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Flight Experiance from Astar XC


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I meant to post this after my June XC Ferry Flight from Van Nuys to SLC in a trip coordinated by JETTSET99 in a AS350. I saw he was getting slammed on the other thread from some posters about the ethics of having someone pay for the extra seat. I am not posting this to start an argument one way or the other if someone should pay for this empty seat. This is for those that have thought about hopping on one of these ferry flights and what I got out of it.

 

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I snagged one of the ferry flights to Utah a few months ago setup by JETTSET99 and it was a awesome experience along with the fact your starting to network in a community that is very small to begin with. The turbine time was a nice adder, but the real meat and potatoes happened to be the x-country portion of the flight. Most all of my x-country and many others after PPL has been within a few hundred miles of the home airport with lots of familiar territory, airspace and an aircraft that you know like the back of your hand.

 

Most students learn at one airport with a few low time instructors, perform tthe needed XC (50-100 miles away) trips to meet the minimums and if the weather looks bad you don't fly. For me this was the longest XC to-date, it was a fantastic learning experience outside the normal area I am used to, from a pilot that has flown all over the US and abroad, finding out some of the stuff you learned works great and you finally get to practice after being taught about, other stuff that was taught in training is kinda pushed aside as you are out of the normal "training" syllabus replaced with new priorities.

 

You are now sitting in a new aircraft that you have never flown before, your senses overloaded by monitoring gauges in places that you're not used to, learning to feel, hear and become one with a ship in only a few hours time (impossibly todo btw) so your not glued to the fore mentioned dials, flying at elevation along with wind that would make a smaller ship shutter, approaching and departing mountain ridges all along figuring out where the wind is coming from so you don't get into trouble. I got to fly in weather that was normal for him but below my minimums, this included cloud ceilings, thunderstorms, rain and lightening. Not that we flew in all of that, we ended up stopping over and waiting out the storm, but none the less it was another learning opportunity for me.

 

From flying in LA, Vegas and SLC airspace, to all the radio work (and figuring out how to use the new radios), to dealing with the weather, monitoring fuel, following the GPS and following the sectional with unfamiliar landmarks is something most people don't get during PPL/CPL sitting in there home pattern. True the primary pilot is sitting next to you the hole time doing some of the work as well, he makes the final decisions, makes corrections and gives constructive criticism, and in the end you are a better pilot for the added skills you have put into your tool box. Not because its a turbine, but from the actual seat time, making mistakes and the ability to learn from them. Because of him I worked on my ability to feel for the elevation changes and make corrections based on those gut instincts that came on day #2.

 

For most of us that are low time pilots, this is an extremely awesome learning experience that you will take with you for the rest of your life. You get out of it what you put into it and flying with someone that has been there and done that, is worth a bunch in my book. I have no problem paying a few bucks for this training and would do it again in a heart beat. Some will say that they should offer this seat (in essence a learning experience) for free, and that is fine and I wouldn't argue with it. But nothing is free in this world unfortunately it seems, regardless of what I think, want or expect.

 

In my log book I look at the flight time gathered flying the ship from Van Nuys to SLC as quality XC time, not so much as turbine time or specifically Astar time. I would love to hear what others who have done these trips before have to say and they are more than welcome to chime in and add any comments they may have, good or bad.

 

Lastly I want to thank a good friend and VR member GOLDY and his family for their wonderful hospitality. He picked me up at the airport, fed me, took me to my first ever HS basketball game, allowed me to crash on his couch, and in a final act of generosity drove me to Van Nuys airport the following morning. With out his support and assistance, my trip would have been a bit a bit more difficult. Thank you so much Steve! PS, I haven't forgotten the wine, my better half has been burning the candle at both ends for a bit.

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Lastly I want to thank a good friend and VR member GOLDY and his family for their wonderful hospitality. He picked me up at the airport, fed me, took me to my first ever HS basketball game, allowed me to crash on his couch, and in a final act of generosity drove me to Van Nuys airport the following morning. With out his support and assistance, my trip would have been a bit a bit more difficult. Thank you so much Steve! PS, I haven't forgotten the wine, my better half has been burning the candle at both ends for a bit.

 

Hey buddy! I wondered if you were going to respond when all that CC talk was going on!

 

I know how much you enjoyed that flight...personally, I would jump on a couple just for that same experience and what a way to enjoy a weekend!

 

Thanks for the nice words, pretty much any wildland fire fighter captain who is a helicopter pilot and gun nut is welcome at my place anytime!

 

See ya!

