23 February 2014: My Valentine's Day present: a helicopter flight lesson in a Robinson R22 at North Andover Flight Academy at KLWM (Lawrence).
It seems to help my "street creds" if I show up at an airport in a Cessna rather than my car: that's '3AC on the ramp behind the training helicopter.
Taking off, heading off to the north for some maneuver training, and then all too soon back to Lawrence. This is not quite like flying a docile fixed-wing airplane like my Cessna. The helicopter is unstable and needs constant attention and hands on the controls (at least, the cyclic control). On the other hand the visibility is great, and flying backwards is entertaining.
This was fun!
My second lesson, on a very windy spring day:
Flying a Robinson R22 on a gusty day. (If the embedded video clip will not play, view the original video clip on YouTube.)
Third lesson: constant-altitude acceleration and deceleration and stationary hovering. Acceleration and deceleration aren't tough once you get used to how much to move the collective control. Hovering at low-altitude without skittering out of position or getting weathervaned around by the wind is very tricky, however, much more so than you might expect.
I was so intent on watching how to do the rather-complex runup on the helicopter that I never even noticed the small jet landing on the runway behind us, or even taxiing past on the taxiway right behind the helicopter. Of course, the 'copter has no windows on the back side, but I was focused on the engine indicators anyway.
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Last modified 13 May 2014