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First time Flying R44


Kelly N.
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I got to fly an R44 for the first time last Saturday. It was a huge bag 'o fun after spending over 80 hours in R-22s.

 

The lack of feedback in the cyclic took a few seconds to get used to (I was uber wobbly at first) but that passed quickly. I really enjoyed the flight despite having some fairly gusty and variable wind (remnants of Faye pushing through NC that afternoon).

 

The ultimate bonus was that I got to fly it to the airshow at Winston-Salem. Big rush!!

 

So, since it was so much fun and the R-22 I was scheduled to fly tonight was unavailable, I flew the R44 again. I flew to a local airstrip less than a mile from my house and was able to see my house from the air for the first time (sorry, no pics as the camera got left in the R22).

 

Now I have only 2.9hrs in an R44 but I have to admit, it's way more fun to fly than the 22. Unfortunately, I'm not independently wealthy so, it'll be a few more years in the 22's before I can start flying the bigger helos on a regular basis :(

 

Anyway, I'll write more about it on the blog in a few days (going to Pigeon Forge, TN on vacation next week and will have more time to write about it then).

 

Sorry for the ramble, I was just excited about the experience and my wife is tired of hearing me blather about it. :D

 

Kelly

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It is a fun ship to fly, I was 300 over Malibu coast this afternoon in one. The feedback does take a bit to acquire, once its there though its pretty easy. Also, you sit in front of the skids so you have to remember to land further, if that makes sense.

 

Kelly- with only 3 hours in one, I'm kinda hoping you are flying with another pilot ??

 

I fly a Raven1, would like to try out the extra HP of the RavenII model. Many times the R1 is underpowered..even at 800MSL.

 

Goldy

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It is a fun ship to fly, I was 300 over Malibu coast this afternoon in one. The feedback does take a bit to acquire, once its there though its pretty easy. Also, you sit in front of the skids so you have to remember to land further, if that makes sense.

 

Kelly- with only 3 hours in one, I'm kinda hoping you are flying with another pilot ??

 

I fly a Raven1, would like to try out the extra HP of the RavenII model. Many times the R1 is underpowered..even at 800MSL.

 

Goldy

 

Hey Goldy,

 

:) Yep, absolutely. My CFI for my commercial training was with me last night and the flight into Winston-Salem was with our CP.

 

Kelly

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Also, you sit in front of the skids so you have to remember to land further, if that makes sense.

 

Forgot to add. . .

 

Yep, that makes perfect sense. On my first normal last night, I felt like I had gone a bit long but it ended up being just right. Also, the extra IGE on setdowns is going to take a bit more work for me. I never realized how quickly the 22 settles until I tried setting the 44 down and it really does float there for a bit and requires a bit more work to put it down.

 

Lot's of fun!

 

Kelly

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Hi Kelly,

 

I worked the show on Sunday and got to fly the 44 back to base, with a stop at RDU to go get some dinner, hovering at 1100' over the water tower inbound on November, for the landing 737 on 5L was pretty cool. I only had 3 hours stick time in the 44 before that, with 1.8 being Astro time. The Raven is a joy to fly, once you get over the pick up wobblies. I got to do a max performance out of Winston-Salem and it felt like a rocket even with 3 on board, cruising at 110 was also nice for a change.

 

See you around.

 

Marlon

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yeah, I still am getting used to flying so much faster than the R22. I sort of had a speed that I knew felt comfortable in the R22 and flying so much faster is still kind of a new thing, but a great thing at that. Flew up the coast this morning in the remainder of my R44 signoff, up along Santa Monica and Malibu/Pt. Dume. Great flight. Finally felt more comfortable with the speed and the ease at which to control the cyclic.

 

yeah

 

derek

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Kelly,

 

I worked the show on Sunday and got to fly the 44 back to base, with a stop at RDU to go get some dinner, hovering at 1100' over the water tower inbound on November, for the landing 737 on 5L was pretty cool. I only had 3 hours stick time in the 44 before that, with 1.8 being Astro time. The Raven is a joy to fly, once you get over the pick up wobblies. I got to do a max performance out of Winston-Salem and it felt like a rocket even with 3 on board, cruising at 110 was also nice for a change.

 

See you around.

 

Marlon

 

Hey Marlon,

 

Dude! I'm jealous! :D

 

I wish I would have been able to fly it back that night but it made sense to leave it out there for the next day.

 

I've been trying to get back into RDU. I want to get comfortable with that airspace, but last time we tried (in the R44) they were busy and we canceled our transition. Oh well, there's always next time.

 

Later!

