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Instructor stress ? Or just a chain smoker?


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My instructor smokes like a chimney. I've noticed that he smokes more just prior to getting in the helicopter with me and immediately after touching down and exiting the helicopter. Suppose this is an indication of nervousness (or perhaps he just likes to smoke) ? Also he seems to frequent the restroom quite a bit, particularly just prior to getting in the helicopter with me. Is this a sign of a weak bladder? LOL

 

(While in flight he seems to be much more relaxed and doesn't fidget as much. I think his training is coming along well).

 

 

*** Bristol wonders if he is exerting undue stress on his instructor, and waits for the beating. ***

 

Regards ,

 

Bristol

 

smoker.jpg

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My instructor smokes like a chimney. I've noticed that he smokes more just prior to getting in the helicopter with me and immediately after touching down and exiting the helicopter. Suppose this is an indication of nervousness (or perhaps he just likes to smoke) ? Also he seems to frequent the restroom quite a bit, particularly just prior to getting in the helicopter with me. Is this a sign of a weak bladder? LOL

 

(While in flight he seems to be much more relaxed and doesn't fidget as much. I think his training is coming along well).

*** Bristol wonders if he is exerting undue stress on his instructor, and waits for the beating. ***

 

Regards ,

 

Bristol

 

smoker.jpg

 

 

Bristol- I know you are still learning the basics..... so just wait until you do your first auto with you on the controls..and you power up just after the flare, and you pull pitch hard, and the bird starts spinning becasue your late on the left pedal.....when you notice your instructor has suddenly relieved himself all over your left seat...thats when you know youre a helicopter pilot !!!

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Bristol,

 

Its very normal for an instructor to be scared sh*tless, most of us have no fingernails some of us smoke 2 packs a day at work and none at home (the smell of the cigs covers up the alcohol breath) :blink: . As long as he hasn't started crying you should be alright, and Goldy is right so you might want to think about sticking an airfreshner on top of the panel.

I used to ask my instructor to wear depends and that seemed to help.

 

On a serious note, I don't see how CFI's do it. It would drive me into madness I think.
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My first Instructor (a great guy) used to sometimes chew tobacco while flying. He would keep a paper cup in between his legs. For a few split instances - he would worry me when I thought he might be going for the cyclic, when infact he was stopping that paper cup from blowing out the door.

 

:)

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Speaking as a reformed smoker and current BPH sufferer, what you described is normal. He wants to make sure he gets a nicotine fix before flying, because he'll get none during the flight, and the nicotine has worn off by the time you land, so he needs another. And you will eventually learn to never, never turn down a chance to empty your bladder before flying, because you never know for sure when you'll get another chance. Another thing you'll learn never to turn down is a chance to get fuel. There is a saying, only half joking, that "It will fly over gross, but it won't fly without fuel". I exchange fluids at every opportunity. I did get off the tobacco, though, about 20 years ago. That was the hardest thing I ever tried to do. I'm still pissed at my government, which got me started on cigarettes, through the free ones packed in C rations. The tobacco companies really knew what they were doing when they gave those away, and I'm convinced they added lots of nicotine to them to boot.

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My instructor smokes like a chimney. I've noticed that he smokes more just prior to getting in the helicopter with me and immediately after touching down and exiting the helicopter. Suppose this is an indication of nervousness (or perhaps he just likes to smoke) ? Also he seems to frequent the restroom quite a bit, particularly just prior to getting in the helicopter with me. Is this a sign of a weak bladder? LOL

 

(While in flight he seems to be much more relaxed and doesn't fidget as much. I think his training is coming along well).

*** Bristol wonders if he is exerting undue stress on his instructor, and waits for the beating. ***

 

Regards ,

 

Bristol

 

smoker.jpg

 

 

Sounds like the instructor that I had. I hear he is doing tours in Vegas now. Thats scary because he would fly with a hangover also.

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Lots of things make me happy. It's hard to put happiness into text, though.

 

Being with my family makes me happy, but I'm not there very often. Fishing makes me happy, but I don't get to fish very often. I could go on, but maybe you get the picture. The job takes far too much of my time, and it's not getting better. After almost 40 years, the thrill has gone out of flying, and it's not fun being away from home 75% of the time. Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy.

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The IP at my line unit used to smoke in the helicopter. He would pick it up to a 3' hover and say, "you have the controls." Once he verified that I had control, he would prop his right boot up on the fresh air vent duct of the OH-58, fish his smokes out of his left sleeve pocket and say, "the smoking lamp is lit". I would proceed to fly the rest of the mission. After we shot our approach, and hovered to the ramp, he would sit up, pinch the cherry off his cigarrette and announce, "I have the controls" at which time, he would take control and set it down.

 

...and some people wonder why I'm bitter that I can't log that time. :blink:

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  • 2 months later...
Guest rookie101
Speaking as a reformed smoker and current BPH sufferer, what you described is normal. He wants to make sure he gets a nicotine fix before flying, because he'll get none during the flight, and the nicotine has worn off by the time you land, so he needs another.

 

This got me wondering: why isn't smoking seen as a hazard when flying helicopters. Sure there might be a slight decrease in helicopter pilot's (specially CFI's), but going for several hours without a nicotene fix begins to wear on a smoker, I would know my cousin is addicted to cigarretes and if he dosen't have one after a couple hours (maybe even a shorter time) of work he get's very, very aggitated to say the least :blink:. So then why isn't this seen as a hazard in flying since not going without a nicotene fix could really mess with a person and could possibly cause an accident?

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