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Brushfire21 you pretty much covered the same things I got out of flying the EC-120 with Mikemv from Dallas to Naples, Florida. I would like to do a long XC again sometime with anyone and I don't mind paying a little for it. I need about 4 years to get my daughter out of college before I can do one again so...teach until then.

 

Jerry

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but I wanna come see the Palace O' Goldy one day when I hit the big time.

 

Maybe when you go to Robbie school! Then again, maybe not!

 

I'll be in Dallas in two weeks, probably not close enough for a beer.....unless the L4 needs a warm up!

 

Goldy

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Hey goldy, I am guessing you are in california, I am flying the return trip in this bird, and was wondering if you could tell me the best way to get to a commercial hub from Van Nuys. I have flown an R44 out but never an a-star in. Any advice you may have would really help!

 

There is a bus service from Van Nuys to LAX called the Flyaway bus. It is a regularly scheduled service. From VNY it is a $7 fare. The terminal is just off the airport. I have used it may times. It convenient, clean and reliable.

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Thanks guys for the commenting!

 

@rotorhead8500 - I sent you an email directly with my contact info. Goldy was kind enough to help me out with transportation from Burbank International, but since you are flying out be flexible as stuff can happen in route on the trip (weather, mechanical etc). Basically don't buy a ticket home, or buy one that you can change up at the last minute.

 

At the SLC side I was able to snag a ride from the mechanic that was also taking the owners of the company from the airbase to the airport. Everyone was really nice and helpful, so anything may be possible. You will probably stop in St. George,UT for fuel and then shoot straight towards Vegas, Palmdale and then into VNY skirting some MOA's and restrictive area's along the way. Take a camera, you may fly near the Hoover Damn and other area's of interest!

 

Last few items, get a weather update for yourself, do a little flight planning of the route south so your somewhat informed of where your going and finally just relax and enjoy the flight!

 

@Goldy - I sometimes get sidetracked with stuff here and can't stay logged in all day like you! Think you ought to be put up as a moderator for the site helping the mods keep us inline.

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There is a bus service from Van Nuys to LAX called the Flyaway bus. It is a regularly scheduled service. From VNY it is a $7 fare. The terminal is just off the airport. I have used it may times. It convenient, clean and reliable.

 

Could you or Goldy give directions to the bus stop for him at VNY? Maybe what its close to aka the Homedepot or something he can find easily?

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Hey buddy! I wondered if you were going to respond when all that CC talk was going on!

 

I know how much you enjoyed that flight...personally, I would jump on a couple just for that same experience and what a way to enjoy a weekend!

 

Thanks for the nice words, pretty much any wildland fire fighter captain who is a helicopter pilot and gun nut is welcome at my place anytime!

 

See ya!

 

Maybe we need to setup some range time at a remote location only accessible by helicopter? Might need to bring a bigger aircraft to bring all my toys and ammo, or better yet strap them to the skids with remote triggers hahaha.

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@ Brushfire, first off thanks, and you and i seem to have a few many toys in that reguard! BUT i am also the one that says you never can have enough! Well thanks again for the info, and if you ever find yourself in ohio, give me a call ill send ya my number, and ill take you shooting!

 

I can out-toy the best of ya!

 

If you can park the helo over on the Airtel Hotel pads, then its just a 10 minute walk to the FlyAway. If you have to walk from where they park the AStar, its closer to 30 minutes, as you have to walk all the way around the airport.

 

Here is a link to the flyaway:

 

http://www.lawa.org/welcome_LAX.aspx?id=292

 

PM me and I will give you my cell, if you get stuck in LA or need some help with something...just call.

 

Goldy

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They L4 is fixing to be my ex.... I am re-employing to another operator.

 

I'll take the L4, I've got a little extra room in my driveway!

 

Sounds like a good thing. Keep in touch

 

Goldy

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Maybe when you go to Robbie school! Then again, maybe not!

 

I'll be in Dallas in two weeks, probably not close enough for a beer.....unless the L4 needs a warm up!

 

Goldy

 

 

Goldy,

 

When and where are you going in Dallas? I live just outside of the downtown area in the Addison area!

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PM sent

 

I'm 5 miles north of KDFW. Let me partially repay you for that dinner you paid for when DP and I were at RHC with a drink or meal or something. My schedule is fairly open.

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I'm 5 miles north of KDFW. Let me partially repay you for that dinner you paid for when DP and I were at RHC with a drink or meal or something. My schedule is fairly open.

 

Payback is a bitch! PM sent, see you there.

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