Kelly

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yeah, I still am getting used to flying so much faster than the R22. I sort of had a speed that I knew felt comfortable in the R22 and flying so much faster is still kind of a new thing, but a great thing at that.

 

 

I know what you mean. I had a tendency to keep creeping down to high R22 speeds the first time I flew the 44. However, I got over that quickly :D

 

On my second flight, I was right around 95ish the whole time, no problems. We had the front doors off and it was a blast.

 

The thing I need to remind myself now is that it can actually stop in the same amount of space as the 22. My second normal approach I started a bit early. I guess I thought I was driving the bus and needed the extra distance. My first was pretty good though.

 

Don't know when I'll be flying the 44 again, but it's definitely my favorite so far (of course, I have it and the 22's to choose from so, I guess that's a no-brainer). Duh!

 

Kelly

 

P.S. I just noticed that I've been post happy after returning from vacation with no internet for the past week. Before I ground myself from posting anymore tonight. . .:D

 

Tennessee was a blast. Saw a bear (we walked up on it on a hike - it just popped up out of a bush about 6 feet in front of us - it was a cub and we could hear the mother on the hillside but didn't see her). It was a bit of a rush and a tad nerve-wracking as my 9 and 10 year old daughters were there too. We moved on by and it just glanced up.

 

We also saw an elk and some turkey. We ended up hiking approx. 15 miles in 3 days. Not that much for some, but my girls held up like troopers with minimal whining (and a lot of it was pretty steep grade) so I was extremely proud of them.

 

If anyone's in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area in the future, I recommend the Ramsey Cascade trail (8 miles round trip and it's the one we saw the bear on) and Rainbow falls (5.2 miles round trip).

 

Now, I'll stop posting like a goof-ball and it's back to work tomorrow (sigh) :)

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Kelly, I'm more than a bit jealous. I got about 75hrs in a -22 before I moved to the 300CBi. I've got 15-ish hours in that, and it looks like I'll be moving into the -44 soon and flying both (commercial and instrument, respectively). I can't wait till my -44 transition, especially after doing Comm XC's at 70kts for the past 15 hours!

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Kelly, I'm more than a bit jealous. I got about 75hrs in a -22 before I moved to the 300CBi. I've got 15-ish hours in that, and it looks like I'll be moving into the -44 soon and flying both (commercial and instrument, respectively). I can't wait till my -44 transition, especially after doing Comm XC's at 70kts for the past 15 hours!

 

 

Yeah, it definitely brings more destinations into reasonable flying range when you can cruise above 75kts comfortably.

 

I'd like to fly the Schweizers too just to see the difference (hell, who am I kidding, I'd like to fly anything, difference or not :) ).

 

Kelly

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I got my first taste of the R-44 yesterday. Absolutely a wonderful ship! T/R authority like none other. I think I'm in love.

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The R44, ahhh!! I have to agree with all i'm reading here about this ship. I love it. I'm right at 48 hours in 44's now, finished my PIC last week and soloed one yesterday. That was a trip, even at a mile high it was powerful and really fast, had to pull back all the time as to not exceed VNE! Didn't put a weight in the front (i weigh 200lbs), topped the tanks and took off. The pick-up, which is touchy at first in a 44 to begin with, was a little strange with the ship wanting to hang to the tail.. but not that much of an issue... just pull power slowly and push forward to hover. (On pick-up it helps to rotate the cyclic slightly just before lift off to see where you are at, works every time!) It was strange in cruise to have the cyclic pushed forward and extra inch or so.. but again no issue. Flew for about an hour, in typical Denver fashion the wind was variable at 5 on pick-up, but by the time i was 2 miles out on my return it picked up to 11 gusting 24. I wish the controller wouldn't have told me that cuz i was just fine until then :-). Found out that it wasn't an issue anyway (after my hands stopped shaking) as the ship handled the gusts perfectly.. it made me nervous to see the tree tops bending back and forth, but the 44 didn't hardly notice it. NOW, would i recommend you flying in that type of gusts? Absolutely not, but just know that it will do it. I taxied back from runway 2 with my nose to the wind just to be safe and set down that way as well.. no need to push my luck. One other thing that was a little unnerving was when the gusts hit me head on the ship bounced up and down a little pretty quickly, the 300 seems to be a little less affected but i can't say for sure. All that being said;

 

i have roughly:

 

100 hours in the 300

10 hours in the 333

10 hours in the 120

48 hours in the 44

4 hours in the 22

 

and i can say that with out a doubt my favorite is the 44.. all things considered that is; $$ hour, comfort, performance, safety, cruise, $$ fuel costs. (not in any order).

 

I am looking forward to the Factory course this month.. i hear it's amazing!

 

aloha,

 

dp

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