Bob, we
> have a three-mile backup on the interstate due to an
> overturned cocaine truck").
Pam is active in an
> international organization of women helicopter pilots
> called (Gloria Steinem; avert your eyes) the "Whirly
" She thought it would be a great idea for me to
> take a helicopter lesson.
I began having severe doubts
> when I saw Pam’s helicopter.
This was a small
It looked like it should have a little
> slot where you insert quarters to make it go up and
I knew that if we got airborne in a helicopter
> this size in South Florida , some of our larger
> tropical flying insects could very well attempt to
> mate with us. Also, this helicopter had no doors.
> a Frequent Flyer, I know for a fact that all your
> leading U.S.
airlines, despite being bankrupt,
> maintain a strict safety policy of having doors on
> their aircraft.
"Don’t we need a larger helicopter?" I
> asked Pam. "With doors?" "Get in." said Pam.
> don’t defy a direct order from a Whirly Girl.
> we’re in the helicopter, and Pam is explaining the
> controls to me over the headset, but there’s static
> and the engine is making a lot of noise.
> throttle (something)," she is saying.
"This is your
> cyclic and (something) your collective.
" "What?" I
"(something) give you the controls when we reach
> 500 feet," Pam says. "What?" I say.
But Pam is not
She is moving a control thing and
> WHOOOOAAAAAA we are shooting up in the air, and there
> are still no doors on this particular helicopter.
> Pam is giving me the main control thing.
> RULE THREE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: If anybody tries to
> give you the main control thing, refuse to take it.
> Pam says: "You don’t need hardly any pressure to... "
> AIEEEEEEEEEEE "That was too much pressure," Pam says.
> Now I am flying the helicopter.
I AM FLYING THE
I am flying it by not moving a single body
> part, for fear of jiggling the control thing.
> like the Lincoln Memorial statue of Abraham Lincoln,
> only more rigid. "Make a right turn," Pam is saying.
> gingerly move the control thing one zillionth of an
> inch to the right and helicopter LEANS OVER TOWARD MY
> SIDE AND THERE IS STILL NO DOOR HERE.
I instantly move
> the thing one zillionth of an inch back.
> turning right." I inform Pam. "What?" she says.
> left turns." I tell her.
When you’ve been flying
> helicopters as long as I have, you know your limits.
> After a while it become clear to Pam that if she
> continues to allow the Lincoln statue to pilot the
> helicopter, we are going to wind up flying in a
> straight line until we run out of fuel, possibly over
> Antarctica, so she takes the control thing back.
> is good news.
The bad news is, she’s now saying
> something about demonstrating an "emergency
" "It’s for when your engine dies," Pam
> says. "It’s called ’auto-rotation’.
" Do you like
> amusement park rides?" I say: "No, I
> RULE FOUR OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: "Auto-rotation"
> means "coming down out of the sky at about the same
> speed and aerodynamic stability as that of a forklift
> dropped from a bomber.
"Now we’re close to the ground
> (although my stomach is still at 500 feet), and Pam is
> completing my training by having me hover the
> RULE FIVE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: You can’t hover the
The idea is to hang over one spot on the
I am hovering over an area approximately the
> size of Australia .
I am swooping around sideways and
> backward like a crazed bumblebee.
If I were trying to
> rescue a person from the roof of a 100-story burning
> building, the person would realize that it would be
> safer to simply jump.
At times I think I am hovering
> upside-down. Even Pam looks nervous.
So I am very
> happy when we finally get back on the ground.
> tells me I did great, and she’d be glad to take me up
> again. I tell her that sounds like a fun idea.
> RULE SIX OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Sometimes you have to lie.
Posted 01 July 2008 - 19:09
Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:23
FAASTeam Representitive (OAK FSDO)
Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:27
Posted 02 September 2008 - 21:13
Richard J. Sears
ATP ASMEL/Rotor - CFI/CFII/MEI
G-V, CE-525S, CE-500
2005 R44 II
1997 Citation CJ
1978 Seneca II
Posted 03 September 2008 - 17:18
I like the part about the autorotation... having auto'd a 47.
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