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Cross-wind, old helicopter. . . nuff said

Kelly N.



The last lesson was gusty (ASOS said 9 kts gusting to 19 kts) and the wind was mostly from the North (our runways are 5 and 23) so, it was an interesting day. To add to the drama, our normal aircraft were down for maintenance (having an additional CFI flying lessons has thrown the rotation off a bit I think) and they brought another helo up from another location. It's older and a bit nose heavy. Also, you feel like you're pulling a ton of collective to just get to a hover. Add to that some odd handling characteristics combined with the wind and it all adds up to some interesting flying time.


We did some normal approaches and then some steep approaches. I was not great. The wind didn't help and the steep approaches took forever because of the significant headwind (we were basically creeping along from a ground speed perspective but the ASI read 30kts).


We did some governor off work and I did pretty good with that. I came in a bit fast on my shallow approach but I kept the RPMs in the green (near the top of the green) and I did hit the spot. Some of the excess speed may have just been the headwind driving the ASI, but it wasn't too shabby.


On what turned out to be the downwind leg of our last pattern, we got hit with a fairly sustained gust from the left (a good 3-4 seconds of steady pressure) and decided to end the lesson a bit early.


All in all, it was an interesting experience. I never felt out of control or nervous (though I did tense up because I wasn't getting the speed and approaches right, plus keeping a solid hover was like nailing jello to a tree).


It was a good experience, but here's hoping to a calmer day on Tuesday a.m. (my lesson today was canceled due to weather). I could use a bit of a less "interesting" lesson time for the next few flying days ;)


Safe Flying,




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